I've been in Durango for almost eight years and forget sometimes how much of a "destination" our sweet town is. Most locals in towns that attract tourists have complex relationships with the tourism industry, and I'm no exception. That being said, I've always had respect for the tourism industry. Of course we want to travel to beautiful places and have our own experiences of said places! I have been lucky enough to travel around the world, and as a tourist I'm often humbled by how challenging it is to get to know a place. Even if we're lucky enough to land for a few months, there's a difference between being a visitor and calling a place home.
When I started my private chef business several months ago (back in September, really), I said to myself that December and January would be my busy season. I said it, hoping it would come true... and here I am, headed into an incredibly busy December and January. Although I've been fortunate to host several dinners for locals lately, I'm with the appreciation that much of my upcoming work is cooking for people visiting Durango this winter.
As a private chef, I hope to be part of the bridge between tourism and connection to place. I believe there are endless ways to get to "know" a place: meeting locals, exploring the lands, honoring history, being curious about culture, etc. It comes as no surprise that I also believe we get to know a place by eating foods that are grown from local lands. Whether you're a first-time visitor, an annual vacationer, or a long-time local, there's always new ways to deepen our connection to place. And if you're so inclined to do so by way of a thoughtfully curated meal, I would love to be a part of that vision.
Happy holidays, from my kitchen to yours!