For my beloved Brother who introduced me to the art of cooking, who taught me how to taste and truly love food. Without him I'd never be able to be where I am today.

April 26, 2014

How To Be A Fool

In the name of food, insanity, brilliance and love.

I clearly recall the day I first held it in my hands: Finally! I had to feel its weight for a while, thoroughly embrace it before inhaling the smell of freshly printed paper. High quality, indeed. And the weight! 477 grams to be precise. Magnus Nilsson in a huge fur coat, his Iron Maiden t-shirt peeping out. It felt like an invitation to cuddle, to get intimate, pledging juicy details. The four-word oath had already been met and I had yet to turn the cover page.

Back to 477 grams. Did I actually weigh it? Would that be such bizarre thing to do? Fine, I admit, I did in fact weigh it. However, this seemingly meaningless yet noteworthy piece of information is absolutely vital because here I am, a fool – literally.
.   .   .

FOOL was the magazine I so desperately had been longing for. Real stories, real people, real food. All nicely wrapped together with gorgeously provocative photography. No god damn recipes, no cooking tips from half-herated middle aged woman portrayed wearing a perky apron and a wooden basket hanging from her arm with "a ravishing Tuscan landscape" in the background. No bullshit. Only gastronomy served at its purest. 

Self-centeredly I though, these people understand me. They must have come to relieve my frustration regarding contemporary food writing and magazines. The infamous and dreaded foodie food bloggers had ruined my appetite. In fact, they had so thoroughly repulsed me that I feared there was no return. My love affair with food writing was rotting. The only food writing I nibbled on was my own. On the other hand, my own voice had started to make my stomach turn too. I continuously reach out to good old good olds, Brillant-Savarin, M. F. K Fisher & company, to save me from starvation, but the neophiliac in me was raging. I needed something fresh and organic. Along came FOOL. Love at first bite!

"If only one day I'd get so lucky as to work with these people..." I mused sucking each story and photo to the bone. 

Last summer, with Fool #3 in my back pack, I was in search of an oasis to calm my nerves after a 70 hours work week in the kitchen. I found a tremendous secret spot at the harbor in Helsinki. Craving for the good stuff, I ripped open the plastic wrapping. Sean Brock's charismatic face spoke a thousand words. With the fresh sea breeze caressing my skin, I found a piece of heaven in some damn fine food writing. This time reading, I was particularly emotional as I had a week ago sent an email to the founder couple Lotta & Per Anders Jörgensen expressing my eagerness to collaborate. Would I receive an answer? Could this possibly lead to something? Could we be a good match? My mind was bursting with thoughts and questions. I kept on reading. And hoping.

.   .   .

Seven months later, I find myself exactly where I dreamed about being as I humbly accepted chef Nilsson's inviting embrace. This morning from across the room, I see Lotta & PA immersed in the process of making Fool #5 even more exciting and outrageous than the precedent. A pinch. Yes, I am here. I can't help but feel proud of never letting go of my principles and hopes for something better, more real. Let this foolish journey lead to more food, more insanity, more brilliance & more love.


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