Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Siddharth: My passion for life and food

When I was growing up, food was something I took for granted. In my house, my mom made homecooked meals every night. Even though she cooked a lot of Indian food (my parents are both immigrants from South India), she also tried different sorts of foods too - American, Italian, Chinese, and more. My mom also loved to bake, so I was always treated to delicious desserts. For a long time, as a child, I thought this was how everyone had it. It wasn't really until high school that I realized how lucky I was. That was when my friends started coming over for dinner and events at our house, and they always went on about how great of a cook my mom was. I couldn't imagine another way of living, but I was soon to be faced with a harsh reality: I was headed to college at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Eastern NY (a 7-hr drive from where I grew up in NW Ohio), and I would no longer be coming home to meals cooked by my mother! What was I going to do?

My first year at RPI was tough - I ate cafeteria food everyday, and I hated it. I started eating really unhealthy foods, as these were the only things I liked in the cafeteria: belgian waffle with Ice Cream and a side of fries for dinner was not unusual for me (I still have a tremendous love of junk food, but back then it became primary sustenance!). After that experience, I knew I had to learn to cook for myself. As a sophomore I moved off campus into an apartment, and fending for myself in terms of food began. I started slow: I used 4-ingredient cookbooks and followed simple recipes that my mom e-mailed me. As time went on, I slowly got better and better, and I tried more sophisticated recipes. By the time I was a senior, all of my friends were eager to eat my cooking, and I was widely considered the "chef" in our two floor apartment of 6 guys. After graduating RPI and coming to grad school at Cornell, I continued to broaden my culinary horizons. Now, no recipe scares me (except baking - I still leave that to my mom and Tricia!), and I develop a lot of my own recipes. I have a great feel for food, and I typically have house parties of 10 or more people each month, where I cook and serve multiple course meals for my friends. Everyone enjoys the food, and I really enjoy making food for everyone.

I think things have come full circle: my mom always cooked for others because she liked to, not because she had to. This is how I am now: I have found that food is something that brings us all together, and it is really important to me and how I live my life. Tricia, who I met 2 years ago, has learned to share my passion for food, and together we make our free time, weekends, and vacations centered on food (cooking and eating!). Tricia has developed into quite a baker herself! So here, we share with you what we create and what we consume. We'll give you recipes, details of places we ate, and even comprehensive reviews of local places in Ithaca. We hope that the food we share here will become something that you can enjoy with your family friends as well!


  1. Where are all of the rice and curry posts?

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