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My favorite childhood memories are delightfully connected with food. My Mother was a wonderful cook. She and my Aunt created a successful fundraising cookbook for United Cerebral Palsy, and our house was the home-base for Jewish and American holiday dinners for our family and friends.
As early as I could stand on a chair, I helped my Mother, Nana and Great Aunt in the kitchen preparing for holiday meals. My favorite job was measuring the ingredients for, and then stirring the béchamel sauce for what seemed like an eternity, to make the family tradition baked macaroni, with the lengthy tube noodles my Mother procured from an Italian market deep in New York City’s Little Italy.
Each year I pretended I was on a secret military expedition, accompanying my father to pick up the wonderfully moist and pink smoked salmon and other smoked fish, as well as the pre-ordered oversized brown paper bags of steamy, fresh bagels for Yom Kippur break-fast, then watching with fascination as my Father and Uncle masterfully sliced the bagels into an enormous hand-crafted wooden container used only for this sacred fasting holiday, known lovingly as “the bagel bowl.”
I continued my love for cooking in college at Northwestern, preparing family style meals for my house mates and food for parties we held.
I further honed my culinary and entertaining skills feeding friends on weekends at the beach in Marina del Rey, CA and for over a decade as partner and Senior Creative Producer for a Film and TV marketing agency in Beverly Hills (known for creating the Seinfeld DVD series) frequently preparing lunches for our large staff and ever visiting studio clients.
But it was preparing meals for my father when he was ill in Florida, that I truly connected my passion and love for entertaining, cooking and making people happy.