Thursday, December 31, 2009

The 2000s - A Personal Food Journey Through the Decade

Happy New Decade! I moved to Los Angeles in the summer of 1998, so while I spent the last year and one half of the 90s in LA, the 00s were really my LA decade. For the previous ten years, I'd been roaming. Through the course of the 1990s, which was the decade of my 20s, I lived in seven different states, went to two different schools and held three different full-time jobs and countless part time, summer and temp gigs. It was a transient time, and while I ate some great foods in great places, I never got settled in one place and got to develop a real familiarity with it, and I tended to eat on the run, seeking out the best I could find wherever I was, from New York to New Orleans and many places in between.

The 00s were different. The decade of my 30s was more settled; I lived entirely in LA, and really got a chance to dig deep into the city and into various food obsessions that I developed. Oh, and unlike the 90s, I had steady jobs the entire decade, which helps with the economics and all. It was the decade that I was able to develop true obsessions with chocolate, cheese and whiskey and do some serious home cooking.

So, feeling reflective on this New Year's Eve, I thought I'd review a few of my personal food memories of the 00s.

2000: I got a copy of Steve Jenkins' Cheese Primer and began my journey on the road to cheese obsession.

2001: Driving home from work, I heard an NPR story about a website called Chowhound that sounded right up my ally. I logged on the next day and my food life changed forever.

2002: I moved from Park La Brea to Koreatown, one of LA's culinary hubs. I also made the first of many pilgrimages to Langer's to worship at the altar of pastrami (how did it take me that long?).

2003: I took my first trip to the San Gabriel Valley for Chinese (Sea Harbor), something I now do several times per month. After being a casual Scotch drinker (Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Macallan) for many years, I had my first sip of Lagavulin and developed a taste for smoke. Scotch displaces Tequila as my drink of choice.

2004: Highland Park Bicentenary blows my mind and sends me into a flavor tailspin. From thence, a full scale single malt obsession was born.

2005: I tasted my first George T. Stagg and took the same dive into American whiskey. With Julia Childs' help (no, not Mastering the Art, the more user-friendly The Way to Cook), I became more ambitious with my cooking and started venturing out into the world of French cooking.

2007: I started this blog and reached a new level of food obsession but also joined a thriving community of on-line food and drink appreciators.

2008: I bought a whetstone and started sharpening my own knives, adding another level of obsession to make the sharpest blades.

From May to 2007 to now, I blogged the whole way, so it's all right here, from doughnuts to dim sum, from pupus to pupusas, from Kentucky to Scotland, and everywhere in between.

Happy New Year and here's to a tasty teens.

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