Sunday, September 19, 2010

ShowFood Chef - it's a calling

You can call me Cathy, you can call me ShowFood Chef, you can call me the next Food Blog Star, just so you CALL me (insert rim shot here.)

If you're one of my blogger friends and followers, you will not be too surprised to hear that I have joined a new challenge. Go ahead, smile and nod (and insert your vote, here.)

This challenge is called
Project Food Blog by During the challenges, there will be stories to tell, food challenges to prepare, photos to take and videos to make. All of them are designed to stretch and enlighten me [the food blogger] and hopefully inspire you [the reader.]

The judges are some of my sincerely favorite food stars themselves: Dana Cowin, Editor-in-Chief of Food and Wine Magazine, Pim Techamuanvivit of Chez Pim and author of The Foodie Handbook, and Nancy Silverton of the amazing Osteria and Pizzeria Mozza, among other culinary successes, and YOU. They will also be reading this post by ShowFoodChef (insert scratch-n-sniff smelling salts to avoid fainting, here.)

Challenge #1 - Write a personal post about what defines me, my blog and why I should be the Next Food Blog Star.

I have been in Show Business for years as an actress, writer, teacher and director (insert picture of emotional scars here). I still do that sometimes (hyperlink to fable of dog chasing it's own tail, here). But, my newest artistic expression has gone from Show Folk to Show Food.

A few years ago, I started writing non-fiction, personal essays and reading them in my own stage show with others at the famed Groundlings Theatre in Los Angeles. I self catered each show, combining story, food and wine. As those things go, it was very successful. Along the way, I made a giant self-discovery. The stories the audience loved most were about my quirky southern upbringing. I got great laughs and sometimes tears from tales about my mom, my grandparents' survival farm on a dirt road, hiding bread dough in a corn field for good luck, eatin' mud-pies so my cousins would think I was brave, spitting watermelon seeds at each other and trying to smoke a stem because they called it rabbit tobacco. It was the very truth I had thought I needed to disguise all these years.

I wrote about being surrounded by live [for a while] chickens, cattle, pigs, guinea, rabbits, many dogs, cats, and geese. There were gardens, fields to plow, woods and creeks, lard biscuits twice a day and loud preaching in Revival tents. The thread that ran through all of it was food, jamming, preserving, smoking meat, plucking chickens and baking (insert church choir singing "God Bless America" here.)
I spoke about my parents divorcing, and my dad dying a few years later, and my mom moving my brother and me to the city (insert map to prove that the tiny town of Durham is indeed called a city.) My mom worked as many jobs as possible to keep our little family close, fed and healthy. There was not much money and the food took on a lot of "wonder what's under the gravy tonight" titles. Ultimately, that gave me a great appreciation for the "time and energy" concern that so many working parents feel when it comes to cooking and serving meals.

My stage show proved to be a training ground for my blog. I had already been cooking and developing recipes before I knew they were called recipes. In fact, as kids my brother and I spent many Saturdays mixing up bits of every thing we could find in the kitchen. Then we'd experiment to see what it looked like if we froze it, or toasted it, or if the dog would still eat it (insert my husband's face in sudden realization of his role in life now.)

A few years ago, I graduated (insert diploma with honors) from Le Cordon Bleu of California as a way of adding credentials to my yammering and a chance to practice the classics. It was an arduous and awesome experience.

After working in a restaurant kitchen, I knew I had enough respect for line cooks to last a lifetime, and would serve the food world better by teaching, writing, developing and being the one to show food (insert sound of Ahhhs, here.)
My hope is that my readers (insert huge virtual hug of appreciation, here) will see all the challenges that I leap into and feel inspired. I hope they will try the recipes I create, learn a new technique and return for more.
I hope my travels, love of Italian food and the desire to show that every culture has a version of home-cooking will educate and inform others.
I have always believed there was nothing I couldn't do if I researched, practiced, studied with the best and didn't let failure stop me (re-insert pic of emotional scars, here.) I've been following that idea as my photography improves and I grow into the technical world of blog and design.
My favorite comments are when someone says, "You make me think I could do that, too."
If you agree with so many others (insert picture of my immediate family, here) that I could be the FoodBuzz Blogger Star of the year - take a moment, sign up and vote for me at As always - Thank you for stopping by and let me know what you're cooking.


artatheart512 said...

WoW!( insert big hug )Cathy you are such a gift, for your writing, your heart and your wonderful food! Can't wait to eat at your house, I meant to say, Can't wait to see you soon...(insert sly grin here)!

The Urban Baker said...

you have my vote!

Brooke said...

Ah girl, you KNOW you have my vote! What a great story btw. I had NO idea you did improv comedy at the Groundlings!!!I did improv with Improv Boston for years. Who knew us wacky girls had so much in common!!!! hugs,

Sandra said...

WOW... how can one person be so talented in so many areas? Your story made me laugh (and almost cry)...I have heard about the "whats under the gravy tonight" mysteries and the kitchen experiments! You've got my vote for winning this challenge and making the best of every challenge life throws your way.

Khali//Bandit and the Scene Stealers said...

Total brilliance! You got my vote!!!!

FOODalogue said...

I want to see more of Show Food Chef. I'm casting a vote.