I grew up in Southeast Louisiana in a large family. We had seven family members living under one roof in a three bedroom apartment. My grandmother, Jane aka Mawmaw, knew how to cook and nurture. She and my mother, are some of the best cooks I know.
As you could imagine cooking for seven family members is no simple task, however, Mawmaw not only made sure we had a delicious supper nearly every night, but she also homeschooled my uncle and I. While Ryan and I were doing school work she would sit with my Pawpaw, Jurden, in the morning and drink her coffee and watch the morning news while writing a shopping list of things we didn't have in the house for dinner. She would then head to the grocery store while we finished another set of assignments. Once she returned, Ryan and I would help put away the groceries while she checked our school work.
Mawmaw was no professionally trained culinarian. In fact, her culinary education was acquired little by little from watching cooking shows on TV. She would watch chefs demonstrate the critical cooking techniques necessary to incorporate flavors to enhance our meal.
When she was in the kitchen and I was finishing up my school work for the day, the house was always filled with pleasant smells of roasted vegetables, baked rice, or sautéed onions and red wine. From my stepping stool, I would watch her cook dinner or make dessert and to my delight, if she ever mixed anything with chocolate frosting or cake batter I would get one of the mixers as a special treat.
Being exposed to such great, delicious, and nurturing food paved my way into the culinary and hospitality industry. I always strive to put the same love and attention my Mawmaw put into food. These are memories and routines that I hold close to my heart. My Mawmaw loved me in many ways, but it is through her love of food that fed my soul. I cook because I have been loved and it is my pleasure to love those who sit around my table.
Written by Adrian Bruce