I am a loner by nature, so eating by myself in a restaurant is not unusual, but eating with great company is so much more enjoyable. Like Epicurus said “ We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.”
I visit restaurants about once every two weeks and there are certain people who have made this experience memorable. Each person has a different background and their own opinion about the meal; many times radically different from mine.
Mister H. is from Buffalo, NY and has been living in Miami for many years. We have been on many food adventures together and he has taught me the importance of paying attention to detail, especially when taking photos. I don’t mind taking a shot of a messy table, he does. He will keep re-arranging the plate and it’s surroundings and has become my food stylist. We have lots of laughs and he is a food lover and is more than willing to try any type of cuisine and dishes unfamiliar to him.
Miss E. is from Hong Kong, also a resident of Miami for a while. She has a keen sense of taste and a very discerning palate. I truly believe that she has more taste buds than I do because she detects flavors that I do not readily perceive. Eating with her is always a learning experience.
Miss G. hails from Jamaica. She carefully looks at the food and after one bite you can tell if she likes it or not. The expressions on her face are priceless and her opinions of the food come from the soul of someone who does not believe in mincing words when it comes to expressing her feelings about what she just put in her mouth.
Mister R. is my Grenadian eating buddy. He has an extensive restaurant background and has no mercy when it comes to restaurant service and food. He does not look at a plate of food the same way I do and examines everything from food temperature, placement of garnishes and food combinations. He is a tough cookie and thanks to him I tend to be more attentive to elements that I would otherwise not think very important.
Miss N. lives in New York with a Venezuelan and Puerto Rican background. On her visits to Miami she accompanies the chickens and I to various restaurants. She is a lively and expressive companion whose love of food is boundless. She is not afraid of trying anything and telling the restaurant staff that we are bloggers. Something that I do not have the balls to do yet on my own.
My Chickens AKA Miss I. and Miss Y. are not only my personal tasters but also my assistants. They are still in the process of developing a palate so their opinions about the food are, well, not reliable. Who would trust anyone who thinks that ramen noodles from a packet are the best thing in the world or that whoever invented Thai donuts dipped in condensed milk should win a Nobel Prize? Nevertheless, thoughts from the youngsters are valuable as they come from a different perspective.
The chickens also help me with the photographs by taking pictures with their phones, jotting down notes and making videos that I can later transcribe.
So you see, it takes a little village of food enthusiasts to feed my blog – a collection of people who share the love of the simple and necessary act of eating and breaking bread together.
I love them all.