by Chef Samantha
Hello. This is my first time writing to you. I guess I would like to start things off in my blog on a more personal level. I am a person who has never met a stranger, something I think I learned from my mom. There are two things I love, people and food. You know how some people, when asked what their hobbies are, will say things like reading, arts and crafts, sports, watching movies, and so on? Well, I like to talk and eat. My husband just shakes his head when I say eating is a hobby, like I am ridiculous or something. I tell people I am a young, skinny girl with an old, fat soul. It is safe to say I am completely and utterly obsessed with good food.
I know that most people, on their first blog entry, write a nice little overview of who they are and what they are about, but I am going to go down a less-traveled path. I’m going to do something a little risky and start out by opening that big can of crazy that is my family.
Growing up, I did not go out to fancy restaurants. I was raised on good ol’ home-cooked meals like spaghetti, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, Billy burgers (another story for another day), baked chicken and so on. We also ate our fair share of pizza and fast food. We didn’t need to go out to fine dining restaurants to have a great meal as a family.
This being said, I would like to share a particular scene from one of my favorite movies which could not be more perfect to describe my family’s love of food and eating. Bill Murray plays the leading role in a movie called “What About Bob” staring as the character, Bob Wiley. He plays a middle-aged man with OCD, who has a serious problem with a dependency upon his psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin. Bob ends up intruding on Dr. Marvin’s vacation with his family, ruining his career and driving him to complete insanity. I am beginning to realize my family might posses a few of Bob’s other great qualities (also another story for another day). I’ll move on. In the middle of the movie, Bob is invited by Dr. Marvin’s wife, Fay, to eat dinner with the family. Fay prepares a bountiful spread of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and salad. Nothing special, right? Well, wrong. The entire scene is focused on the noises Bob makes while he enjoys the meal. He is totally and completely consumed with passion. Throughout the entire movie, Bob is portrayed as the most innocent man in the world, but the moans he makes while eating would beg to differ. Now if you ask me, that’s taking the love of food to a brand new level.
In my family, we are all a bunch of Bobs. We dance and sing when we eat something good. I guess I should stop that awkward thought in your head of a bunch of freaks bobbing their heads while sitting around the dinner table, singing a song in unison. Yeah, we are not like that. When we cook, we blare our music loud so we can dance around the kitchen as if it were a country music dance hall (partly because we think it is funny to annoy certain of our neighbors). The family cooks together, each person working on their own part of meal. We always make munchies to veg on while we prepare the main course. Everyone gets their hands dirty in the kitchen, including my two- and four-year-old niece and nephew. It is not just the women who cook in our family. It was, in fact, my father who taught my mother how to cook. I will share that story with you another time – but I will tell you it involves a candied meatloaf and a sugarless lemon meringue pie. All this being said, I learned growing up that food is a major part of who we are, not only in my family but in just about every culture in the world. It brought our family close together in the best of times and the worst of times. I would not be who I am today if it weren’t for how my family ingrained the appreciation of food into my soul. Food is fun, food is family, food is friends, food is life and food is always, always, love.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your day. I appreciate your interest in food and life. Stay tuned for more stories, tons of awesome recipes and what is going on in the company. I can’t wait to share with you again. Talk to you soon.
Samantha Rensel is the owner of Savory Celebration with her husband and holds an associates degree in culinary arts and a bachelors in culinary business management from the Culinary Institute of America in New York. She interned at the famous Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, where she worked with world class chefs and developed a diverse portfolio of restaurant experience. More recently, she moved back to Houston, Texas where she was the front of the house manager for Central Market. She specialized in working with customers who requested specialized and customized products and services.