Several years ago, when I was getting ready to leave Vermont and go back to Texas, my friend Alex asked me to write down everything I knew about Mexican food.  I wasn’t proud of my knowledge of Mexican food–I just knew a few basics–so I figured it would be best to wait until I got back to Texas and pick the brains of people who knew more than I did.  I pestered a lot of folks, all of whom were very patient and willing to share, and I wrote it all down.  The project took me a couple of years, and by then I had lost Alex’s address.  I haven’t been able to track him down since.

More recently, my friend Daphne asked me to explain to her what I thought were some important things to know about cooking.  I’ve sent her dozens of long e-mails already, and we’re not even done covering the basics.

I love taking notes, copying down recipes, researching stuff, explaining things, and writing, so it seemed natural to start a food blog.

I’m the first to admit that I’m not an accomplished chef, author, or gourmand.  I hardly ever cook at home, but I have worked, at last count, in 36 different restaurants.  Some of them were very impressive and highly regarded, a lot of them were awful dives.  Most of them were somewhere in between.

I hate to use the word “archive,” since it’s everywhere and has kind of lost its meaning, but that really is my goal here–establishing an archive of what I’ve learned over the years.  Again, I’m not a master chef–I’m more of a snoop and a note-taker–but this blog seemed like a sensible evolution.

I don’t think I’ve ever had an original idea in my life; everything I have is a thesis I swiped from somebody else, or a synthesis of things that I’ve learned.  I’ll do my best to give due credit to people whose ideas I’ve taken, but I can’t promise to be able to be thorough.  After a while, it all becomes a mish-mosh of experience, and my countless little  notebooks are an unorganized mess, full of jots and scribbles and whatever was on my mind at the time (not to mention grease spots).

That’s enough preliminary blabber from me.  If you ever have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate.