Living as an agri-culinarian is the latest in a long series of personal incarnations. I've had time for quite a few. The exciting part of immersing myself completely in something unfamiliar is the chance to become someone different. To achieve these new identities, I've spent the past 40 years truly getting around.
Some of my past incarnations include running a small business-consulting firm, becoming a watercolor painter, researching artistry to complete a doctorate at the Stanford University School of Education, writing and publishing a book, competing in Western equestrian sports, and attending both a professional dog-training school and a professional culinary school.
Since the food world hooked me, I've traveled to Italy to work with chefs, to a pig farm in France to cut meat and make charcuterie, to England to work on a water-buffalo farm, and to Vermont to learn the secrets behind artisan cheesemaking. At the time of writing, I'm learning about bread at the San Fransisco Baking Institute, Central Milling's Artisan Baking Center, and studying with the lovely lady-baker, Sarah Owens in Brooklyn.
I do not believe in vicarious learning. For learning to be profound, I believe heart, mind, and body must grow as one. So as my devoted husband can tell you, these occupations I pursue are not mere hobbies. In each discipline I immerse myself as fully possible. Sometimes this is exhilarating, sometimes disheartening and difficult. All in all, it's a great reason for living.
This website it about the current shift underway. While I'm starting the story somewhat in the middle, there's still an exciting journey ahead. We're headed back to France to learn more about cheese, then we fly to gelato school in Italy to learn the art of the scoop. At home we have our Share-Forward program to launch, 1,500 pounds of cheese to age and taste, and a passel of baby animals to raise.
This incarnation is one I'm in no rush to complete!