fermented shark“Sarah, you need to see this”. My husband says this quietly to me around the corner early this morning while I am in my office still waking up, but aiming to get the day ready for the kids and me. I am close to the kitchen where he makes his breakfast and reads the online news—always to himself—except for today. I slowly walk in thinking I am about to enter the twilight zone. I did. I knew something was up. We both knew I was already stretched after traveling this week and then hosting and cooking a networking event last night. He normally would not add more tension to the morning. “Should I sit down?” I ask. He does not make eye contact with me, but nods instead and then nods to the screen in silence.

Today is Friday, June 8, 2018. Anyone who has a worked in a professional kitchen—a.k.a-the back of the house-- or has traveled anywhere while appreciating the local foods knows who Anthony Bourdain is—and we are all mourning. I never really had a true professional mentor, but when his Kitchen Confidential book came out years ago, I devoured it. His writing about the kitchen life is spot on; he always translated that lifestyle spot on with a dash of inappropriateness, but truth. I can relate  I’m still working on my potty-mouth in the grown up world.

Then he started traveling and eating in front of a camera. Writing more cool books and working with broadcast shows-telling the story of each meal with a stint of history and wit. He really had me and every other foodie. Anytime in the past 12+ years of travel, I researched his point of view of any country or cuisine. God, he was talented at translating a country’s history to a meal with a punch of reality—and no bull—just be thankful for that meal you ate and thank the host.

I have many thoughts about moving forward without ‘Tony’. Here are my thoughts for now:
1. While Tony was amidst his tragedy, I was prepping, cooking, hosting and serving food to strangers—in my office. I genuinely loved it; even though I was tired. I will continue to prepare meals for others.
2. Today I was thinking—those of us who nourish others are always at the mercy of: food trends, requests of this and that in a recipe and current food preferences. It can be exhausting, but----
3. If you are the less adventurous eater, just try to expand your menu list. There are so many flavors to experience in this world. As a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) chef I want to create that for you, but you have to be open-minded to try a new flavor or cuisine.

I consider myself an adventurous eater. Just ask my RDN friends! If they aren’t willing to try a new food or recipe, they’ll say, “Sarah will try it!” Cue the fermented shark in the pic I tried in Iceland-it wasn't the best food I've tried, but now I know! I wasn’t always this way. I ate many of the same foods over and over in my teens and in my 20s. To me there are so many recipes and flavor combinations to try in a lifetime that it is possible to eat different fruits, vegetables, protein foods and desserts every day of our lives! So I challenge you to tackle foods you may dislike or haven’t enjoyed in a while. Take it one bite at a time until you find your winning recipe. Meanwhile, cheers to Tony and all of us who educate and nourish others.