Food is meant to be shared

I started cooking after I moved out of my mom's house, early 2010. My first big culinary accomplishment, for scrambled-eggs-standards, was risotto. I cooked it whenever I felt I cared about someone, it was a tiny bit of love on plate. Soon, the food blogs became a frenzy, and I read, and read, and read about food, everyday. I daydreamed about what I was going to cook for dinner. My roommate was not so happy with the fact that I was monopolizing our four square meters kitchen. I tried Italian, Chinese, Korean, screwed up Thai, attempted Indian, then tried Greek, and finally discovered Japanese. And I kept reading, and reading. Smitten Kitchen was the highlight of my feed, as well as Lucky Peach (RIP). Strong wit mixed with effortless directions, they felt as if I was reading something written by a friend.

In 2014, my roommate and best friend moved to Vienna and I was cooking for, well, me... Google was handy back then: "cooking for one" and a never ending list of recipes appeared. They all provided a glimpse of an ideal life of mine: cherishing my loneliness over a pristine plate of food. I tried to stick to it but my will was not as strong as I expected. Soon after, I relied on cereals and avocado toast as sustenance. Not the best scenario, I know. Getting used to the idea of cooking for me was not an easy task, take-out was just so much easier. So, I turned to baking. As a Biochemist, following a recipe using strict measurements was similar to a protocol. Quickly, I became the head of the Birthday Cake Department among my group of friends, and documenting it with pictures came naturally.

Late summer, I began thinking about asking other people, who devoted a big part of their lives to food, how they felt about food. Why was it so important for them? I invited myself to their homes or restaurants, where they cooked for me on a sunny day.