I must admit, I am not professionally trained in the culinary arts. However, I have developed my love and passion for food from years of experience I gained while cooking with the men in my family. I took cooking to the next level as I began using all the spices in my cupboard and ingredients from my refrigerator.

As I traveled around the world, I would eat my way through each country and examined each meal to find what I liked and didn’t like.

My global culinary exploration started in Mexico where I was eating at the hotel and had pico de gallo. When I got home, I promptly planted a garden so I could grow all the ingredients to make it as fresh as possible.

I quickly found gardening to be extremely pleasurable and an awesome way to gather the freshest ingredients for dishes I would make for family and friends.

I then started traveling to Italy where I had the pleasure of eating a course meal prepared by three older ladies. After my local friends and I were eight courses in and my belly was feeling rather full, I asked when it was going to stop. They said “it will stop when we say it needs to stop”. We had everything from fennel salad with pork belly to gnocchi to roasted lamb. It was amazing. As I continued my travels through Italy, I continued examining all the wonderful dishes the country had to offer.

As a Special Olympics coach, I had the privilege of traveling to South Korea (Seoul and PyeongChang) where I learned all about bibimbap and kimchi. I swear, Koreans eat kimchi with every meal and I found they kimchi everything they can.

I continued my travels and explored much of Europe and furthered my culinary education as I examined each dish from the Netherlands, Prague, Slovakia, Hungary, and Germany.

My most recent exploration came from my MBA at Thunderbird School of Global Management. Throughout my education, we had the opportunity to take three global trips where I traveled to Vietnam, Malaysia, India, China, Taiwan and Paris. As you can imagine, I ate my way through each of those countries continuing to dissect each dish so I could make the meals when I returned home.

One additional note: The Pacific Northwest has a bounty of mushrooms a short drive away. Last month, I traveled to my family’s beach house and picked 40 lbs. of lobster mushrooms, golden chanterelles, coastal chanterelles, hedgehogs, and porcini. As a result, you will likely find a number of great wild mushroom recipes in this blog.

So, with a little push from my family, I began writing down the recipes so they could be passed around.