Over a decade ago, when I was just a teenager in high school, I met a guy named Daniel. His family owned a restaurant at a ski resort where both he and my brother worked. I remember the exact moment when we met, when my brother invited me to go snowboarding with them and we immediately hit it off. Fast forward to 2014, Daniel and I are happily married with three kids:
It’s funny just how much our lives have changed since then– in fact, I think it’s safe to say that our lives have changed in every way since then.
Before I met Daniel I had no. idea. how. to cook. In fact, I feel like I’m only just now learning how to scratch the surface. Before he came into my life it was boxed meals and bags of chips. One of the most important lessons that he’s instilled in me is that cooking is an art. It’s an act of love.
He taught me that when you have an understanding of ingredients and flavor profiles you can assemble dishes without needing everything perfectly measured and portioned out.
Once I learned that I felt like the sky was the limit. We’ve spent countless hours together in the kitchen, cooking side by side. It’s what we are passionate about, it’s how we bond. Most of our best meals were created while we were just goofing around and playing with ingredients that we had on hand.
We rarely know the outcome of we’re making, but we always have a blast just working side by side and creating together.
I was browsing around the Bon Appetit Out Of the Kitchen series and it got me to wondering, how much are you influenced by others in the kitchen? How did my food blogger friends get their starts, what inspired them? So I asked around and got a flood of responses overnight. Check out what my friends had to say, and feel free to leave a comment telling me who inspires YOU in the kitchen!
After learning about label reading, I discovered that cooking from scratch at home with local, home grown or organic food was a far better choice for my family and thus began my passion for cooking healthy meals. Jessica Nelles, http://www.babysnest.ca/
The inspiration behind cooking came from the realization that I had a dairy intolerence. This inspired me to start cooking, and I did I fell in love with it. There are so many ingredients out there! Cooking is awesome, and I love experimenting and creating new ways to cook the food.” Anna, Rules of Dieting
After having six kids in ten years our diets went in the tank. I found myself reaching for convenience foods more and more. My husband and I were both 25 lbs over our ideal weight and we got every cold or flu that went around. A horrible run in with kidney stones brought me to my senses. I cleaned up our diets and made home cooking a priority. It changed all our lives! Linda, www.theorganickitchen.org
My love for cooking started when I was 9 years old. My mother home schooled us and we had a lesson on baking apple pies (we were studying little house on the prairie). We baked several pies and that is when I knew that I wanted to be in the kitchen creating delicious dishes. As I got older My mother taught me about eating healthy, and taught how eating food will benefit our health. My mother has inspired me to love creating dishes that will taste good, and nourish the body. Alyssa, www.puretraditions.com
My love for cooking comes from my mom who is a good cook and was an at home mom all my life. She taught me all the basics. My grandmother who would come and visit every year for a week or two taught me to bake. Her strength was yeast breads and I learned how to make bread and donuts and apple dumplings and such from her. Jennifer, www.visionherbs.tumblr.com www.purposefulnutrition.com
When I was very young, my beautiful grandmother Mattie always had me in the kitchen with her when she was baking – my love for cooking started there. My mom also taught me the basics … she even bought some cookbooks for me that were specifically designed for child cooks. These two amazing women inspired my love + appreciate for cooking. Emily http://www.recipestonourish.com
I was raised as a baker, trained as a dietitian, and then suddenly I was a parent. Naturally, I wanted to raise kids who were healthy, adventurous eaters who loved food. As they grew a little older, I was able to spend more and more time in the kitchen. I love trying out new recipes with them, making vegetables in ways none of us ever imagined (kale chips??), and seeing their different personalities react to my creations. I never considered myself much of a cook until I had a ready-made audience of my own. Now I am the go-to recipe resource for friends and family and blog about it all when I can. Julia Http://jugglingwithjulia.com
I was thrust into the world of cooking at the age of 12 when my mom was severely injured in a car accident, leaving me to take care of my family. I also grew up surrounded by the warmth of a community who used food to communicate togetherness. Cookie bakes for Christmas, casseroles for church potlucks and youth group spaghetti dinners. To me food means family, and healthy food means healthy families. Jamie Larrison, http://howtojustaboutanything.blogspot.com/
My mom never used recipes, but neither did she use or buy most factory made foods. Pot roast, flank steak, corned beef and cabbage, meatloaf, and ham hock soup were all gourmet staples on rotation in our home. She occasionally dumped in a jar of gourmet tomato sauce. But her intuitive way of cooking was a shaping force that got me doing the same thing from the time I was twelve on. She also took my sister and I regularly for pate and brie at the loveliest French restaurant. I later learned to bake from my mother-in-law and aunt-in-law, therefore finally learning the poetry and necessity of sometimes measuring! My grain-free cooking and baking has merged these two worlds as I’ve learned to innovate recipes our family can eat. This is my passion now, grain-free, sugar-free baking and slow-food, whole food cooking. Helping others heal through this approach of eating great alternatives makes my work a pleasure. Megan, http://meganstevenseatbeautiful.wordpress.com/
I have always been a ‘foodie’ and as an herbalist for 20+ years, my love of cooking has merged with my passion for plant medicine. I enjoy experimenting with the healing power of the herbs to create delicious, healing recipes and nourishing meals. With nutritious meals and specific digestive plant medicines, we can commit to living the best life we can! Carol, http://www.studiobotanica.com
I grew up on a multi-generational farm and I cannot remember a time in my life when my grandmother did not have a garden. Even as she got older she still grew vegetables in pots in the backyard. She also made fresh cookies, desserts, and home cooked meals almost every day of her life. I spent a lot of time baking with my grandma. She taught me how to sift and mix and measure things just-so. Her work ethic, even when it came to something as simple as cookies, was impeccable. She taught me that love and time in the kitchen equates to health and happiness for our families. Vanessa, http://naturalfamilytoday.com
I was afraid of cooking and stuck with take-out for most of my parenting career. When our health crisis hit and I was forced to move away from processed food, I discovered a love for cooking. It was the real food that I was missing! Creating appealing, healthy food is one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done! I now see a head of cabbage, a jar of raw almonds, and fresh pastured eggs as an opportunity. Andrea, It Takes Time
Growing up helping my mother feed a family of 8 and dining at the table each night fostered a sense of appreciation within me for these nostalgic moments. I came to learn what constituted real, healthy, home cooked food that few experience these days. I want to bring back this tradition which was so natural for my own upbringing to those of my generation whom it’s not. Emily Uebergang, www.theurbanecolife.com
My love and appreciation for cooking and real food comes from growing up on a small family dairy farm. Being involved in the food production cycle, helping to raise the food from birth (or planting) to slaughter (or harvest) to consumption, instills a love and appreciation that stayed with me forever. And I am blessed to be able to teach my own children to love cooking and real food, even though we do not live on a farm now. Amanda, www.refocusonbeing.com
My appreciation for home cooking began with my mother and the meals she prepared. But, it was not until I experienced first hand the healing power of real food and I began to love cooking and the food that made for a delicious, nutrient dense meal. As the mom of 10, I love teaching my children the importance of not only the quality of food but also the importance of traditional preparation methods. Dina-Marie Oswald,http://myculturedpalate.com/
Some of my earliest memories are of cooking and canning homegrown produce in the kitchen with my mother, grandmother and great grandmother. These three generations of women fostered in me a love and appreciation of cooking with real foods. I was taught family recipes passed down through the generations; these recipes weren’t written down but spoken and taught by adding “a little of this and a little of that.” It sparked a creativity in me as I grew older and began creating my own recipes. I am now blessed with the opportunity to pass this love and appreciation for cooking on to my daughter. Although she is only three years old, she can often be found wearing her little apron and cooking real food meals in the kitchen with me. Annie, http://montanahomesteader.com/
Sitting down as a family to enjoy a meal together was a priority growing up, which contributed to appreciating food not only for it’s taste and nutritional content but also the occasion for being with others. Both my parents are amazing cooks and I often also helped my grandmother in the kitchen, doing everything from canning to meal prep. They all cooked real food, which spoiled my palate for anything processed. My mom also allowed us to experiment in the kitchen from a young age, with the caveat that we had to eat whatever we created. Naomi, http://www.almostbananas.net
I am that girl brought up on the S.A.D. and didn’t know a thing about real food until I was in my early 30s. When I learned the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables I turned my health around (no more GI issues). From there I removed inferior ingredients and my love of cooking became refined because I no longer sought heavily processed packaged foods. I had very little faith that I could cook from scratch then I met the founder of Cooking and Kids who gave me the encouragement I needed to get into the kitchen. Luckily for me, I was able to pick it up really quick and I hope to show other families who are on a similar path that I was on that recipes can be made simple and nutritious and that a newfound awareness can be had for their wellness journey! Jessica, http://www.iconveyawareness.com
I grew up on the family farm and learned to cook on the old wood stove. We had huge gardens and raised our own cows, pigs and chickens. Marianne, http://ragdollkitchen.wordpress.com/
My family always loved cooking together! My mom was a fantastic cook with my dad making vinegars and wines! We always had wild game, my dad a hunter and threw family parties and many events! I was inspired to go to professional culinary school because my mom and I cooked through Julia Child’s and more. We had a large ranch where we had cattle grass fed and huge gardens! We raised pheasant quail and had Canadian geese and amazing wild trout on a river that ran through the acres, I feel fortunate we made apple cider in the fall the wild game through the seasons lots of berries and veggies in the summer. Trish, keepthebeet.com
My mom always went all out for our holiday meals. The desserts were my favorite. I remember laying in bed at night when I was around 6 or 7, fantasizing about creating delicious pie recipes, with different fruit and berry flavors, once I was old enough. So when I got the chance to learn to bake, I was very happy. Now that our family must be gluten free, I am even happier that I actually can alter favorite recipes to fit our needs, and still taste great! Eileen, Wellness and Workouts
After years of being fully enmeshed in music, I surprised everyone by deciding to study dietetics in college. I knew how to cook and can from my growing up years, but it was when I took some food science classes that I became absolutely fascinated by food. I loved seeing the different ways baked goods would turn out by the smallest changes (sifting vs. not-siftin flour, how long sugar & butter was whipped, etc.)… and also learning about the chemical-industry side of food. It was only a step further to learn about growing my own food and using it in my cooking. Gardening and cooking go hand in hand for me. Anni, homesteadandgardens.com
I fell in love with cooking the moment I realized that recipes are merely suggested guidelines. Jacquelyn-www.littleowlcrunchyMomma.blogspot.com
Also, check out BonAppetit.com‘s “OUT OF THE KITCHEN,” an exploration of the coolest food artisans in America, from spice blenders to knife makers to cider brewers. See how they mastered their crafts—and learn how to apply their knowledge at home.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bon Appetit. The opinions and text are all mine.