Last month I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Cedric Maupillier, chef and owner of Convivial – one of the hottest dining spots in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC. Dressed casually in gray slacks and a navy blue polo shirt, the French-American chef shared stories about preserving heritage through food, what it means to be an American, finding success on his own terms, and learning to live in the moment.
Food as an expression of love extends beyond the living through Hindu funeral rituals known as Shraadh. This past Monday was the first day of the 2018 Shraadh period. My family has been having feasts honoring my father and other relatives during this period for several years now. While Shraadh meals range from simple to elaborate, I've always seen them as meals that are meant to be shared with others in remembrance of our loved ones.
Epic road trips - the ones that you will talk about for a lifetime - are about adventure and curiosity and being open to experiencing the unexpected. They're about inspiration and beauty and choosing to take the long way. They're about sunbathing on the rocks, and sipping sundowners on Adirondack chairs as the fog rolls in. But most of all they're about living in the moment and making memories.
I've been thinking a lot about the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi – specifically, Wabi-Sabi in the kitchen. Pared down to its essence, Wabi-Sabi is the art of finding beauty in imperfection, appreciating the simplicity and depth of nature, and accepting the natural cycle of life. For me, Wabi-Sabi in the kitchen is about being intentional and intuitive in how we prepare our meals. It is less about exact measurements, and more about improvising with the ingredients you have on hand. It’s about slowing down, enjoying the process and truly experiencing the food you’ve prepared.