Introduction: This site serves as a platform for 1) my review of establishments serving food and/or drink (for profit), 2) other musings on literature, science, history, society, culture – whatever associations result from my consumption-based thought processes. In short, the blog gives me an excuse to do what I most enjoy doing – eating and ruminating.
Blogger bio and perspective: I grew up somewhat lacking in privilege, without access to elite dining establishments and gourmet ingredients. I rarely tried new things, and ate monochromatically until the age of 20. However, having since been exposed to the most incredible places and foods around the world, I developed a refined palate and a dining and cooking style all my own. I emphatically affirm that the best tastes are not necessarily the richest. Some of my favorite dining experiences are my favorite because they transport me back home. We were poor, but we had love, as the coal miner’s daughter famously sang, and home will always be a place where love, comfort, safety, spontaneity, humor, challenge and acceptance abound, in perfect proportion. Recall the moment Anton Ego has his first bite of ratatouille in the film of the same name. Good food brings back good memories, inspires good conversation, and contributes to good health. And every good meal, in turn, creates a new good memory.
I heartily believe that the best meals are shared meals, and the best people are those with whom you can share, really share, a meal. In fact, this belief may have so far prevented me from marriage – I have yet to enter into a relationship with a person I know I will want to sit across a table from me at 90. (That, and of course, want of the kiss to build a dream on). This person makes even the worst meals truly delightful. Back to the point: I will make every attempt to review only restaurants at which I share can a meal with at least one companion. In addition to being more enjoyable, it allows me to compare dishes to get a better feel for the restaurant and its offerings. (Under no circumstances will this blog serve as a platform for commentary on the suitability of any of the companions for the imagined 90-year old dinner date).
Disclosure of preferences, biases and aspirations: I enjoy all types of food, but categorically love dairy, seafood, fruit, and nuts. I prefer savory over sweet in snackables, and sour over sweet in drinkables. As for national cuisines, I could eat Mexican, French, Thai and Italian food without complaint or boredom every day for a year. Lebanese, Indian for six months. And so on, down to Yemeni, Vietnamese and Tanzanian for about ten days, max. That said, I will try anything, and many times more than once. After all, though I am moody, I like to think I make up for it in fairness.
At this moment, I live and work in Doha, Qatar, and will conduct most of my reviews from here, on food and drink available here, aside from the occasional Special Travel Edition. I just relocated from New York, New York, where I wrote a joint food blog (placesiateat.com, now defunct) with a friend (who now writes The Boursa Exchange). In New York, hands down, one gets the best bang for the buck in terms of food and drink options, quality and service. Qatari establishments may suffer from that bias as well.
I look at this blog as a good way to force me think more seriously about food and drink as experience, and then translate thoughts into words into actions – perhaps, locally, in the form of my own little cantina, one day far far into the future. In the meantime, I’ll write CGFD everywhere I go until I choose my local spot. Heck, maybe, globally, I can recruit my own little interns, one day not so far into the future.
Regard for those who do: With a specific acknowledgment of the subjective factors that will enter my reviews, and general acknowledgement of the impossibility of accounting for taste, any restauranteur who reads this blog should take any opinion expressed herein with a grain of salt (unless, of course, your establishment already suffers from hypersalination). However negative my review, the point is that you are creating and you are serving, and for that you deserve and have my respect and admiration.
I invite any and all comments on how to improve the site, recommendations for good eats and drinks, and especially challenges to or support for CGFD Theories filed under Food for Thought.