Avamarie, Ava, Blue, A: it’s all the same to me, I’m a queen. I unapologetically love myself. Brooklyn made me. Typical New Yawk accent, I say cawfee and hot dawg, and I love it.
As the daughter of a former chef, I got a late start in the kitchen, but my pallet and skills would say otherwise. My caribbean born and raised father did all the cooking, but after his diagnoses with Parkinson’s when I was fifteen, getting food on the table soon became my mother’s responsibility. As my dad’s condition progressed, my mom needed help with household duties. She never trusted my cooking. She always said, “You’ll feed your children with pack-soup (ramen) and macaroni and cheese,” At twenty two, she threw me in the kitchen and it was either sink or swim.
Needless to say I swam like a fish.
I’m a daddy’s girl. My dad lost his battle with Parkinson’s this year on New Years Day. I miss him so much more than I can put into words. He left me with a love of old music, a killer sweet tooth, this beautiful brown skin, and a passion for food I never thought I’d tap into.
Food, art, dance, and love: I can sit and talk about these topics for 525,600 years. Ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell countless stories of how my eyes light up when I try a new restaurant’s mussels, or I’m served a superb medium-well steak. Food is my best friend, next to my best friends and the love of my life. There’s nothing like the feeling of warm french fries making love to your esophagus on the way down to your stomach, or the taste of a gooey chocolate chip cookie reminding you of your baking trials and errors as a child.
My dad left behind a legacy. I was his taste tester, and he was mine. He smiled when he saw me in the kitchen. Keep smiling daddy.