Who we are…

I wanna write about food.

I wanna write about food I cook, I wanna write about food other people cook, I wanna write about food that your mom and your mom’s mom and your mom’s mom’s mom cooks.

What I mean is…I wanna write about food.

As long as I can remember, food; the history of food, its importance to families and cultures and society has interested me. It’s so incredibly important to me that I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than cook, eat and write about it. Definitely in that order…I don’t like to write on an empty stomach.

Oh! and since my wife reads these, I also want to raise a family with her, but they’ll need food too…so we all win.

Ok, history.

This is my mom.



She’s the feminine looking Italian in the Greenbay shirt…no, the one of the left.

This lady taught me how to cook. Her name is Janet D. Garcia. The D stands for DiNunzio and as the name suggests, she’s a mega I-tie.

Born and bread, garlic bread mostly.

Any more carb related jokes before we move on? no? ok…

She also taught me how to dance as is shown here.

Well not right there…right here.


She’s a rock star. And in teaching me how to cook. She instilled in me a love of food and the history of food. Where it came from and how the origin of our foods spoke directly to the origins of us as people.

And not just the recipes. Yes, people who lived near the ocean tended to eat more fish than meat. People in the mountains tended to have more hearty earthy grub and those of us in Chicago are stuffed with beef in all of it’s glorious forms, from tubes to thinly sliced.

But the traditions of food told us “how” we were the way we were. The meals with my extended Italian family started early, not to eat, but to prepare. Everyone had a task. Grandpa made the gravy and the pasta, grandma made the sweets, Aunt Dora did the meat and the rest of us were there to help where we could. We heard stories, we learned hidden secrets for the best gravy, “a touch more wine than grandpa normally makes” or how to cook the lamb perfectly…with mint jelly of course.

I remember every kitchen I ever cooked in with my family. It made me who I am today.

This kid…

This mind numbing face that eventually turned into an adult who appreciated his time in the kitchen with his family as much as he appreciated what came out of it. This kid was the luckiest fucking kid in the world. At the time, I didn’t know it. Now, 15 years later, I do. I see those moments for what they really were. We made more than food, broke more than bread, we created new memories and kept old ones alive.

So my plan is to write about food. Mine, my mom’s, yours, your grandma’s, honestly whoever. I want to know why you cook how you cook. I wanna know your favorite recipes and I wanna know why they’re your favorites. Then I wanna cook em and see if I can find a bit of your history in it as well.

It’ll be slow to start, I’m sorry. But it’ll come more and more over the weeks and the months. Becuase food is who we are. It is what we are and what connects us to those who have come before.

What I mean is…it’s important.  Nearly as important as this:



Mess Hall

toddagarcia View All →

I’m an acting/improvising optimizing son of a gun.

I’ve been living and working and performing in Chicago since 2005. I love to eat, travel, talk and make people laugh. So for me this blog stuff is pretty neat.

I also like you. Whoever you are. I like you. For coming to my blog and sharing in my thoughts. I appreciate you. And I think you’re hot. So here’s to you, readers of my blog. Thanks for being awesome. Share and share a like!

Follow me on Twitter @toddawatomi and listen to my podcast with my besticle Ethan at www.ethanandtoddcast.com!

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