Hello, my name is Elisa Becze and I’m a food nerd. There. I said it. I guess I do feel a little better now. Well, I’m a nerd about a lot of things, but mostly about food, and I prefer the term food nerd to foodie because of some negative connotations with it, but they’re essentially the same thing and I often use them interchangeably.
I grew up in a family of foodies, although they didn’t call themselves that in the ‘80s, but that’s what they were by today’s definition. My father’s side of the family was 100% Sicilian, my mother’s 100% German. The Sicilians were natural foodies; I remember my father regaling us with stories of head cheese, tongue, squid ink pasta, and the like. As a kid I squealed in disgust, but today I may have squealed in delight if I had the chance to try these more unusual dishes my grandmother would have made.
You hear German and you probably think of wursts and schnitzels, but that wasn’t the norm with my Bavarian heritage. Perhaps it was because they lived near San Francisco and its melting pot of food cultures, but they may have been even more adventurous in cooking than the other side of the family. My grandfather would spend hours preparing a gourmet meal in the evening; it wasn’t uncommon to have dinner at 9 or 10 pm after the various stages of the meal were prepped, roasted, sautéed, and finally served. It was his way to relax after a long day, and I find myself with the same tendency today.
Although these influential family members have passed on, the effect they had on my passion for food and cooking remains. My real interest in food as whole (not just the sweet stuff—I’ve wanted to be a pastry chef since I was in high school but somehow ended up with a writing degree instead) started at the tender age of 29. Maybe it was because of my proximity to age 30, maybe I needed something to distract me from dreading that birthday for a year, maybe I (and my taste buds) were just finally maturing . . . whatever it was, I went from picky eater to adventurous eater seemingly overnight. Seriously. Previously I avoided major food groups (e.g., I was a flexitarian not for moral reasons but simply because I “didn’t like” meat), but within a month I was chowing down on hamburgers and seeking out grass-fed dry-aged steaks.
Then, in 2011, I got bit by the running bug. What started as a New Year’s resolution to run a 5K quickly turned into a minor obsession and way of life. After an injury sustained while training for a half-marathon turned into chronic pain, I looked to my diet as a way to manage and cope. Now I follow a mostly plant-based way of eating, at least when I can.
Which brings us to today. By day I work as an editor and writer, but after that I can usually be found cooking, running, planning my next cooking or running adventure, enjoying a great local restaurant, or generally just thinking about flavor and fitness. This blog is a random collection of musings, recipes, reviews, retrospectives, and general miscellany on food and running. I hope you enjoy.
elisabecze (at) gmail (dot) com