Monday, August 9, 2010

The Ultimate Gourmand

My dad passed away last week. I won't get into detail; I haven't fully accepted this fact, and recounting any level of detail will only lead to acceptance. I'm just not there yet.

But the one detail I can reveal about my dad is that my love of food comes from him. He was a cook in the Argentine army, he owned a steakhouse for a time while I was in college, and he could make a gourmet meal out of a can of tuna and an old jar of pickles. His handmade pizza was so popular in our community that it was mentioned twice during the eulogies.

My dad inevitably started and ended conversations, in his thick Argentinian accent, with inquiries about a person's favorite foods or restaurants. He taught me that when you meet a Korean college kid, you ask him where he and his friends like to go -- that way you're going to end up at a place where the food reminds them of home and the prices are reasonable. He taught me the importance of owning a couple of good knives and a well-seasoned pizza pan. He taught me to cook things slowly and to be patient, because good food takes time.

When my brother and I cleaned out his office last week, I came across dozens of Gourmet magazines he'd been keeping in the backroom of his store. It is heartbreaking to me that both the magazine and my father are no longer here. I'm going to treat these like some people treat their copies of the King James.

Thanks, Daddy.


  1. What a great pic of your daddy, Laura. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to hearing more stories about him in the years to come.

  2. This is a sweet tribute. What little I knew about as I entered adulthood was thanks to my dad, too.

    Also, I hear Gourmet will be releasing some recipe "greatest hits" publications in magazine form soon.