It is with some trepidation that I find myself being dipped into yet another world of unfamiliar circumstances. Rest assured I am quite comfortable with change and the feeling of rebirth that comes with embarking into the unknown. But blogging? This poses an unlikely kind of uncertainty I am really quite unfamiliar with. Blogging. To blog. I am a blogger. What a peculiar statement. An almost declaration to be a proud Jack or Jill of all trades and a master of none, of which I guess I’m one.
You see I don’t read blogs much, never have. After all I’m Australian and as Australian things go it is a very unlikely Aussie kind of thing to do, especially for a bloke (social gender dogma’s aside). However I have had a great number of fluffy written, pink, shiny, annoying hipster, smiling, what a cute little couple bloggie things thrust in the face of late. All thanks to my often very unsubtle wife. So I thought (that is wife thought) I might (ie you will) give this bloggie thing a go. No fluff I said. Ok she allowed, no fluff.
So credentials if you need them? I am professionally trained with a European culinary education and a career that was born in the 5 star hotels and restaurants of Sydney Australia. Excited about my craft and all the potential it had to offer, I vowed never to stay in one place too long. I was hungry to work hard and excited to learn, until I became forever distracted by that shiny something over there on the horizon. Maybe you’ve heard of this thing? It’s called life and I was hell bent on living it. So after seven years of the haute hotel/restaurant game long shifts, missed Christmases, absent New Years eve parties and 17 hour days filled with stainless steel, white tiles, florescent lighting and cock suckers —
I jumped ship.
I went totally A-wall and off grid. Bought a ’74 baby poo mustard colored, VW Combie, pop top camper and spent the next three years traveling and breaking down in all sorts of exotic parts of Australia. It was awesome living week by week with an enormous map of a continent my only plan. Mastering the art of gourmet one pot meals, traveling light and watching the sun rise and set 1095 times was my idea of a life worth living. I didn’t know at the time but I was about to embark on a life of the endless summer, wearing nothing but shorts & flip-flops for my next 15 wonderfully cheffy years.
My travel bug was now etched in stone and this was just the beginning.
I already had an addiction for sailing and life at sea after sailing square riggers in Sydney Harbor, the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday’s. Maybe you don’t get it but being trapped aboard a boat far out to sea with a dozen other people and the looming threat of drowning is my kind of freedom. After a treasure hunting expedition in the Philippines working as a chef/diver, I moved on to what would be 8 years of luxury yachts in Europe.
Becoming a private chef for the 1% on their plastic toys and in their homes in the south of France seemed like a pretty nice way to check out Europe. To my surprise there was so much more that came with what seemed like a simple plan. Luxury yachts lead to sailing the Atlantic, Turkey, Maldives, Croatia, Central America, Europe and all the Caribbean as well as cooking for the likes of Prince Albert of Monaco and Rupert Murdock to name but a tiny few. I had the privilege of shopping and cooking in dozens of countries with all their cultural oddities, unique local ingredients, open markets and people. I was forever following the season of summer. There were other adventures to be had; it wasn’t all yachts, caviar, film festivals and night clubs. Some adventures beyond the usual European weekends away and trips to Ibiza included cycling across Europe from Switzerland to Slovakia.
A decade of people, adventures, food, cocktails and experiences were leading up to an apex in life, a crescendo of the ultimate. A moment in place and time that would see me stopped in my tracks and change everything about the oblivious journey I was on. Unknowingly up until now I had been living a life of “T-B-T”. Time Before Tommo. That is Ashley, my wife. All good things must end.
Nothing has been the same since that chance meeting in Key West FL and the beginning of our whirlwind romance. Tommo, New England native and ER nurse, jumped on board my adventure fast making it “our” adventure. I dragged her to Europe and out of her land lubbing comfort zone into a life at sea. Down to Australia, we started an award winning gourmet food business before repeating the process in the US. Now Tommo giggles as I am taken from my summery comfort zone nomadic lifestyle and unceremoniously plonked into this new adventure; that is life in the White Mountains and all the joy that comes with the experience of an eternal New England winter.
The next chapter ….well it would seem it is to blog and now you are here to jump on board and join us!
So together you with us, we are going to cook, create, laugh and eat. Together we’ll drink too much wine and reminisce of adventures that have been while making plans for adventures yet to come. There will be much complaining about New England winters of that I am certain but the whole experience I’m assured will be quite picturesque so we intend to make lots of those, pretty pictures that is. So sit back and enjoy yourselves as we Instagram & Pinterest the shit out of the whole bloody experience.
Thanks for taking an interest.
ciao, tchüsse, doei