Exploring the Culinary Delights of Chicago

29 06 2011

I have two serious passions in life: travel and food. The best part is that I have learned the most about food and life by traveling. This past fall I started this blog “Chow Bella”  to  share my culinary adventures, recipes, and video experiences as I ate my way around Tuscany for 3.5 months.  I always dreamed of traveling with the sole purpose of eating, watching people eat and cooking but I never thought I would actually do it.  Thank god I had the guts to listen to my intuition and quit my restaurant job in San Francisco, move home to save up money and JUST DO IT!

I look back on that trip and think of all of the amazing glasses of wine, stinky cheeses, delicious pastas and incredible specialty foods I tasted.  I lived and breathed food every day for months and it was a trip that is unforgettable.  The most surprising part of that trip was that I learned way more about myself than food.  By going to the center of “Slow Food” where people dine for hours at a time, arrive everywhere late because they take their time, work short days and put more importance on family, vacation and food than any other place I have been, I was forced to mentally and physically slow down.  This is something I know my mind and body desperately needed at the time, but it wasn’t the intention of my trip.  I took away two important lessons from Italy:

1. My passion for food is endless, unique and close to a living being.  It is alive in me.  It makes me tick.

2. Slowing down, reflecting and taking care of my health was the best gift I could give myself….a gift I wish most American’s could understand.

I have finally returned home to Chicago. A place that never excited me in the past. A place my whole family lived but I never thought was for me.  For the first time in my life,  I can honestly say I love Chicago and I am so happy to live here! In order to truly make Chicago my home I have decided to explore all of the food elements of this city. From farmers markets, underground dinners, catered events, new restaurants, tiny hole in the walls and experimental cooking…..this blog “Chow Bella Chicago” will take you along for a new ride with me.  I can’t wait to explore the city, documenting my new culinary finds, favorite ingredients and amazing food moments and share them all with you!