My first time…

It started when I was younger. I remember sitting in the closet in my grandma’s bathroom shoving Twinkies in my mouth as fast as I could, five of them to be exact. It was that moment I realized my love of food would completely take over my body. The excitement of finding something that tasted good (please remember I was young, this no longer applies to Twinkies). The experience of eating something new and how happy it made me to have unearthed this new secret. And the fact that what was happening on my tongue, all of the flavors I was tasting, were actually creating memories.

Now, I’ll admit, I look back on that moment in the closet with shame. Although that may have been the moment that I began my unconscious transformation into a “foodie”, it was also the last time I have ever touched that particular Hostess product and I can barely pass it in the gas station snack aisle without gagging. But I have always been someone who was interested in experiencing all I could in a restaurant, in a city, at the table. And in the last few years, I have gained a serious appreciation for chefs who are not only experimenting with food and what they present to their customers, but that the profession and world of food has taken on an art form and demand to be socially responsible at the same time. So while I enjoy shoving delicious things in my mouth three at a time, I’ve gained enough restraint in my old age to slow down and taste the flavors, appreciate the cooking techniques and taste the freshness of the ingredients.

However, I’ve just started a new chapter of my life. My love of food and adventurous spirit was easily stoked by living in Chicago for the last eight years. The Windy City is abound with new restaurants, trendy cocktails, and up-and-coming chefs trying to pave their way through the millions of foodies clamoring at their door. In an attempt to have a delicious meal and try something new, I simply stepped out of my door. I had my favorites. I had my secrets. I was building an eloquent resume of restaurant experience that I could brag about in interviews (aka dinner parties). And I moved…to Iowa, a place not exactly deemed a cutting- edge- food- experience destination.

But here I am in Cedar Rapids. Every conversation I have with a person about moving to Iowa, the response is “Why?” Hopefully this blog will show exactly why. To start, ignore the chains restaurants, and abundance of corn, or the simple life that is on serious delay from the trends of the big city. This city and state is full of energetic, passionate people who truly care about what is happening in their community and work much harder than others to overcome the obstacles to bring something special to the table (pun intended). And this blog will be my half-assed attempt to do the same.

In the last three months that I’ve been in Iowa, I’ve been inspired by the energy here. There are delicious restaurants, secret spots, and honest, responsible chefs and organizations that are doing amazing things- I just want to discover them all! This blog will be my way of highlighting the things that maybe others don’t take the time to discover. And my way of bringing some of the things I loved in the big city to Cedar Rapids. But most of all, it will be my excuse to talk about, dream about and possibly ingest , food and drinks all day long. I’d say that’s much healthier than hiding in a dark closet with a mouthful of sponge cakes.

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