For as long as I can remember, my family has hung out in the kitchen.  With light pouring through the wall of windows, or the stars shining through as we did homework at the kitchen table, this room has always been the heart and soul of our house.  My sister’s high school boyfriend once joked, “At the Rosenthal’s, you are always either eating, talking about eating, or planning the next meal.”  He was completely right, and while it’s always been about the food, it’s also about the shared experience of eating it together.  My high school friends would spend hours around our table at potluck feasts that dissolved into fits of laughter, uncovered crushes, and hosted countless reunions in the years since.  In my own home, our much more modest kitchen has also become a fixture, hosting dinners with friends, weeknight takeout with my husband while we both work at our tiny table, and farmers market brunches saturated with fresh squeezed mimosas.

As I’ve gotten older, my relationship with food has also evolved. Working as a management consultant and often traveling four days a week, I became too lazy to cook and I started eating out all the time, both on the road and in LA.  I realized that I had strong opinions about the places where I was eating, and that it mattered to me not only that the food was good, but that the environment was appealing, the servers knowledgeable and friendly, and the experience shared with friends or colleagues.

I’ve also found myself wanting to re-create the comfort and rootedness of my childhood kitchen by building my own culinary skills and knowledge, getting more comfortable creating the type of experience for others that I so value in my own life.  So I’ve started learning how to cook — first in LA through various classes and experimentation at home, and next through international travel to learn about food, culture, and cooking around the world.  I hope that you enjoy sharing these food adventures with me!

— Michelle

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