About Phil

Photograph of Philippe SteeleI guess since you’re on this part of the site, you are interested in knowing a bit about me. So here it goes.

I am the product of a pairing of a Texan man to a French woman. My Ex says that makes me about the worst food snob there is. I prefer to describe myself as discerning. I was born in France and spent much of my first 30 years of life between Europe and Texas, mostly Europe. I have traveled over most of Western Europe and a good portion of the good ole USA.

Some of my earliest memories are of food, especially big extended family gatherings around the table at my French grandparent’s home just outside of Verdun in Lorraine. Growing up, meals at home were primarily French, with the occasional fried chicken, “Big Grilled Steak,” country fried steak and gravy, fried okra and barbecue brisket and pork (my dad’s influences). My meals out consisted of primarily German food (grossly underrated by most gourmets I think), Italian, Balkan, Greek and Tex-Mex. When I went to friends’ homes I was treated to Korean food, Soul food, Thai, and a myriad of other ethnic cuisines (Can you tell I’m an Army brat yet?).

Meals with my grandparents in the US consisted of Southern style foods and game, while meals with my grandparents in France were spent eating rustic French, North African (my grandfather along with his family had spent many years in Tunisia and Algeria and were very fond of the foods) and on special occasions, game meats and Haute Cuisine. The point I’m trying to get to is; while I am no expert, my experience with world cuisine is diverse.

That brings you up to date on my early exposure to the world of food. Now I’ll give you a little insight into where my life long food odyssey has brought me to today. I am an avid home cook. I collect books on cooking techniques and ethnic foods of all sorts and I read them like most folks read novels. I’ve read the Larousse Gastronomique from cover to cover and made many of the dishes contained therein. Oh, did I mention that I love to try new restaurants? Not just any restaurant, mind you, but the small family owned joints, the out of the way dives,  places that serve ethnic cuisines, small local franchises and yes, gourmet restaurants. My favorite cuisines are… all of them. If put on the spot and I had to name my top five; however, they would be; French, of course, German, Mediterranean (I know that’s sort of cheating because it includes North African, Middle Eastern, Greek and Southern European), Tex-Mex, and Soul, although not necessarily in that order.

So while I am a foodie and I haven’t met a type of food I don’t like, I am particular. I am particular about freshness, taste, authenticity, and that je ne sais quoi you just don’t seem to find in the big chain restaurants or many of the smaller restaurants that have sold out to sell frozen mozzarella sticks, burgers and fries along with all the other prepackaged Americana.

I believe that eating out should be a grand adventure, filled with good company, good service, good drinks, and most of all good food. So my goal is to make every restaurant adventure you take a good one.

 Thank you for reading and,

 Bon Appetit!

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