Thursday, August 26, 2010

Etcetera | Hello, i

I haven't fully introduced myself, and I apologize for that. My name is Stefie, and I'd like to consider myself a gastronome, i.e., a lover of good food. I like to believe that there's a bit of gastronome in all of us--it's just a difference in degrees. My late aunt, Wynnie, used to tell me that right after I was born, after the nurses had wheeled me out to the nursery window, my extended family members could see me licking my lips, as if I had developed a rather large appetite already. I always find that story funny because it's quite funny how things have turned out--bottom line is that I have an intense obsession about food, cooking, and all things related. I'm not sure when it started, but I've been strongly influenced by my family. All we do is eat. If we're not sleeping, shopping, gossiping, or working, chances are that we're eating. We're always on the hunt for the best quality and best tasting things out there.

You might be wondering all of these individuals whom I speak of are. Marcus is my boyfriend--we've been together for a while now, and I'm so thankful he's just as crazy about food as I am (if not, more). He fits right in! He's also got a penchant for extremely spicy foods--whenever we go out to eat, and they ask him how spicy he wants it, he always says extra spicy. Not sure how his tongue and taste buds take it, but he hasn't found anything that he can call "spicy", with the exception of The Famous Halal Guys cart on 53rd and 6th. Maybe there will be a blog entry about that. Either way, he'll have a blog post for Four Tines and a Napkin soon, I hope!

Erin, my bestest friend (and longest, too) since before we can talk. She likes to go out to eat with me, and among our favorite things we share: foie gras, macarons, Taco Bell (shhh, it's a secret!), and late night snacks in St. Mark's place (as seen above, at Kenka).

Lisa, my other best friend (since middle school), is a pretty intense foodie. I would say she has higher standards than I do. She has great taste when it comes to haute cuisine and loves to cook when she can. She's a graduate from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, so she's also very knowledgeable on that end as well. Our favorite restaurant is Eleven Madison Park (we've made it there three times in the last year--see photo above where we celebrated our birthdays this past February), and we love to talk about what our next haute adventure will be.

Derek, a really close friend of mine since middle school as well, is also a fellow foodie. He's my source for all the hidden gems in Manhattan. We both admit to loving French cuisine a little too much, and we both are exploring and chatting about noteworthy wines we've had (see photo above at my birthday wine tasting). We always talk about all the places we need to explore as well as dine and drink at in this wondrous city--it's just a matter of getting to it all! He's going to be a guest blogger for Four Tines and a Napkin, hopefully with some posts very soon!

My cousin, Bill, whom I used to call "Mushroom" because his Chinese name sounded similar to what it sounds like in Chinese, is now a San Franciscan along with his wife, Pam (I need a photo of the three of us next time they're back to the East Coast)! When I was younger, he would always be teasing me, and at times, we didn't get along so well, but now that we've found that food, restaurants, cooking, and the like is our common ground, we can talk endlessly about it all! Recently, Bill has taken up a little obsession with finding new ways to bake bread and other nifty tricks in the kitchen. I look forward to any foodie adventures I will have with them in the future, whether it be on the East or West Coast!

Linda is a great friend whom I've had the pleasure of meeting last November, as mentioned in my post about the Thomas Keller book signing. I think I've found my long lost foodie-sister--it's so crazy how we think very similarly when it comes to food! I look forward to many exciting adventures with her (like when we went to Maialino, in photo above)!

You might also be wondering what I do for a living. All I'll disclose is that I work in a field that is largely influenced by accounting. That's right, folks. I'm a bean counter by day, morsel marauder by night. Will I stay in this professional field forever? Who knows. I just know that my appreciation and passion for the culinary and savory will not be retired anytime soon--I look forward to every next meal and hope I can find some way to blog and write about it!

In close, I'd like to say how I came up with the color scheme and blog name, Four Tines and a Napkin. I wanted to keep the color scheme simple, so my influence (as mentioned in my pilot post) is from The French Laundry (see photo below, taken from my first bucket list post), Thomas Keller's flagship restaurant.

My main inspiration came from CBS's situation comedy, The Big Bang Theory, and its episode from Season 2 entitled, The Cooper-Nowitzki Theorem. In the episode (see exact clip and subtitled screenshot here), a new graduate student, Ramona, wants to take Sheldon out on a dinner date, but he tells her he "never eats in strange restaurants" because "one runs the risk of non-standard cutlery" as he "lives in fear of the three-tined fork". He claims "three-tines are tridents", and thus, "forks are for eating, tridents are for ruling the Seven Seas". Anyway, as I was thinking about what to title this new food blog of mine, I knew I wanted to keep it simple and asked myself one question. What do we need to eat? A fork (sometimes with the exception of chopsticks, but for the most part, a fork with four tines, per Sheldon's explanation) and a napkin (to maintain etiquette, of course). Pretty basic, no? I think the image I found on Getty Images was perfect. Cutlery in hand, napkins tucked in, ready to eat. So there I had it, Four Tines and a Napkin.

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