Not unlike many people in their 20’s, I was looking for answers. It was the mid 1990’s and I had just started a printing business in Dallas. Somewhere in the mix of dealing with payroll, P.R., girlfriends and life’s bigger questions, I blew a fuse. Reaching out for help, I called an old friend, Melinda. As a courtesy before I launched into my tale of woe, I asked how she was doing. What followed was a detailed account of how her life was upside down and she was going out to the desert to see if she could find what was left of her marbles. Perfect, a therapy road trip!
Days later I was in Palm Desert. The time was spent talking about life’s problems and feasting on Tom’s cooking. The smells from the kitchen got me thinking about how food brings people together and feeds the soul. On the drive back to Los Angeles we stopped at an outlet mall so I could purchase a set of pots and pans, the same set that I use to this day.
Twenty some odd years later, I live in Austin and cook for a living making wood fired pizza that is sold all over Texas. I get emails like this, “my daughters are crazy over your pizza, we bought two this week and they ate it all up”. I like the idea that I am bringing people together with food and Tom is the one that helped me realize the power of that.
I may have not found many answers to life’s great mysteries out in that desert, but I did come away with one great lesson. How the power of cooking and sharing food brings people together. Happy birthday Tom, here’s to one of my favorite dining companions!