About The Omnivorous Bear
… my name is Wendall and I spent many years not cooking. I had a typical single girl lifestyle – I worked and travelled and ate out at restaurants. I only started to cook when I picked up a random cookery book and became engrossed. Admittedly, Larousse Gastronomique isn’t perhaps the first book you would think of as a cookery primer but it was interesting. Who would have thought there were so many things you could make? So many things to taste? I thought that I would give it a try. There was nothing to lose, was there?
This was not like the awful cookery lessons I was forced to attend at school, this was my chance to make something people actually wanted to eat. Strangely, it seemed to work. The more I cooked, the better I got. Oh, there were failures but they grew less and the successes increased. What began as an interest became an obsession – if I travelled, I would head into food stores and supermarkets to see what ingredients I could find to take back. When I was at home I would obsessively practise a recipe until I got it right. For five weeks I spent every Friday night making pastry with a copy of Harold McGee at my side.
My life was full – I had friends, work, travel and cooking. I lived in a small village in the north of England. Life had its ups and downs (and some of the downs were positively subterranean) and through it all was the cooking and that made things good. But there’s only so much food a single person can eat and only so many times that friends could come to dinner. What I needed, I realised later, was a hungry accomplice who had lots of friends that I could start to feed.
Then, one day, I met someone who loved cooking and eating as much as I did. Who read the same books. Who, on the first meal he cooked for me, made souffles. Who loved everything I cooked and, as an extra plus point, had lots of hungry friends. The Bear had entered my life.
Suddenly life, as I knew it, changed - my world shifted on its axis. Redundancy meant my work came to an end but on the plus side I now had something else to focus on. I moved to another part of the country to be with the Bear and my cooking moved up a gear. I was no longer a successful professional with all the trappings of a corporate life, I was working as a temp in an office. I was cooking with greater regularity for greater numbers. I cooked formal meals and casual meals. I had successes and disasters and throughout it all, the Bear ate everything and encouraged me to continue.
So, five years later, I am settled in a new city, living a completely different life. I cook, I try new things and I still read as much as I can about food and techniques.
This blog is a record of what I’m reading, cooking, serving and eating…..the pictures are all taken by me using either my phone or my camera, usually as I stir or pour with one hand. I’m not a professional cook or photographer, so what you see is an amateur’s attempt. Bear all that in mind and join in.
Oh, and The Omnivorous Bear? Reader, I married him.