“Do you eat?” asked my new friend sitting across from the table from me at Chicago’s, Le Colonial restaurant. Sizing me up and down suspiciously, she asked again “I mean, do you E A T ” she said drawing out the eeeeeeeee, “or are you one of those girls who refuses to eat?”
My answer, “I eat!” “I love to eat!” I said emphatically and laughing, feeling immediately kindred to this fabulously curious woman sitting across from me perusing the menu with one eye, and watching me intently with the other for my reaction.
“Good” she says relieved and excited “then this will be fun”.
There is such pure joy in eating – and even more when sharing that experience with people you like, love, care about. Bonding over a meal with friends – delving into delicious morsels of food, satiating your tastebuds, soul and basic need to be connected – these are the life ‘bites’ that bond friends, old and new, creating sumptuous memories. How many times I will recount a fantastic meal with a friend, what we ordered, ate, drank, shared talked about – the sensory experience indelibly imprinted on my tastebuds and soul.
Chicks who eat are enthusiastic about life. They are passionate, open hearted, sensual and appreciate good food. In one bite they can lose themselves in total unselfconscious bliss.
To savor such deliciousness is to be one-hundred present, in the moment, full of gratitude – at times even a religious experience – cue the angels singing! Ever had a warm just-out-of-the-oven croissant with real French butter or a piping hot, cheese bubbling, truffle pizza washed down with chilled rose champagne? How about homemade butternut squash ravioli with a brown sage-butter sauce? Fresh caught Alaskan king crab, sweet and tender, steamed and dipped in a lemon butter? Hungry? Ha – so am I!
Eating is not always just about getting your daily nutrition, a balanced diet, and the fuel we need – even though we are so careful and mindful of what we put in our bodies these days. But eating can be something we do for the pure love of it. It can also be about taking a beat to appreciate the simple moments we share with each other and a celebration of life.
As for dinner with my new friend – we ordered one of everything on the menu. We ummmmmmed and aaaaaaaahhhed, we reached across the table, ate off each others plates, moaned in delight, high fived, laughed, closed our eyes in pure delight. We talked about life, our stories, our dreams – but most of all we shared in an experience that was food for our souls. I will never forget her, that night, the dinner. My foodie companion is forever a friend and part of my long list of great memories.
“People who LOVE to eat are always the BEST people”
– Julia Child
“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”
― Ruth Reichl
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well”
– Virginia Wolfe