Truly passionate people are a rare breed. They love things fully. They admire the nuances of a moment and delight in the intricacies of a beloved item. Their heart beats faster and their eyes glisten with excitement whenever they talk about their favorite subject. They obsess over perfection.
Passionate people are strange to normal, average folk. They burn bright, like short-lived fireflies in a world of non-committal drones. Impassioned people like Albert Einstein, Vincent Van Gogh, Jack Nicholson, John F. Kennedy, Steven Spielberg, Virginia Woolf, Steve Jobs, Amelia Earheart and Joan of Arc were all so unique and obsessive in their nature they were considered odd before they were ever praised. Focused on their obsession, uniquely passionate people may not even realize how isolated they are.
As a guest of White On Rice’s first annual food blogger bash, I was surrounded by a small group of passionate food bloggers that shared so many of the same odd traits as me, I realized I wasn’t such a strange, food-obsessed person after all.
Like an adopted twin reunited with her other half for the first time, I felt at ease knowing that each of these bloggers—strangers to me before the party—were uniquely, just like me.
My first real, separated at birth moment came the minute I met Todd and Diane of White on Rice. In Todd’s love of hosting, his unending graciousness and desire to make every one of his guests at ease showed me that I was not alone in my love of great service. The stock piled dishes and obsessively collected (.69 cent!) stemware, proved that I wasn’t alone in my love of creating events that celebrated food. In their spacious back yard, I touched garden herbs and rare fruit trees and saw two people who built their home around food and raised plants to facilitate great eating. I admired Todd and Diane as they flawlessly hosted and directed a group of strangers towards comfort and ease. I knew of their impressive food knowledge from their incredible blog, but watching them speak like two prophets of food was inspiring.
I was shocked when my food blog hero Matt of Matt Bites and his adoring, food styling partner, Adam leapt from their seats at the dinner table to get a first look of the fully cooked whole fish when the lid of the grill was lifted. My shock was not due to their departure, but because they beat me to it.
I did a double take when Julie from Julie’s Kitchen, gasped in delight at a plate of delicious food that was placed before her. I smiled, knowing I wasn’t alone in my vocal appreciation of culinary creations.
I smiled when Allison of Sushi Day gushed about the joys of cooking sushi and the look of pride she had when her boyfriend Son modeled a tee shirt that became one of most applauded gifts of the night.
I recognized the dedication to food culture that Marvin of Burnt Lumpia, a food blogger obsessed with Filipino food, showed when he talked about the first Filipino-American winery in the United States.
I watched proudly as my good friend Leah from Spicy Salty Sweet riffed about wine while snapping up dirty plates from the table like the restaurant pro that she is.
I discovered I wasn’t the only one with a cookbook collection on the nightstand and a Ceylon tea addiction to keep late night reading alive when I met Matt of Wrightfood.
I found a sister from the East coast in Toni from Daily Bread. Her stories of jumping a plane for India in search of straight from the source ethnic food made me sigh with relief that my two hour car rides to eat great Mexican food wasn’t so strange after all.
I didn’t feel self-conscious of my obsessive food photography as I watched the beautiful Sarah from the Delicious Life snap action shots of the slicing of a 25 pound Jack Fruit.
I almost cried when the kitchen filled up with food loving bloggers prepping dishes while Wandering Chopsticks deftly lifted spring rolls from boiling oil with chopsticks.
As the night drew to an end and the guests hugged each other goodbye, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of honor to be part of this incredible group of people. In just one, well-orchestrated evening, I learned I was not so alone in my passion for food. I realized I had found a new sort of family.