Hi there! Welcome to Artful Dishes, I’m Kristine. I’m a mom, a wife, an artist and a cook! I started a blog to chat about things I like, which are mostly food related. These are my real life attempts at creating an artful, delicious life.
I live in Arizona with my amazing husband and son, but am originally from Minnesota (Go Gophers!). I moved from one extreme to another, weather-wise and food-wise, and I love them both. I’ve worn a few different “hats” in my professional life, working in restaurants, in the finance world and as a visual artist.
My goal for my site is to provide ideas for creative, delicious and (mostly) healthy cooking. I also like to explore why we cook, how we cook, and to use interesting ingredients.
When I lived in Minneapolis I worked as a waitress at a Vietnamese restaurant for years, and it remains my favorite kind of food. The flavor and freshness are hard to beat! I think working in that restaurant definitely opened my eyes to what a variety of food there is in the world. I followed that up with a few years in the finance world at a brokerage firm, and then left to try my hand at professional cooking. It started as a leap of faith. After taking a class from the chef of a well-known fine dining establishment in St. Paul, I was inspired. My “real job” was incredibly unsatisfying and I was searching for something new. I called the chef to see if he would give me a job! This was completely out of character for me, but I knew it was the right thing to do. Mainly because he was flattered by the call, he told me to come in and talk to him. He graciously hired me on as a prep cook. Prep cook is the lowest rung on the professional kitchen ladder, but I was so excited!
I can say that I learned more about the techniques and basics of cooking in the year I worked there than I probably ever will again. I was incredibly lucky because I had the most amazing kitchen manager who showed me how to prep vegetables correctly, how to make a roux, how to confit 100 duck breasts at a time, how to make a lobster stock, and so on. As time went on, the other thing I realized was that cooks don’t get paid very well, no matter how nice the restaurant, they don’t get vacation time or insurance, and they work when everyone else wants to be out, meaning weekends and holidays. I’m incredibly happy and thankful that I had that prep room experience and am in awe of people who make cooking their career, but in the end, the professional kitchen wasn’t for me. Although my appreciation for it may be why Top Chef is my favorite TV show!
Besides being creative with cooking, I also like to be creative with traditional art forms. I’ve been interested in and surrounded by art my whole life. My grandmother was a painter, my mom is a photographer, and many more members of my extended family are very creative, visually and musically, so you could say it runs in my blood. My mom started taking me to the Minneapolis Institute of Art when I was small, and I still remember going to the Degas, Monet and Matisse exhibits with her. I became enamored with mosaic art while traveling, and started experimenting with that medium as an adult.
I decided to take another leap of faith, and when I moved to Arizona, it was to participate as a mosaic artist in an show called The Celebration of Fine Art. I loved being there, surrounded by great art, great artists and great ideas, and – bonus! – I also met my husband there. He was also an artist in the show and is an incredible painter. I also took a foray into bronze sculpture, but my first love, mosaic, is still my favorite art form.
I find cooking and food to be just as creative as traditional art work. As you are getting a craving, envisioning your meal, prepping your food, tasting and cooking, you experience the same peace of mind and joy that you get as a visual artist. Plus, you get to make others happy by feeding them!
Although I have a lot of interests, food is at the center of everything that is important to me. Family, friends, history, tradition and fun! Everyone who knows me well knows that my favorite thing to do is try new restaurants, especially when traveling. I’m not a chef or a nutritionist; I just really enjoy food, cooking and what it represents.
My Artful Dishes will be threefold, dishes to make, dishing about food and other topics, and the dishes that represent art to me, since I use mainly pieces of china and pottery in my mosaic art work. I also will have a Shop where I hope to offer little pieces of art and other goodies.
Take a look around and let me know what you think, maybe we can learn together.
Thanks for stopping by – Kristine ; )
Note on Affiliate Links:
You may notice links to products, or advertising on the side bar of my site. If you were to click on the links and purchase the product or service, I may receive a small commission, depending on the link. Just thought you’d like to know!
Note on Comments:
I’d love for you to comment on my posts! There’s nothing I’d like more than to have a discussion with you. I am open to criticism and honest feedback, but I will not approve disrespectful comments. I also won’t approve any comments that would be considered spam or unrelated advertising. Thanks!