Howdy Folks. My name is Damien Adley. If you think I look a little tired in this photo it’s because I was up all night helping my wife deliver our first child the night before that photo!
This site will be an extension of my personality, so those of you reading this…welcome to the inside of my head!
Let’s start with a little history, who are you Damien?!?!?
I grew up in Nebraska, which some folks might not consider to be the food center of the universe but I love it! As a child I loved to cook, I always liked to create new things from whatever ingredients I could find within my parents fridge and pantry. I think I knew as a child that I would be a chef when I grew up.
As I got older I continued my fascination with food and studied as much as I could find online and from television cooking shows and kept learning.
When it came time to go to college I stayed local and studied at Nebraska Wesleyan University and took extra culinary classes at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
I realized all at once that the great culinary writer and show host Anthony Bourdain once lamented this statement and reached me personally with it: “If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”
So when my junior year hit, the itch to see other places was more than just a slight one. Sure, I had sampled foreign food before, but now I wanted to go see some of the places where it was created. South America had always fascinated me: dishes such as Vigoron and Arroz Aguado made my mind actively think of jagged peaks, vibrant food markets, and tasty desserts like Tres Leches cake and Cajeta de leche.
My junior year of college is when things really started to get interesting. I went to Nicaragua for a semester abroad and I started learning about foreign cooking. I had never even considered before that you could fry cheese and it would be amazing! Another great thing about Nicaragua is Gallo Pinto…(see pic) which is an amazing mixture of black beans, rice, sometimes chicken or other meat, and peppers!
Learning about international food now became my passion.
A year later after I finished with college I decided it was time to hit the road again.
This time I went to Madrid, Spain and lived in an apartment downtown with my future wife. We spent 9 months living there, travelling and sampling different international cuisine the entire time.
Spain introduced me to the world of Tapas. Tapas are a sort of appetizer that you receive at bars when you order a drink in Spain.
These can be as simple as a small bowl of chips, but often times are much more tasty and involve seafood. Seafood is a huge part of life in Spain, as it is basically surrounded by water, fresh seafood is to be had constantly! Unlike in Nebraska!
After Spain I came back to the United States and got married! Wedding celebrations ensued. Shortly after that came a house and a couple of kids.
Throughout all of this I was studying cooking, working as a chef, and various other jobs in and out of kitchens and restaurants. This experience has lead me to where I am today.
This blog will be an extension of my life and interest in food and the culinary world.
I want to share the years of experience I have with food and kitchens.