From a very young age, I knew that cooking was something I wanted to pursue when I was older. To this day, I have never taken an actual cooking class, but instead, followed the people that inspired me in the world of food and learned from them.
Although I never had the privilege of meeting her, Julia Child is definitely at the top of my list of people who have formed my love for food. My first memory of loving Julia was pretty recent. It was this past spring, April 2016, and unfortunately, I had the flu.
My family went off to Florida and I stayed home watching movies. When "Julie and Julia" appeared on the TV screen, I practically fainted. I never had seen the movie before, and when it was over, I was in total awe. I often watch her YouTube videos about roasting chicken, making soup, or baking pastries because even just watching her on a screen is phenomenal.
She once said, "Find something you are passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it," and I have most definitely followed that motto. Julia Child has taught us that butter is better, having fun in the kitchen is a must, and most importantly, that foodies are the best type of people.
April Bloomfield, featured chef on "Mind of a Chef," is one of the most versatile chefs I've ever seen on television. She cooks with some of the most strange yet intriguing ingredients I've ever seen, and yet still makes it look incredibly effortless.
In the Netflix series, Bloomfield is able to travel the world and meet with other popular chefs of that location, learning new skills and techniques that she then adds to her cooking repertoire. Even if I cannot go to all of the exciting places that she visits right now, it's very interesting to learn through her experiences.
Coming from someone who wants things to always be pretty and color coordinated, Martha Stewart is definitely a successful person in my eyes. Her "Living" magazine is perfectly colored for the season, and has recipes arranged so perfectly with such picture-esque photography.
She publishes cook books, manages magazines, and manages to continuously look classy and put together. To me, that's the dream. Interning for Stewart in the following years would be a big staple in my culinary/writing resumé.
Amanda Hesser has my dream life. She was featured in the unbelievable film "Julie and Julia," she is the co-founder and CEO of Food 52, and wrote the New York Times Cook Book. Does it get any better than that?
Hesser once wrote an article on Food 52 about how to be successful if you aspire to be a food writer. She said to get your hands dirty, create a blog/website, attain experience, and frankly, I've done a good job listening to her.
After working in the Nora's kitchen for my 15th birthday, making my food website, and writing for Spoon, the next step on my list is working with Hesser herself. She's a role model to me and I hope one day I can be at least half as successful as her.
I can't even put my finger on the time that I began to love Ina Garten. Every time I watch the Barefoot Contessa, her grace and elegance makes me want to pick up a whisk and cook exactly what she is cooking. Everything about Ina enchants me—she is the epitome of why I love to cook. Having no stress, cooking beautiful food, creating unbelievable dishes for other people, and using fresh, local ingredients is what it's all about.
Her East Hampton house is perfection, and the herb garden that comes along with it leads to stunning garnishes and dishes with essentially no flaws. Because really, how bad could that be? So to you, Ina, thank you for gracing us with your presence.
To all of these wonderful chefs and food writers, your knowledge that you pass onto the rest of the world is worth so much more than you could ever know.