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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Manuel Ramos

What is it about food? It nourishes us, it provides sustenance and we require it every day. For me, it was the experience of growing up in a multicultural household that helped me explain my interest in food. Growing up I went through phases of liking things and quite the opposite. My initial palate was very adventuresome, I would eat almost anything offered – no seriously one of my favorite things was stewed pig’s ears. I know you must be thinking … gross! But I liked them! But then my palate went backwards…at one point I only wanted raw vegetables. I loved carrots, celery, cauliflower, cabbage, green beans…I was the original vegan child – lol.

Bruschetta with fresh summer peaches, tomatoes, feta, basil and balsamic drizzle.

My Mom was so confused, how could her culinary adventurous child turn into a vegetarian? I don’t recall how long that phase lasted but I do recall another phase – at another time I was eating half a pint of ice cream before Mom would serve dinner and I would be ravenous still after dinner. The kid who used to eat pig’s ears became a bit of a porker at 8 – 10 years old.

My palate went through odd phases but I embraced it. I landed on ‘savory’ as my favorite flavor ultimately. Sunday sauce, roasted chicken, buttery mashed potatoes – those flavors were my go-to and they still are my favorite. Our daughter’s made me so proud when they commented on a caramel chicken I had made and how it was completely out of my flavor profile. I thought, wow, I do have a profile that I really like to create in most of my style of cooking. Asian flavors are fabulous but not my forté. Culinary school trained me in classic French technique. This is how I think as a Chef – that is my training.

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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Manuel Ramos

A reunion of sorts brought me back to Beantown

Out of the blue, an email arrived in my account with an invite to an "End of an Era" party from a former boss. The PR agency I worked at in Boston was sold and the woman that owned it for 40 years was throwing a party and invited friends, colleagues, and clients to mark the occasion.

I was thrilled to visit Boston and see dear friends. Boston was my home for a very long time. From attending college to growing my budding career in marketing and public relations, I loved my time in Boston and I will always have a strong tie to New England.

The party was fun and it was amazing to see some people I haven't seen in 14 years. I took advantage of the five days I was there to eat as much seafood as possible!

Living in Michigan has forced to re-think seafood. I soon realized how spoiled I was to live in New England for almost two decades with access to the best seafood ever.

Dozens of oysters, bowls of creamy chowder, roasted cod, spicy tuna rolls, hamachi, you name it. I was in heaven! A drive through some of the quaint south shore towns with the ocean and docks sliding into view, I reflected on how special New England truly is and how lucky I was to live there in my 20s and 30s.

While waiting for my departing flight at Logan International, I passed by a store near my gate and saw a sweatshirt with "Wicked Smaaht" written on it. I chuckled to myself and realized how much I miss that Boston accent and promised myself I would return for a visit 'wicked' soon.

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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Manuel Ramos

The move from New York City to rural mid-Michigan

A little background,... we often get asked, "Why Michigan?" and there's a reason. Over 11 years ago I met my partner - a look across the room and yes, it was love at first site. This new relationship (as most) adds facets to your life and the addition of a cottage on a lake in Michigan was one that I never expected. For the past decade, we've been coming to the lake house in all seasons for about a week whenever we could get away on holidays and a vacation from the crazy and fast-paced life in NYC. My partner in life, Marc, has a real connection to this land. Since the late 1930s, his family has owned this haven in the woods with lakeside views.

When those weeks at the lake would wind down and we would have to pack up a nagging question would always come up – do we have to leave?

Our cottage on the lake offers a get-away from it all. With five acres of woods, wildlife and lakeside living - it is a beautiful respite. As our stays at the lake progressed and that nagging question kept creeping up into our conversations we decided that we would ultimately build a new house on the property. It would be our forever home, a place where our family could come and memories could be made for future generations.

Now we have the opportunity to make that dream a reality!

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