I grew up in a foodie family. None of us knew that’s what we were at the time, of course, because being a foodie wasn’t a thing yet, at least not in my childhood during the 70s and 80s in the South. If you’d told my hardworking parents, people with ironclad Southern/Midwestern values, that growing, canning, freezing, and eating vegetables you’d grown yourself would someday be the cool, “in” thing to do, they would’ve laughed in your face and told you to get back to work. They probably also would’ve added, “Would you jump off a goddamn bridge if everyone else was doing it? Jesus Christ!”
My dad had the magic touch for growing tomatoes that made economy-sized cars look small. My stepdad knew his way around the cities he traveled to for work because of the food he ate in each place, and he routinely reeled off where to go at mere mention of any given city’s name. (“You’re going to Kansas City? The BEST RIBS YOU’LL EVER EAT are at a place called … ”)
Then there were my mom and my grandmother. Kind, amazing, strong, Southern women who nurtured with food, who believed that all life’s problems could be solved (and perhaps they can) with a little homemade bread, some fried chicken, and maybe a fried pie, made with fresh apples from trees in the back yard.
It breaks my heart every day that the people who made me so food-obsessed, the people who would most appreciate the fact that I’m now lucky enough to live in and visit cities all over the world with the sole purpose of finding THE BEST SLICE OF PIZZA IN NEW YORK or THE BEST CROISSANT IN PARIS (you gotta say it in all-caps like he did), are no longer here to share in what I discover. It also breaks my heart that these days, most people look at corn and think “Monsanto;” I think “Childhood.” Summer. I think of those people who taught me about family and food. I think of sitting on the front porch in the porch swing back in Kentucky, drinking sweet tea and shucking corn, sharing stories of the day and stories of all the crazy family who came before us to a soundtrack of crickets and the occasional horse whinny.
So this blog is dedicated to them, my dearly departed parents and grandparents. Since I can’t tell them about the food I discover, I’ll tell you, whoever you are. I’m passing on what I love (and sometimes what I don’t), just like they did, which I guess makes it official: I’ve become my parents. I suppose we all do eventually.
Where does the name Parlez-Vous Loco come from and what does it mean? It’s French (with a touch of Spanish thrown in) and roughly means “Do you speak crazy?” It was inspired by the previous iteration of this blog that was originally about me moving to Paris from San Francisco, two cities that are embedded deep into my heart and soul forever.
Why didn’t you change the name to something a little foodier? That would’ve been smart, right? But I didn’t, because of the pre-existing SEO value from my HUGE following of at least 16 people. Actually, the truth is that this particular turn of phrase now reminds me of a time in my life that I never want to forget: the time I got off my ass and completely changed everything simply because I could. We can all do that (and I’m still trying to do it every day), but I have to tell you, it does make you feel a little crazy when you do it, hence why I kept the blog name; I’m always on the hunt for people who get it, for people who are just a touch crazy.
Why do you sometimes write about things that aren’t food? I think we’ve established that food is–at least for me–somehow connected to pretty much everything in life whether it makes sense or not, like work, bikram yoga, dating, sleep, sex, self-esteem, Bradley Cooper, red wine, and of course, George Clooney. Just to name a few things. And not necessarily in that order.