HELP ME ON MY INCREDIBLE EDIBLE JOURNEY TO AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP
Those of you who have been “lucky” enough to see me waffling on about food on TV will know that I am not originally from these American shores. As my winning accent, crystal clear diction and proper pronunciation of words like “schedule” “controversy” and “aluminium” testify, I am in fact a subject of Her Britannic Majesty.
And, let there be no mistake, I am very proud of that fact too. Until I set off on the around the world journey that became my first book, “Eat My Globe” I lived quite happily under the assumption that I would spend the rest of my days as a resident of The United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland.
However, life is all about change and, it would be hard to argue the fact that, in the five years since I began that amazing journey, my life has changed beyond all recognition. Not only did I meet the woman of my dreams and get married, but I also made the decision to up sticks from, London, my home of nearly thirty years, and move six thousand miles away to Los Angeles, a city where the occupants seem more preoccupied with obtaining free parking than they do with the fact that the ground they live on is soon going to fall into the sea as the result of a colossal earthquake.
Moving to the USA has been a fascinating adventure so far and that adventure is about to become even more interesting. However, for that to happen, I am going to need the help of some of you folks out there.
I am already a permanent resident of the United States, but my aim, perhaps one could even say my dream, is to become an American citizen as soon as I am able to do so. I know that I am not anybody’s idea of a typical immigrant to the US. I am well rested, not particularly poor and the only time I ever encounter “huddled masses” is when I am standing in line at Costco. But, before I stake my claim to citizenship, I am determined to head off on one more journey, this time to find out just what it really means to become an American, using the one prism that has served me so well before. Food.
In 2007, I made the phrase “Go Everywhere, Eat Everything” the mantra of my life, and in 2013 as my new journey begins, I am going to use food and the people who produce, make, sell and eat it the tool I use to discover what it means to become a citizen of this remarkable country.
I am already a huge fan of eating across America and, for the record I have already enjoyed meals in 48 of the 50 states (with Delaware and Alaska being the only ones to have escaped my attention thus far). But, this time it is going to be different.
This time, I want YOU to help me discover America by inviting me to be part of your food experiences.
If you are a brewer, winemaker or distiller, I want to come and help you make your wine, beer and spirits. If you are a farmer, I want to come and help you harvest your crops and sell them at farmers markets. If you are a restaurant owner or run a food truck, I will come and help in your kitchens, serve customers and even bus tables. If you are a hunter I want to be with you as you show me your skills and how you break down the carcasses of the animals you stalk. If you are a fisherman, I want to head out into the rough waters with you as you catch some of the finest fish and seafood in the world and if you are a cheese maker, I want to join you getting elbow deep in curds.
It doesn’t end there, of course. America is a land of endless opportunities. So, if you have any ideas for food experiences that I simply must not miss, I want to hear about them. Perhaps you are a regular entrant in BBQ or Chili cook off competitions. If so, then I want to be part of your team, helping you prepare and present your food. Perhaps you represent one of America’s vibrant ethnic communities, such as Vietnamese, Indian, Filipino, Greek, German, Italian and dozens more. If so, I want to come to your family celebrations, learn about your cuisine and show the world just how much you all contribute to the tapestry that is the Stars & Stripes. Perhaps you organize a food festival or a celebration of an ingredient for which your part of the country is renowned and would consider inviting me to attend.
Or, perhaps, you simply have suggestions for the best things to eat as I travel around the country and want to break bread with me as I do it. I am just as happy discovering a great burger in the lowliest dive as I am enjoying a multi course tasting menu from an internationally famous chef. So, don’t be shy, if you have a bite you must not miss, I want to hear about it.
As well as all the food invitations, I know that I will need places to stay while I am on my great adventure. I’ll sleep on couches, on floors, in cars or trucks. Heck, I’ll even spend a night under canvas if it means there is a great food experience to be had. I have backpack and will travel, determined as I am to see, do and eat it all.
So, thinking caps on my friends. I need to hear back from you with your ideas, wherever you are in the country and I am can be contacted at the following e-mail address.
The “FED, WHITE & BLUE” journey will begin in early 2013 and will form part of my research for a book and a potential TV show of the same name. I shall be taking photographs and videos of my experiences as I travel, but will totally respect the privacy of anyone who does not want their details made public as I do so.
I can’t wait to hear from you.