Welcome to Pantry Rat. My name is Nanette – well, it’s actually short for Marie Antoinette – but I don’t cavalierly say “Let them eat cake”!

I’m a globetrotter and trail-blazer, manager to very large estates, freelance journalist and writer, chef by default and modern day female Indiana Jones.

My motto is “pleasure in the job, puts perfection in the work“, because no task is ever too big or too small if it’s done with passion, dedication and enthusiasm.

Confession #1:  There is nothing as addicting and sensual than cooking and serving great food

Thomas Keller said it best when in the early 70’s he was catapulted into the culinary world by the words from a fellow French Chef: “Cooks cook to nurture people, and to do that you have to have a deep emotional connection with food”.

Following with the words of the incomparable Julia Child “I was 32 when I started cooking, until then I just ate”. My journey began at the age of 25 and I haven’t broken stride since.

It was back then I had the epic revelation that food was intoxicating. It had the power to excite the senses, delight, awe-inspire, create a passionate response and win the affections of most everyone. There is nothing more sensual or sexy than cooking for someone that loves food equally as much you love preparing it or talking about it over a superb glass of wine. My cooking, like my writing has been labeled as vibrant, imaginative, complex and inventive. I transform ingredients injecting new mojo with my fusion of cuisines. Today food should be playful and adventurous and we should welcome venturing into uncharted waters and putting your own spin onto old classics.

Confession #2: I am addicted to cookbooks and I surreptitiously “confiscate” Splenda packages from a restaurant

I’m in possession of a colossal arsenal of cook books. It’s easy to capitulate to the hypnotic pull from the internet for a recipe, yet there is nothing more comforting than leafing through a cookbook, with countless stains, earmarks and scribbles.

This blog is dedicated to my good friend and mentor Anthony Bourdain. His aim was to provide us with some solid, informative articles on travel, riveting observations on food folklore and colorful global cuisines.

Being a chef is like being an exceptional storyteller – because you’re always providing a detailed story through food.

My wish is that you infuse world flavors into your cooking and my narratives provide entertainment. That it feeds your culinary appetite and makes you feel the joy attained in making really good food.

Uncharted waters may lead to knife cuts, burns and a few kitchen disasters – but those are the war wounds of a truly good chef and we wear those scars proudly.

Life is fleeting. Some of us are still rifling through it looking for our marrow, while others have discovered their Shangri-La. I found mine, as Thoreau said – through food and writing.

So, consume exceptional wine, sample the richest chocolate, and be adventurous enough to fling yourself wholeheartedly into equally decadent food.

Pantry Rat