I travel a lot. I’m always doing shows, either for No Kid Hungry, BodyKey, or now out promoting the new book, Good Food–Fast! When I’m on the road, I miss my family and friends in Sydney. This year, now that I’m back for my ninth year hosting the Fabulous Food Show, I realize how much I've missed Cleveland. On the plane, as I winged my way in this past week, I found I was getting excited. I pictured the faces of the people I would see and it hit me; these people have become my family and I have come to think of Cleveland as "home."
Over the past nine years, the people of Cleveland, the media, the great folks I work with at the Fabulous food show and the I-X Center, along with the great array of talented chefs, have become just as much a part of who I am, capturing my heart, as any blood family member or close friend. I truly love this city. And, I am grateful that you have all made me feel as if I was a part of your family as well. Words can never express how grateful I am for that.
I find myself, wherever I am, rooting for the Indians. I love getting to a Cav’s game when I can. I have to laugh at what a devout Browns fan I have become, thinking back some nine years ago when I adopted them as "my team" and I chuckle at the fact that I was a Brownie fan before I even knew what "football" was.
People will often comment, when I mention my affection for this city, "Cleveland? Really?" Yes. Really. What a hip town this is. From a culinary perspective, there are some great chefs and restaurants here, from the staples like Michael Symon, Johnathan Sawyer, Steve Schimoler, Zack Brule and Nick Costas, to the new guard, up-and-coming chefs that will carry on the awesome culinary torches that make this city a dining destination. And I get to meet such lovely folks like 103-year-old Emily Serian, who I had the pleasure of cooking for.
Being an adopted son of Cleveland gives me a sense of purpose and belonging and I look forward to many more years of this mutual love affair with all that is Cleveland. I can’t thank you all enough for making me feel so welcome and part of the family!