Philadelphia, PA - There are many great foods in the world. As a professional chef, of course I love food. I love cooking it just as much as I love eating it. Nothing gives me as much of a thrill as preparing a great meal for the people I love. I've heard it said many times that chefs must have a hard time choosing a favorite meal. For me, that has never been the case. From the time I was a young girl up until now I have loved a good apple more than any other food.
I guess one of the biggest reasons that I love an apple is because of all of the childhood memories I have that include apples. My grandparents lived on a large apple orchard farm, so every summer my siblings and I would spend a few weeks with them and enjoy endless hours of wandering through the apple orchards. We would play hide and go seek until we couldn't stand it any longer and we would sit underneath apple trees for hours and tell stories and laugh as only children can laugh.
When we visited our grandma during apple harvest we would get to pick our own apples for apple pies. This was the best. After a long days work of picking we would roll up our sleeves in the kitchen and work alongside grandma to make her special apple pies. My love for cooking started in that kitchen with my grandmother right along with my taste for a good apple. She taught us from the beginning how to tell when an apple was just right for picking and then again when it was just right for eating. Unlike many families, we always ate our apples cold out of the refrigerator. Grandma always said that there was nothing as good as a cold apple and I've grown up to agree.
Sometimes, when grandma was feeling especially generous, she would allow us to toss a dash of cinnamon and sugar onto our apple slices. We loved this treat. Apples were not only healthy for us (as she reminded us constantly) but they also tasted as good as most desserts.
As a chef, and now that I'm raising my own children, I remain convinced that there is no food quite like the apple. It seems to be the perfect fruit and frankly I'd say it is the perfect food all together. I try to eat an apple a day no matter what, and I've been encouraging my kids to start doing the same. I even took them to a local apple orchard to let them pick their own apples.