by Esteban Marroquin
My name is Esteban Marroquin. I am an American born Mexican and I love to cook. But, there is more to me than my heritage. If you want to learn more about me, look up my past Huckleberry Press articles at www.huckleberrypress.com and search for “Breaking Bread.” I am so glad to be sharing more about myself and cooking through this amazing opportunity.
I would encourage those who have read the paper to share it with loved ones, family and friends. When I wrote my two articles, I wanted my friends and family to read them but some were not aware of the Huckleberry Press. I think it’s a unique paper; it’s a great place to share about anything and everything that happens in our neighborhoods and our communities in Eastern Washington and all the positive things to see and do in the Inland Northwest.
Inspiration, What Does It Mean to All of You?
Inspiration comes from different places to different artists, like painters, sculptors, and chefs. I would look up to the sky and see faces, trees, dragons, or whales. From those I would draw inspiration to create something. Over the years I have been asked many times “Who or what inspires you to cook or what inspired you to create that particular dish?” That was a hard question many times and only got easier to answer with practice.
Sometimes everyday random things happen that may inspire me, like a commercial on television or an event like the County Fair coming to town or just passing ingredients in the store like lavender, chai, goat cheese, huckleberries, honey, or lamb. Then my mind races into a spin of culinary ideas to be made…one of a kind, original, special.
People also inspire me. My children inspire me. My children are different in their special ways and have their own likes and dislikes of things to eat. It inspires me to make them something based on what they like. My son has an amazing palate and sense of culinary adventure. He challenges me with certain ingredients he thinks of and it inspires me to create new, never been seen before dishes. His own culinary inspirations led him to create a spin on a carrot cake that I had never heard, seen, or tasted before. That inspired me to create a special carrot cake in honor of my son. The cake has been well received. When I cater events I always tell people who inspired me to create my cake.
Lately people have diet restrictions, self-imposed or choices such as “code red” or keto. Loved ones in my life have inspired me to create healthy “diet restricted” creations based on my Mexican recipes or Italian recipes and even Asian inspired dishes that taste amazing. I recently made my version of “pork fried rice” with a grilled marinated chicken breast. However, the fried rice was made with “riced cauliflower!” It was exciting because my family and friends did not even realize it was not really rice.
There are so many recipes I could share that are stories of inspiration. I recently talked to a friend of mine who was once a chef (I didn’t understand the “was once a chef”). He was in the food business for a long time and recently commented on my newest recipe which was an Asian inspired turkey burger. He said he thought it was an amazing concept and flavor profile with the pairings. He said he does not get inspired the same way he used to create works of culinary art. I looked at my friend and said “ If you can no longer find inspiration within yourself to create something you are proud of and amazing then look into the eyes of your loved ones…a child, a significant other. I will bet the fire you once had inside of you will be reignited and you will be someone’s culinary hero.”
He said, “I hear you and I will think about what you said.”
Now I want to hear from all of you! What inspires you and why? What inspires you to cook, paint, sculpt, build? What do you do that inspires you? Anyone who is serious about sharing your stories of inspiration, please email me. Please share your stories of inspiration. No negative comments, etc., please.
As I always say in closing an article or finishing a dinner I have catered, “Food does not mean anything without family and friends to share it with!”
Instagram @ Marroquin1765