My food and mood alike have taken the ultimate benefit from my newfound renaissance at the water’s edge. – Greg Kuzia-Carmel
“When you start feeling uneasy look at the horizon,” my father advised as he cinched the mast lines a bit tighter. We were swiftly gliding across the placid waters of Lake George in the Adirondacks of New York. We were aboard our Tanzer 22 foot sailboat but Dad wanted more. A little more oomph. A little more thrust. The boat pitched aggressively, slamming through the white-capped waves in our path and I used what little resolve I could muster to bring equilibrium to my small frame.
Some of us find our way to the shore, some of us are born there, some of us are brought there. Regardless of the circumstance, many of us find our peace there.
Having chosen an unlikely and difficult path, one of cuisine, I have had the fortune and misfortune to see the seas, both proverbially and literally, at their very best and at their very worst.
Some of my earliest travel memories revolve around our annual offseason trek to the outermost reaches of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where we held court high upon the dunes of South Truro under the powerful sweeping beam of the Highland Lighthouse. Dinners were often foraged or fished from the coasts below our small cottage.
Negative tides yielded some of the largest and sweetest scallops I have ever encountered. Striped Bass pulled from the shores were iridescent and their flesh deliciously briny, likely due to their gavage on oysters as they crawled up the coast. Steamer clams and lobsters alike anchored many a feast in our sparse shack on the eastern seaboard.
As lifestyle and vocation became a focal point in my early adolescence, I found community in various bands of outsiders. The skateboard and snowboard crowd soon provided introduction to the kitchen culture, if only as a means to fund the passion. But soon, I found a voice in both—and an identity, a sense of camaraderie, and a group of individuals who inspired me.