Food and Cooking is one the largest common denominators in our culture. We have adapted to an idolized dependence upon recipes as a way to record and share a favorite dish. In 1983, I stumbled upon a desire to find a way to communicate the magic of cooking. In other words, the essence of all cooking, and how to never be bored again. What a journey it has been. Julianaa’s Notes is a place for me to share that journey. A full life of food, love, children, friends, and thousands of students.
Few chefs wear the apron without some passion. Born a dancer into an artist’s family, my first costume was from Shaharazade, a camisole top with one sleeve and below my midriff was a billowing full circle and half skirt. The ingredient was emerald green chiffon with silver, sparkly, bindings – age 11. Twelve years later, after being healed by whole-food and dancing combined, over time I hatched four amazing people and used food as medicine daily. Even though I would sometimes be limited to one carrot, one onion and some rice and beans, people seemed to like my food.
I couldn’t support my large family by dancing, but I could cook for people during the day as a personal chef and help the customers at Alfalfa’s Market during the evolution of Natural Foods. When the store asked me to design a cooking school, I sought to clarify my cooking style in order to teach something authentic and more interesting than just another recipe. I observed myself working in the kitchen. What I found was a process that was easy, efficient, accurate enough, highly economical and allowed any cook to adapt a dish to a special diet or just to using what was actually in the cupboard. I discovered that my cooking style (the same one all great men and women have used for ages when they don’t follow a recipe) was spot on delicious without having to measure.
Measuring a ratio is one thing. But when it comes to infusing a dish with personality, with an extra shot of perfection, not following a recipe is critical. The Language of Cooking….. without recipes emerged over a 7 year period. In these 7 years, I tested the theories, carved the names of the verbs and identity of what goes into a dish, any dish. To my surprise, I found a way to communicate clearly, through both an artist’s and scientist’s eye/mind, the power and practice of intuitive cooking.