Welcome to Off Track Cooking!
My home of food, drink, and a bit of sports.
I was born and raised in Eastern Pennsylvania to a large Sicilian and Pennsylvania Dutch family. My Sicilian side taught me all about making sauces and fresh pasta. My Uncle Louie in particular, who always had things that “fell off the truck”, seemed to always be making peppers and sausage, or meatballs with the “Family Red Sauce”. Holiday’s where always filled with more food than anyone one family should ever possess at one time.
Then there was my Grandfather on the PA Dutch side who lived a Hemingway-esque life, which included being a chef at certain points. One that was exciting for me growing up, was when he ran a charter fishing company in Islamorada, Florida Keys. There my love of fresh, fresh, fresh seafood grew into the near obsession I have today.
Although I did not appreciate these “lessons” in food and cooking while I was young, I started gaining more of an appreciation when I was hired at the Student Union Cafe while attending The University of Pittsburgh. A simple job working as a prep cook sent me on a long and crazy journey that I am still on today. I moved my way up the ladder and learned a lot while working the line there. Till finally one day I thought I found my true calling and moved out West to the City Of Angels, Los Angeles, CA, with dreams of becoming the next Martin Scorsese.
Well many, many, many years later. And many, many, many BBQ’s later, I have finally embraced my true calling in life. Cooking, eating, and drinking. After throwing many massive well received BBQ party at my house in Silverlake, winning many head to head competitions against some Texans, I started branching out in my cooking.
But backyard BBQ’s are still my greatest accomplishment. I can host a ‘cue like nobody else. I have recently been a winner and a finalist in the LA Times Battle of the Burgers the last two summers. In 2011 I created a P5 Pork Burger. And this past year, 2012, I made a BLT&E Burger. Both of which are quite tasty if I must say so myself. This past September 3, on Labor Day, I will be sat on a panel at the LA Times “The Taste” on backyard bar-b-queing.
Now after many new cookbooks, and thousands of amazing dinners, I’m ready to share my flavors with the world. I write about places I’ve been that you should go to. I write about things I’ve made, that I think you might enjoy. I also write about beverages that I have drank and enjoy. These tend to be very wine and scotch heavy. But living in CA is like living in a wine dream! Last year I began my studies with the WSET Global, learning much about wine. I finished my Level II intermediate, and in December I took my Advanced Level III class. Which is easier said than done. Although the homework can be quite fantastic!!
So follow my adventures with all I eat and drink. I’ll even throw in a couple sports items for you!
Hey there! I’m Chris, and I’m Off Track Cooking. I have a passionate love of not only cooking but of sports. I cook, I eat, I travel, I drink, I watch the games, and most importantly I enjoy life. Presently I do part time cooking and catering events in between working behind the camera in Television, as well as studying wine with the WSET. I grew up in Pennsylvania both in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Both huge sports and food towns. Springing up from a large Italian family I learned that I had a passion for food at a very young age. I write about things going on with me, and great ideas and news that I think others would appreciate. I believe in good honest simple flavors. Less is more, and with great ingredients you let them speak for themselves. I believe in Bacon and Whiskey. And I believe staying true to yourself and your palate. Traveling not all over California, but the world has broadened my horizons with food and life. Hang out and see what I’ve got going on.