Programming computers since the punch cards of 1977, as well as working on avionics and precision measuring equipment in the U.S. Navy, I’ve also built robotics for test purposes in the automotive industry, developed plenty of web-based software for manufacturing and inventory control, and done technical writing for NAVAIR and written and done technical review of computer programming text books..

All through the technical stuff though has been plenty of restaurant work, from cooking on lines in lengthy summer camps, to fast food and fast casual restaurants, and being a Kitchen Manager at a 50-year-old restaurant in an amusement park. Menu creation and artwork, customized monthly inventories, restaurant web site design and maintenance, it’s all there.

I’m interested in where food comes from, where recipes come from, where the people who created those recipes came from, and if there’s a backstory to that.

I tell my kids “You can’t say you won’t like a food until you try it, actually put it in your mouth and eat it.” There’s nothing elitist about this. It’s simply about respecting the food, respecting the person it came from, respecting the culture and history. Too often, rejecting a food will result in insulting the person and culture it came from, especially in countries other than the U.S. But even if it came from a relative, a good friend, or a street food vendor, you respect them and what they’ve given you just the same.

When it comes to food, that’s who I am. I only wish to share that with others.

Luna Pier, Michigan