Three years ago, after being vegetarian1 for over a decade, I ate fried chicken made from scratch by Celebrity Chef Tyler Florence. Chef Florence’s Wayfare Tavern Fried Chicken was listed by Food and Wine in 2016 as one of the Best Fried Chicken in America. It was delicious, connected to a charitable2 cause, and most of all, life-changing: I turned my back on a vegetarian life and I did not look back.
Ok, well, I still somewhat looked back, and transitioned slowly, especially since my body reacted violently to meat’s return. My stomach was constantly in turmoil, as if it was protesting for such radical shift in diet. But my psyche was in turmoil even more, as I was looked down upon and considered to have regressed to an unethical way of life by some vegetarian and vegan friends.
But I’m over it. My body no longer protests, and in fact, it now likes meat. My psyche is better, too. I lost some weight, so that is very good for my ego; and I also stopped caring about judgmental vegetarian and vegan so-called friends who did not want to have anything to do with me anymore. The fake cheese at their parties was gross anyway; and there was only vegan cider to drink.
I still struggle, from time to time, when I reflect on the fact that my carbon footprint is larger with my meat consumption. I have made even more of an effort to have very minimal food waste, if any; and to eat meat in moderation – on special occasions, when traveling, or when I know that the meat is locally sourced and butchered.
In my transition, I also started cooking more for myself and others. This has lowered my monthly food spending and has lowered my fat intake, too. It has raised a sense of joy in preparing, staging, and sharing food with family and friends.
And the dishes look lovely on my Instagram feed.
- I was ovo-lacto vegetarian.
- Williams Sonoma in San Francisco hosted a fundraising for No Kid Hungry. The event included a cooking demonstration, Q&A and book signing with Chef Florence.