Ahoy there, my name is Chris Mower. I’m a man who cooks, drinks tea, and wears aprons. Sometimes I even shower. This is a picture of me in my natural habitat:
I started The Cooking Dish as a way to dabble in cooking and web design. Turns out I love doing both, and here we are today. I write the articles, create the recipes, and am the primary designer and developer on the site, but that doesn’t mean I do it all.
As the website has grown, my wife Afton has joined in the fun. She prefers to work behind the scenes, but has been integral in making this website a success.
Even though you don’t see her writing any articles, she is busy staging the photo shoots, taking pictures, optimizing the blog posts and recipes for search engines, and managing the ins and outs of our social media accounts and finances. She even helps with the design and coding here and there. She’s smart and funny. I’m one hecka lucky dude. This is her to the right being awesome as usual.
Me in a Nutshell
I’m a father of two girls who constantly surprise me with their limitless creativity. I’m the husband to a wife with endless talent and whose encouragement is always well-timed and sincere. I’m also a dreamer, music lover, writer, and curious explorer bent on self discovery (and possible self destruction, though I try to avoid that).
I have a love for poetry, writing, movies, music, books, and interviews that take a snippet out of someone’s life and look at it without judgement or agenda. I believe deeply in laughter, compassion, and taking the time to understand others. Naturally, some of my favorite moments in life are sharing food, drink, stories, laughter, and tears with my family and friends.
My Food Philosophy
When it comes to food, I will try most anything a few times. Sometimes I’ll try it every time I see it, even if it has a history of grossing me out. So yeah, I’ve eaten some pretty weird things like river snails, cow hooves and stomach, bull nuts, pig “mystery” meat, fermented anchovies, insects, hearts, ears, all sorts of “chicken” stuff, and the list goes on. As an FYI, when you bread and sauté bull nuts, they taste like chickish (that’s chicken and fish mixed together).
I approach food a lot like I approach life: an experiment. This approach has been liberating for me because it reduces the pressure to produce something perfect all the time every time. It leaves room for mistakes and for having fun. So while The Cooking Dish is my attempt to chronicle the good experiments, I hope you realize that behind the scenes I have eaten a lot of ruined and subpar food (I just can’t bring myself to throw it away, you know what I mean?).
Never walk away from failure. On the contrary, study it carefully and imaginatively for its hidden assets.
Food is a complete sensory experience. The smells, tastes, and textures can take you back a few decades to your grandmother’s house or transport you across the world to another country, or perhaps it reminds you of a first date or the time you had to say goodbye. In other words, food transcends the boundaries of a plate; it’s a story, a song, a memory. There’s history behind the entire recipe, the individual ingredients, and the people who created it. My desire is to discover and share those stories with you.
My Life Philosophy
I’ve learned how important it is to be present in my own life and in the lives around me. Some of the greatest moments of our lives can unexpectedly pass us by when we focus too much on the “what ifs” of the past and future. Living in, not for, the present moment lets me more fully appreciate the beauty life has to offer. Seeing how quickly my children are growing is a constant reminder of this.
Although I deeply believe in authenticity, I struggle with being authentic myself for fear of being rejected, criticized, or deemed a little too weird to hang out with. I try to keep myself open to finding beauty, inspiration, and wisdom in all places; by doing this I’ve experienced (and continue to experience) growth in moments I least expected it. I enjoy living what I see as a healthy combination of spirituality and intellectualism and believe in exploring both. I practice meditation and find it incredibly uplifting and conducive to introspection and acceptance.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
I believe that the world and people are naturally good, and I see that everywhere. I’m in constant awe of our abilities to express ourselves through art, music, dance, writing, food, and so many other mediums—it’s one of the most amazing things I know. It’s crazy how profound and expressive people can be when given the opportunity.
As an example, “Alley by the Lake” by Leonid Afremov is one of my favorite paintings. Just like food, it transports me to another time, place, and mood. It’s beautiful.
One more very important thing. It’s also my belief that people should be allowed to choose and decide for themselves who they are, what they believe, and what path to follow in life, even when it seemingly contradicts my own (as long as it isn’t hurtful—arbitrary, I know). I strive to be empathetic and think everyone should have the ability to enjoy the same rights that I do regardless of nationality, gender, or sexual orientation.
Phew, wow! Did you make it all the way down here? So I’ve spent a lot of time describing who I am, now it’s your turn! I’d love to get to know you, so leave a comment and introduce yourself and share a thought or a story if you wish.