Bon vivant: noun, a person who enjoys the good things in life, especially good food and drink.
[French : bon, good + vivant, present participle of vivre, to live.]
Hello, I’m Bobbi, writer, photographer, and culinary explorer.
I LOVE…Black coffee, runny yolks, Maldon salt, thick toast, soft butter.
Sharing the breakfast table and a crossword puzzle with my husband Greg.
Watching Greg watch birds.
The anticipation of cooking with the seasons.
Long distance running.
Tasting my way through the cobbled streets of Old Madrid.
Cranberries popping on the stove to let you know that they’re ready.
Gently used cookbooks.
A warm plum tart.
Any meal my sister prepares for me.
Bourbon Manhattans straight up.
Figs and fennel, together, alone.
Bringing friends and family to the table.
I’m not a chef. I wasn’t raised at the knee of an Italian grandmother. In short, I wasn’t born this way. My childhood was strung together with orange Nehi, Spaghettios, and Pop Tarts punctuated too infrequently with garden fresh tomato sandwiches and my mom’s fried pies. Still, the happiest moments of my life then and always are in the kitchen.
But I hungered for more. A warped notion of success and a painful desire to be good enough fueled a fifteen-year love affair with corporate America. My efforts paid off. I had it all. And I was hollow. When that liberating moment of clarity came, I jumped—into the kitchen. Soon I was devouring the stacks of cookbooks I’d collected and neglected; harvesting anything brazen enough to thrive on our shady urban lot, and fumbling around with my camera.
I didn’t have a plan. I was tired of plans—action plans, strategic plans, five-year plans. Only dinner plans could hold my interest.
“I’m going back,” I assured my puzzled friends and family. Back where? I didn’t know, but there was undoubtedly another ladder for me to climb, another glass ceiling to break through. But all roads led to my kitchen where fancy titles didn’t count for anything and fat paychecks were appreciated but unnecessary.
“And maybe you can finally write that book,” my inner dreamer whispered in those rare moments when I gave her the floor.
I started a little blog in 2008. Part diary, part recipe box, it was a place to hide while I sorted my life out. A year later, Bob Vivant was born. More than a recipe box, this is my memory keeper, my dream catcher, my journal, my storybook. It’s the conversation we might be having if we were together in the kitchen, me slicing mushrooms, you stirring a bubbling pan of risotto. It’s home.
My recipes are inspired by what’s in our garden or at the farmers market and what’s expiring in our fridge. I cook from scratch. The demystification is alluring, like peeking behind the curtain in Oz. I find comfort in knowing what’s in my food, but mostly I cook from scratch because it tastes better. That said, we all start where we start. Just a few years ago you would have found pastry and pizza dough in my grocery cart too.
I hope to inspire you to try something new and to find pleasure in your kitchen and at the table. Cook from your heart and develop your intuition. Recipes, including the ones you’ll find here, are mere guidelines and food rules are made to be broken.
A pinch more of this, a bit less of that. Make it your own. And share it with the people you love.
Thank you for the company. I’m so happy that you’re here.
All images and content © Bob Vivant Media 2008-2012, unless noted otherwise and cannot be used without permission. All rights reserved.