There are lots of people who will say that food saved their life. However, I can genuinely say that this meal that I prepared tonight was an exact replica of one I cooked almost a decade ago that really did save mine.
In 2006, I was still reeling from my mother's death. On top of this, the company for which I worked was flailing in an economic crisis. I had given up all hope and was standing on the balcony of my swish London apartment, ready to jump to oblivion.
Luckily, the folks in the apartment below were cooking supper. They were Lebanese (I found out later) and the amazing smells from their kitchen wafting up to my nose made me more hungry than suicidal. So, I went to my kitchen to cook this meal of red lentil daal with hard boiled eggs and spinach, butter chicken, cucumber raita and rice tossed in ghee.
While I was cooking, I noticed a notebook I had taken to a training course in which I had written all my goals. It was a long list that included "buy a made-to-measure suit", "run a marathon" and "straighten teeth". At the bottom were four words that changed my life and still inform everything I do.
"GO EVERYWHERE, EAT EVERYTHING"
Inspired by this, the next day, I quit my job and set out on a journey around the world that became my first book Eat My Globe. On that adventure, I met who is now my beautiful, astonishing wife, who became my everything. I moved to the United States to marry her and, four years later, was fortunate enough to become a citizen of this remarkable country.
Food is indeed a powerful thing.
The paperback edition of my latest book Fed, White and Blue is to be published on 7 May by Avery Books. You can order up a copy here.
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