When I first met Kevin Loscotoff, he didn’t eat anything from the sea. He wouldn’t have anything to do with capers or fennel, and still doesn’t. Anchovies? Never. I don’t even think he eats olives.
But food quirks aside, I decided to give Kevin a chance. Besides, even then we had several similarities in taste: we both liked earthy, fruity pinots and floral IPAs. He and I could sit drinking iced tea until the tea leaves ran out. And the Indian food...oh, the Indian food.
In the five years or so that I’ve known Kevin, his culinary tastes expanded and he has demonstrated a willingness to try new cuisines. Now he readily eats mild fish and most sushi, and even appreciates the salty/smoky/sweet (umami) characteristic of salmon. He has tried dishes with fennel - with much resistance and not necessarily by his own intention – and he continues to dine with an open mind. And that, while not the only reason I love Kevin Loscotoff, is emblematic of the perspective of his that allows me to look past the anchovy-hating.
I have not given up, and neither has he. All it takes is an open mind and a little willingness to expand his comfort zone. He may have to move into discomfort more than once. Heck, I don’t know of anyone who liked beer on their first sip.
Happy birthday Kevo, and keep that mind open. You’ll need to, because for my birthday this year I want one present from you: I want you to join me for a big bowl of pasta puttanesca. You’d better start practicing.