Wandering, Alone and Hungry

Who I am. Why it doesn’t matter.
My name is Ian Floyd, and I am a New York transplant by way of Austin, Texas. This essay and the writing that follows is partially to communicate with the world at times when I find myself alone in this dense, smelly, beautiful jungle–and the world beyond. More importantly, I write to chronicle my journey through the various cuisines and cultures coalescing around me.

Some label me a foodie, but I despise that word and many of its associated friends: “artisanal” “gentrification” (more on that to come). More than just being some yuppie fool with a WordPress who’s willing to spend an entire paycheck on a good meal, I appreciate and aim to celebrate the dedication, meticulous attention to detail and subtle beauty behind truly good food.

I am an expert in nothing and will never claim to be. I’ve done enough time in terrible restaurants to understand the inherently carnal nature of working in a kitchen and producing food en masse. I’ve seen how easy it can be to cut corners, get lost in the weeds or to make simple mistakes that snowball into catastrophe. Producing high quality grub 100% of the time is a true feat, and the masters of cuisine that accomplish this daily are not only chefs, but organizers and workhorses.

I’ve also been fortunate to live among people who cherish food. Like so many of us, it all began with Mom’s home-cooked meals. Steamed clams with garlic butter. Bacon- and jalapeño-wrapped shrimp. French onion soup with swiss and provolone layered atop two sourdough croutons and broiled molten brown. Simple, cheap and so damn good. On birthdays, I didn’t care if I received presents, but Mom better make gingerbread with lemon sauce and steamed king crab legs, always served with garlic butter.

The power of food was so compelling in my family that my brother has dedicated his life to chefdom. It’s a tough, grueling world in a restaurant kitchen, and I admire him for working a job I’d love in theory, but refuse to do due to the back breaking, skin burning, finger slicing, hot hot heat and high intensity nature of the business. Sundays in Austin used to consist of him and his wife’s food interest of the week and many bottles of wine, bubbles, beer and booze. It was a beautiful thing, and I miss it dearly.

Long story short: I am not a chef. Nor am I a culinary expert. I’m merely a writer with an appetite and whole lot of exploring to do. If you’ve read this far, then welcome to my trials, triumphs and travails as I journey through New York City wandering, alone and hungry.