Chris Johnson - Co-Founder and Chief Eating Officer
Food was not a big part of my upbringing. I participated in a handful of after school activities, with most nights spent at an indoor soccer complex playing as much as I could. This didn't lend much time to home cooking and most evening meals came from a fast food "restaurant", the microwave, or breakfast for dinner. In college I learned some basic recipes from our fraternity chef, Mrs. Dee, but her heavy handed use of garlic and butter almost turned me off to cooking. It wasn't until I met Kate that I started to expand my food horizons. On one of our first dates, she was able to coax me into trying sushi, a thought at the time that totally repulsed me. "Why would I eat something that hadn't been cooked?" I thought to myself.
As time has gone on, my appreciation for the food on our plates has grown deeper, recognizing that it’s much more than what fuels our day. Farmers that raise their produce and animals to provide for their families. Chefs that study for years to combine spices, vegetables, and proteins to create nuanced flavors that play with our taste buds and share their love and passion for creating with us. Sharing a meal with friends or those we do not know brings us closer together through shared experiences.
Learning this appreciation was the catalyst years in the making for why I started WeEatCNY. To hopefully share my love of food with you. To bring you closer to the food you are eating, the chefs that are creating it for you, and to create a vibrant, open, and inclusive food community in the Central New York that we can experience together.
Katharine Johnson - Co-Founder and Chief Organizational Officer
My love of food began at my childhood dinner table. Gathering together and sharing a meal was something we all looked forward to each day. My parents are wonderful cooks and they taught my brother and me the importance of buying fresh, local ingredients long before the local food movement became popular. While cooking at home and creating new and exciting dishes was the norm for my family, a dinner out was always a welcome treat! Some of my favorite memories are of our extended family enjoying meals at our favorite restaurants. The drinks in special glasses, the variety of foods from which to choose, the excitement of being dressed up and out on the town, all enhanced the joy of being with my family.
My love of excellent food has been a constant in my life and my free time is spent reading cookbooks, experimenting with recipes in my home kitchen and, thanks to my wonderful parents and mother-in-law who love spending time with their grandchildren, enjoying the amazing food scene here in Central New York! Whenever I go out of town, the first thing I do is try to find the best restaurants in the area. Chris and I have spent many evenings at restaurant bars in new cities finding out the places to eat and enjoy a cocktail from the people who live there. We use that same approach when we are at home. We love trying new restaurants and meeting all of the people who make the food scene here so incredible. Our love of food and good wine is our favorite topic of conversation and people ask us frequently which restaurants we love and where they should go for various occasions. Our inspiration for WeEatCNY is to expand our dinner table and include more people in our food conversations. We look forward to sharing and eating with you!