Our Food Philosophy:
‘The best food has deep roots, no matter the culture, and is created passionately from ingredients that are readily available because they are indigenous to the area.
Often referred to as “peasant food,” these recipes stand the test of time and are often simple to prepare.’
–Mark and Tricia Micheli
I love to eat. That’s one of my main motivations for cooking: that and sharing food with family and friends and recognizing that food (with or without travel) is a bridge to a deeper understanding of other cultures. And the world could use a lot more of that today.
ITALIAN AND MORE
I grew up in a first generation Italian home (my father was born there) and have authentic northern Italian recipes to share. This is my jumping off point to explore other cuisines.
RootsLiving started 9 years ago. I just left the Boston Globe where I was the online news editor and decided to indulge my geeky curiosity to explore a fairly new blogging platform called WordPress. I decided the best way to learn how to use it was to create a blog, but then I had to decide what I would write about. And so I started thinking about what I liked to do. The first thing that came to mind was cooking, followed by winemaking and music. And so RootsLiving was born.
A NEW BEGINNING: EMBRACING A DIFFERENT GEEK
I’m now embracing my geeky side again, this time to learn about digital marketing.
I teach journalism part-time at Emerson College where I share my first-hand knowledge of print and online reporting and editing; video production; and multimedia storytelling. But there are always one or two students who ask me the best way to promote the blogs they create in class. I tell them it takes a lot of time and effort, that you have to really work social media channels, follow SEO (search engine optimization) protocols and create new compelling content on a regular basis.
However, I’ve never had a job where I was solely responsible for marketing my work and I never had the time to do all of this, until now. So this will be a little experiment that will at least provide me with some real-world knowledge about blog promotion. I’m literally putting my money where my mouth is.
I’m not teaching this semester and Trish suggested I give RootsLiving a new life. Although the site is a favorite of family and friends and former co-workers (who I love when they email me years later to say they just made my Marco’s Fuscilli or my grandmother’s recipe for Chicken and Polenta) it hasn’t gotten much attention elsewhere. Hopefully, that’s about to change.
A NEW SITE DESIGN
The first step was redesigning the site, which had become outdated. This is the new design, which can handle all of the innovations that caught on in the past nine years, such as videos and the seam-less posting of social media channels.
I’ve grown too over the past nine years: I went back to school, earned a master’s degree in digital media, and learned how to shoot and edit video, launching my own video production company, called Reel Partners Media just a few years ago.
I’ve also learned more about cooking and about photographing food. I learned a tremendous amount about creating food videos by shooting and editing two food videos each week for a year for the Boston Globe. Some of those videos, from the Dorm Room Chef and Drink of the Week series, will be posted here too.
Other things have changed over the past nine years. Our two boys have grown up and graduated college (no more tuition payments, yea!!).
Trish quit her job teaching second grade and now works as a liaison between new immigrant families and the public schools. And we have a new member of our family: Mookie joined J.J. as a resident mouser. They’re two sweet cats who make us laugh most every day (JJ is shy, but Mookie likes to help out in the kitchen so you’ll be seeing more of him.).
Trish also decided to contribute more to the site. Besides being my muse — often putting a bug in my ear about what to make for dinner or for one of our shared meals with family and friends — you’ll also find her on our social media channels: mainly Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Please reach out to her. She’s also the one who designs (and will now shoot) our table settings, and cleans up the kitchen. I cook and she cleans. Hey, it’s been working for more than 30 years.
ROOTSLIVING: WHAT IT MEANS
One thing that will not change is our core mission. In 2009, I wrote that “this site is all about getting back to our roots and recognizing that the best food, music and art is that which is created passionately and indigenously, from the simple things at hand.” And that is still true.
My favorite recipes are those that were once considered peasant-fare, created by necessity using ingredients that were easily available. They’ve been passed down for generations. They stand the test of time and are often simple to prepare.
However, I won’t shy away from following more complicated and prestigious recipes if I believe the results will be worth it: delicious and honest. That means I serve them up here without pretension: there’s too much of that in the foodie world. This is, after all, food we’re talking about, not a consecrated temple for a select group of ordained priests.
Finally, we can’t do this alone. I hope you’ll visit often and find something useful each time you visit. And if you do, please share the site with your family and friends: both on and off social media. Together, we can live and eat well.
(© 2018 Mark Micheli)