Hello and welcome to The Splattered Palate! I’m Lexie Barker and love to cook and write about food. I focused on food writing while pursuing a master’s degree in journalism, often contributing to the university newspaper’s food section. My thesis was an article that explored the relationship between the lack of Filipino food in mainstream American cuisine and the Filipino immigrant experience. It was a trip to write. While I was hoping to see it in the pages of Lucky Peach, Saveur, Gastronomica – any publication at all really – the article ultimately found a home on ProQuest, an enormous online library for all kinds of research publications, and I now work in corporate marketing.
The blog is an effort to keep me honest in pursuit of my passions. I live in Los Angeles with my boyfriend Dorian, the site’s chief taste tester and the oft-referred to “he” throughout the blog.
Why The Silver Palate?
It’s well-worn, but not splattered. Its spine is broken and the book rests in two pieces between pages 96 and 97, connected only by a thin shell of its cover.
It’s my copy of The Silver Palate Cookbook, the once popular and still practical kitchen manual from one of Manhattan’s favorite gourmet food shops. I must have flipped through it hundreds of times when I was younger, only to cook from it on a handful of occasions.
A colorful array of Post-it flags bookmark recipes I wanted to make. Open to the green tab for Curried Butternut Squash Soup or the purple one for Bluefish Baked with Apples and Mustard. It’s obvious there was an intent to cook from these pages, but the grease stains by recipes for dinners like Pasta Primavera Gregory and Pheasant with Leek and Pecan Stuffing are missing and there’s a suspicious lack of sugar trapped between the pages of Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins’ recipes for cookies, cakes and brownies.
I used to, and still do, love to read cookbooks. And while cooking has become a real interest of mine, time spent reading cookbooks still far outpaces time spent actually cooking.
That is going to change. I decided to take this most worn cookbook of mine and cook through it with a pioneering zest – to riddle the pages with splatters, smears, and stains – all in an effort to take my cooking to the next level. To that next level where you no longer need a recipe to make something good, to where you’ve mastered the basics and can whip up a paella, roast a chicken, or prepare a perfect pie crust without so much as a glance.
Here I go…thanks for coming along and I am always happy to hear your thoughts!