I’m a born-and-raised Oregonian who grew up clamoring for the electric mixer as my mom baked fresh chocolate chip cookies; I went to school in L.A., where cooking offered me an easy way to introduce myself and meet new and interesting people, most from vastly different places and experiences than a small town in the Pacific Northwest.
As a professional in New York, the Caribbean marked my first foray into world travel, which I inevitably lensed through food; and shortly thereafter, I met my lovely would-be wife, a product of parents from Benin, West Africa, who further broadened my horizons of how food, geography, and culture intertwined.
And now I’m back in L.A., on the verge of starting a family, and admittedly restless. So much of my time is spent diving deeper and deeper into food and its history, its data and its geography – trying to bridge with theory and experimentation my own wildly disparate cultural reference points that could never be bridged physically – that I’ve ultimately become desperate for an outlet. To share and to self-engage in a way I haven’t been able to thus far, and hopefully inspire others to do the same.
I’m not formally trained in cooking, data analysis, design, or anything else you’ll see all over the site. But hey, it opens the door for what I hope is some real out-of-the-box shit. Enter blog name.
Why Rum & Biscuits?
Draft answer #8: The story of rum is of history happening in real time – maps being re-drawn and cultures colliding. Biscuits, meanwhile, evoke an immediate sense of humble simplicity, comfort, and soul. In a darker but honest lens, both are inextricably tied to the African diaspora and their exploitation; more hopefully, both now represent reclamation and redefinition, the pride of their birthplaces.
Together, though, rum and biscuits are nothing if not simply a surprising combination. With the content developed for this site, we hope to find and celebrate the intersection of travel, history and culture though food and drink, all the while focusing on the comfort (or decadence) and emotional resonance we find in it. But certainly, failing that, we promise to at least provide surprising combinations.
On what occasion would someone ever actually sit down for rum and biscuits? Probably around the same time they’d be curious as to the cultural bridges between Oregon, West Africa, and West L.A. Or when they’d want an infographic with their Best Of list, or history lessen with their Crown Heights Rum Punch Crawl map. We don’t imagine you’ll sit down for these often (ahem, until you try them! Eyyyy!), but when you do, we damn sure want to make sure you enjoy them. And in one place, because God knows the Ghana-to-PDX leg has like, six layovers in real life.
So with that, please read on, enjoy, and share!