The Sixth Love Language


a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen

Photo by Pablo Merchán Montes

Desire is finite. We only have so much on any given day. It can motivate us towards our life’s purpose or lead us into a persistent cycle of self-soothing. For forty years I burned through my desire pursuing the next best thing to eat. It was my life’s work until my body could no longer sustain it.Now I am a weight loss coach, but I used to be an executive chef. From a very young age, food was my best friend.

I grew up in a family where food was the center of attention. My Italian father often finished breakfast by asking “what’s for dinner?” and my mother spent a good portion of the day procuring the best ingredients to cook with. I hovered on the outskirts of the kitchen absorbing the scent of onions, garlic and tomatoes wafting from a pan and learning to set the table each night with crushed red pepper, Tellicherry peppercorns, and Parmigiana-Reggiano stamped in black print along the rind. My father used these ingredients religiously to season plates placed before him.I learned that food was important.

My father praised, analyzed and critiqued his meals, so I started paying attention, too. The difference between standard red wine vinegar, and one with 7% acidity, was a subtle depth of flavor that still lingered from the wine and a distinct sharpness on the tongue. The crust of a multi-seeded loaf of bread determined its quality, and the best extra virgin olive oil was both peppery and fruity. Intrinsically, I equated eating with care.

When my mother made me a vanilla birthday cake frosted in the perfect shade of pastel pink, I knew she loved me.I could tell food loved me, too, by the way it tasted. It took care of me. A bite of cake made me feel happy. The surge of dopamine that hit me from a sugar rush rolled over me in eup