Hello. My name is Ron Evert and I’d like to welcome you to “Real Food Finds”. My blog and informational website was created as an expression of my passion for great food, my love to cook and entertain friends, and my constant desire to travel the world and see what adventures I can find.
This website will be about recipes and cooking techniques I have tried, but it will also share my experiences in corners of the world I never dreamed I’d see and the things I brought home with me. I love to travel, especially on cruise ships. I’ve travelled to Mexico, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean and had just enough of a taste of local cuisines to know that I want to go back for more. I want to spend time in Italy to learn how to make pasta, cheese and gelato, and go back to Barcelona to learn more about paella. I want to check out the numerous moles and tamales in Oaxaca. I would love to go back to St. Martin in the Caribbean and taste more of the fresh lobster at Chez Raymond Bar and Grill at Baie Rouge. But it’s also about going to new places and learning about unique foods and cooking methods.
I was born and grew up in Wisconsin, where I experienced a lot of flavorful foods: beer (of course); cheese (of course); and brats (of course). In my early days I worked in the restaurant business in all positions: busboy, waiter, cook, bartender and, eventually, an owner/operator. That’s where I first got my taste of amazing foods. I learned to appreciate Italian and German food, Friday fish frys, pizza, steaks and burgers, and barbecue. Now I work in a completely different industry but I spend most of my free time searching for food finds or cooking them.
Today I live in Northern California where the sun shines a lot and the grilling season is year round……where good wine is made and inspires good food to go with it…where fresh and varied fruit, vegetables, meats, cheeses and artisan breads are in abundance…and where there is a tremendous variety of local eateries, ethnic cuisines and four-star restaurants.
Since I’ve moved here there are many things I’ve learned to appreciate and love: sushi, wine, vegetarian dishes, and true Mexican cuisine (not the TexMex stuff I found a lot in the Midwest) and new types of food I never expected, such as Peruvian cuisine that I discovered at a restaurant in San Francisco and am now on a quest to learn more about.
I enjoy eating great dishes and trying to figure out what ingredients are in them. Then I go to my kitchen to recreate them, refine them, and serve them to willing friends and family. Sometimes I will also research online recipes or cookbooks to see what more I can learn about that kind of food or cuisine.
Many of the recipes that I will be posting on this website are “variations on a theme”–something I tasted or cooked and liked, but thought maybe there was just “one more way” to do this by making it taste even better or make it with simpler ingredients to get a similar result. Food choices and appealing flavors are very personal. I hope to show my readers how you can try different ingredients to get the taste YOU like the most.
I plan to share recipes wherever I’ve found them, whether in a restaurant, on television, from family & friends, in cookbooks, or on the internet. I will continue to travel and seek out new and different food finds, and then show you how to revise them and make them your own.
I invite you to join me on this journey. Let’s see what “real food” we can find!
I would like to give thanks to all my friends and family who have been so supportive and willing to taste all of my creations. I would also like to thank my writer and editor Doug Brown, for helping me get my thoughts and recipes organized and written for this website.
I would like to give special thanks to Chrissy Marquardt at WebSpyred Media for her assistance in designing and maintaining this website. Her advice and technical expertise has been invaluable.