About Me

It’s yours truly, Valerie, and I'm your normal, average, everyday woman who just so happens to enjoy dining on a good meal, whether such culinary delight comes from my own kitchen, a five-star restaurant, a friend’s home or the pizza and wings joint on the corner. While everyone has different tastes, and palates are extremely subjective, I don't think it can be argued that food is a life-sustaining force. So why not enjoy it?

I certainly do.

I love everything about food. The sumptuous flavors that tickle my taste buds—from luscious to robust, piquant to briny; the comforting, rich, fresh aromas that tempt my olfactory senses; even the aesthetics of food, which lends credence to the old adage that we eat with our eyes first. You could say I have been having a lifelong, ongoing affair with food. Will I be turning my back on my not-so secret love anytime soon? Of course . . . as soon as scientists invent a pill that encompasses the requisite qualities that will satisfy my sense of taste, sight, smell, and sometimes, touch. Until that day arrives, my devotion to food will remain almost as strong as my loyalties to my husband, family and friends.

Early on, at Bon Vivant’s inception, I was in the habit of rating restaurants by forks (starting at "1" fork if the food was really horrendous and ending with "5" forks for an exemplary meal). I have since ceased that practice as I find it gave me, the non-critic, an unfair advantage over a restaurant. Everyone can have a bad day—even the most experienced chefs are not precluded from having a culinary flop, no matter how minor, every once in a blue moon. If I happened to catch them on that unfortunate day, my view on their abilities and, ultimately, the restaurant as a whole, was somewhat skewed, which translated into a bad ‘review’. Reviews of that nature are highly subjective and based solely on one individual’s palate.

Instead of persnickety reviews, I have adopted the practice of simply describing what I experience while dining out. Good or bad, you’ll always know it is what I experienced on that particular day, in that particular space and time.

As I am fond of saying, I’m not a food critic . . . I just like to eat like one.

As The Food Houndette, I hope to take visitors along with me as I explore the culinary landscape . . . one ingredient, one recipe, one restaurant, one meal . . . at a time.

Won’t you join me?


And while you're at it, join me on my writers' journey HERE, and read my food-centric columns, Fairfield County Restaurant Examiner and International Restaurant Examiner.