It’s in My Blood

I never knew my grandfather well. This is because he died when I was a young boy. And those that did know him, would tell you that he was not the kindest man. A passionate man, they’ll give him that. But it was his oft close proximity to the bottle that would ultimately be his undoing.

Now there are also those that would tell you that my memory has all the retention of a coarse sieve, and while I’d love to argue that point, it’s probably not far from the truth. There is one memory, however, that I’ve managed to retain over the years: I recall being at the dinner table, my Grandfather bouncing me upon his knee. I see him smiling, ear-to-ear. I can feel the warmth from the stove and the air is thick with the perfume of food.

Food has always been a central part of my life. It’s something I am hopelessly passionate about and it was certainly at the center of my grandfather’s life as well. Despite the family’s modest means, they always had the best; he made sure of it—and he wouldn’t let you forget it. The best meats, cheeses … you name it. 

My grandfather was a butcher and a cook, and had he been born in France, would have likely been a considered a Charcuterer; and though he’d never use that word, I think it’s fitting.

There’s the somewhat notorious tale of the time he acquired a beaver tail and would attempt to make a stew. If my Gram were still with us today, she’d probably swear you could still smell the stench, decades later, if you inhaled deeply enough.

Fast-forward to today. Fast-forward to me. It’s funny, despite the little to no tangible influence, you’ll find all the same culinary tendencies in me. And if you know me, you know that food is a driving force in my life. Any given Saturday morning you may find me fermenting salami in our guest bathroom, attempting to make gochujang (because that old Korean lady at the market said I can’t do it—and I’ve failed twice!), or nose-deep in one of the hundreds of cookbooks I cannot bring myself to stop acquiring.

So, that said, this journey is dedicated to my grandfather who has unknowingly passed through his genes this insatiable culinary curiosity; to my mother, Jean, who has stoked  that fire with her own cooking, guidance and love for food and our family; to my father, Mike, who has worked much harder than most to provide for us; and to my lovely wife, Lisa, a talented artist, pastry chef, and continual source of inspiration, encouraging me to be a better cook—and more importantly, a better man.


Kyle's Signature

Kyle Hildebrant

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21 Responses to “It’s in My Blood”

  1. Dena Hamlin January 19, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    Bravo! Bravo! Well written words from the heart and beautiful food from the heart as well. Congratulations on the birth of your new blog!

    • Kyle Hildebrant January 19, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

      Thank you, Dena!

  2. Yvonne Perez Emerson January 19, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

    Yeah! Love the story! Awesome for you to follow this passion. Looking forward to reading more.

    • Kyle Hildebrant January 19, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

      Thank you, Yvonne. I appreciate that.

  3. Sasha January 19, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

    Okay, so reading this almost brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful tribute to our Grandparents! I can’t wait to read more.

    • Kyle Hildebrant January 19, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

      That makes me happy, Sasha. Thank you! Now I need to get Carmen to let me borrow Gram’s recipe book.

  4. Chris Lee January 19, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

    Awesome story. I can feel it. :) Want to see some snaps of your cookbook collection someday too!

  5. Julia Malone January 20, 2014 at 8:42 am #

    I love the Orson Welles quote. I may have made a four person meal for just myself before…not one that took days though! Your passion with this is inspiring. Only the best for Kyle Hildebrant!

    • Kyle Hildebrant January 20, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

      Malone! Danke. I appreciate that. ;)

  6. Gary Knudson January 20, 2014 at 11:50 am #

    Well done! Looking forward to being demoralized and inspired by your culinary exploits!

    • Kyle Hildebrant January 20, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

      Thanks, Gary. I’m fairly certain the cooking an elaborate meal in no way compares to raising a brood of kids. :) So you’ve got me there.

  7. mike hildebrant January 20, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    Kyle; Glad your memories of grandad Garton are good ones. But most of all glad you have a hobby that brings you enjoyment. Your mom and I are proud of your accomplishments and most of all thank God that you and Lisa are happy.

    • Kyle Hildebrant January 20, 2014 at 3:13 pm #


  8. typegirl January 20, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

    What a great way to start!! Thank you so much for sharing this story. Heartfelt and real. I’ll be following along on your adventures for sure.

  9. Kelly Montoya January 20, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    Bravo Kyle!!!

    • Kyle Hildebrant January 20, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

      Thank you, Kelly. I appreciate that coming from a talent like yourself. ;)

  10. Vicki Carter January 21, 2014 at 12:51 am #

    Kyle, everything about this is wonderful, just wonderful. Congratulations. Consider me your humble long distance apprentice!

  11. Jeffrey L.J. Thomas January 22, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    Now if only you would come up with that scratch and taste app…wonderful gems so far. And less filling.

    • Kyle Hildebrant January 23, 2014 at 10:53 am #


  12. Deane November 9, 2014 at 7:43 am #

    Asian Pickles by Karen Solomon has a gochujang recipe. May or may not be what you’re looking for. Even if it isn’t, who can resist a cookbook on Asian pickles?

    • Kyle Hildebrant November 11, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

      Thank you. I’ve had my eye on that for a while now. Maybe it’s time to pull the trigger.

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