What’s In A Name?

The giving of a name gives life to an individual or an idea, a dream. It gives impression of a particular personality. That’s why our parents took so much time to name us before we were born. The seed for True Color Cooking was planted about 20 years ago when I was working for the AIDS Service Agency of Raleigh, NC. I was the community educator and care giver at Housted House, a residence for men and women with a diagnosis of AIDS, in the last 6 months of their lives.

The scope of my relationships and my skills as a chaplain and musician gave me the opportunity to participate in numerous memorial services. Cindy Lauper’s “True Colors”, a new release then, was very popular. I sang it often in celebration of a life bravely live in truth.

Years past and a dozen job skill sets later I met a professional photographer named Bob. We shared a joy of waltz and contra dancing. Bob could capture the instant of joy on a face of a dancer. When we met I had also started catering for dance weekends. He was usually in attendance and took pictures of me dancing and my food landscapes, then known as Edible Escapes. Thousands of photographs and then one day Bob was gone.

Months later I was asked by his widow to officiate at his memorial service. There we all sat in several layers of circles, altar in the middle and surrounded by Bob’s photographs silently shifting in and out of focus on three giant screens. After a brief welcome I sang “True Colors” changing the last verse to speak of Bob … then spoke … “Bob revealed our true colors in every photograph he took … how did he reveal his true colors to you?” The stories poured, gushed forth for more than an hour.

Bob helped me to see my true self in the moment of a photograph … my intent with True Color Cooking is to support your best self by following the Slow Food Movement, combining locally grown foods from sustainable agriculture methods in a manner that respects humanity and celebrates the ritual of food in all our lives. See and be your true self … let your true colors shine!

Photography by Brent Fleury (brent@boldlife.com), Andy Estes, Bob Bennett, Dennis Merritt, Dave Pokorney. Uniform Embroidery: Lantana Productions; Knives Sharpened by Ray Kilby 828.776.8800

ServSafe Certified # 15255191 Expires 6/12/22; Member American Culinary Federation #192779 Chapter NC02; CNA Small Business Service Center – Liability Insurance policy #3012157985. True Color Cooking is a division of True Color Services, LLC