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Food Appreciation

Where My Love of Great Cuisine Began & a Passion for more than Sausage!

As someone who has worked in the “Adult Film Industry” (sounds so much better than “Porno”) for more than 14 years, I have against all odds evolved into something of a foodie, by my own proclamation I will admit. Will I eat still-alive slithering eels that wiggle on my fork? Fuck no I won’t! But am I learning to expand my tastes and interests in ethnic foods and foods that are out of the realm of most Americans? Yes, I believe I am.

I grew up with a single mom who worked a 40 hour week so my meals consisted of beef jerky and a lot of ramen noodles. Nutrition wasn’t something that was discussed and adventurous eating was discouraged. To this day my mother only makes 3 or 4 things and refuses to try things that she isn’t already familiar with and pours pepper on everything even before she tries it. My father’s side is Sicilian and they do the Sunday dinner at grandma’s house with the lamb chops and pasta with sauce but that was only the one day a week and again, the variations were few as it was always a set menu that rarely deviated in the least.

I learned to eat on the go as most Americans do and so I deprived myself of years of great meals. I grew up in LA meaning I had access to Korea town and China town and great Persian food, but I ate Macho Tacos at Del Taco and when I was feeling frisky I had a meal at Cupid’s hot dogs for a chili dog and fries with a large diet coke. There was this Mecca of great ethnic foods so close and I had no idea, or desire to even seek out anything new.

I would have to say that my first real culinary experience was when I went to Barcelona for the first time. I ate all kinds of interesting things in endless plates of Tapas and learned to drink the right wine with certain foods. I came home from that trip and went out and bought a new set of very high end cookware and started playing around in the kitchen.

I am by no means a chef, and barely qualify as a cook, but I love cooking so much and bringing that joy to those that eat my food with lust in their hearts. Since I was 18 I have fed the carnal desires of men with my on-screen performances and that’s all good and dandy and all, but that isn’t original nor is it difficult to do. Pretty much any girl willing to get naked and get down on camera can have a career, so I am in no way special for being famous for my career in porn. But now I am enjoying cooking for my friends and seeing the pleasure that they get from my homemade pizza and my steak pizziaola and my truffle mac n cheese. I love to go out in my back yard and cut some banana leafs and then sit and think of what I can try and cook in them. I go out in my boat and catch Pompano or flounder and cannot wait to fry some bananas and make coconut rice and then think of a new way to prepare these delicate wonderful fish. I know I am not breaking new ground here, but for me this is like seeing the light when you hopelessness has overcome you. It’s like an epiphany to me and for the first time in my 32 years I am inspired. Not to make money with it, but to be fulfilled and to do something I am really proud of. Now don’t get me wrong, I have been proud of many given blow jobs in my life and I enjoy it because I know I am fucking great at it. But this is different. This is about more than me and is something that I am very proud of and hope to grow into something bigger and better and expand my horizons beyond anything I have ever done in my life. I doubt I will ever be a chef because when I eat at a place like Momofuku I am in awe. I am not just kissing Mr Chang’s ass here, I am fucking serious. His food is like art to me. I love good French food and Italian food can be great also but the things he makes are on another level and I don’t think I have that capability in me. I wish I did, but I am a realist.

I am not the only porn chick who ever shot a cooking video, but from what I understand they all did it while naked. I don’t want to do that. That to me insults the craft and defeats the entire purpose. Just sit on a cucumber and be done with it hooker, instead of making crème Brule in a thong. Seriously?

In today’s climate of competition cooking shows and entire cable networks dedicated to cooking the wonders of a great culinary experience are beginning to spread to the masses which is a good thing. It was once only Julia Childs, and now there are hundreds of TV cooks and each one is prettier than the next.

I just hope that at some point in my life I can put something on a plate that makes someone see it and say “holy shit that looks delicious!”

I have watched the scene from the latest season of Treme when David Chang tries the shrimp n grits with the soft boiled egg and charred scallion fifty times. That is the reaction I dream of. That is what cooking is all about.

Mariah Milano

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