Whats4eats is a celebration of the various cuisines of the world. It started as a big, messy box of recipes that moved around the country with me for years. It went on the web in 1999 as a way of getting rid of that box.
My name is Brad Harvey. In the early 1990s, I was working toward a PhD in political science when I suddenly realized I would be miserable continuing on that path. When I should have been writing papers on Eastern European democratization, my favorite means of procrastinating was to spend my time making four-course meals.
I took the hint, moved to New York and got a degree in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. I then spent an exciting yet largely penniless fifteen years working in the restaurant and food industry in both New York and the San Francisco Bay area.
I made the financially motivated move to online media in 2007, managing the food and recipe sections of websites, including that of a major global retailer.
Yet the whole while, Whats4eats remained my special love.
I research each country's cuisine with books, conversations and on the internet. I shop at local ethnic markets and dine at ethnic restaurants every chance I get. I gather menus, eat extravagantly and inquire about local customs in every state and every country I visit.My primary goal with country backgrounds is to provide a brief synopsis of the country's history and the development of its food culture and customs, local ingredients and iconic dishes.
Menus for each country are created on the basis of much research and gustatory investigation. In other words, I read a lot and I eat a lot. With each country's menu section, I try to provide a well-rounded list of dishes that represent the best and most beloved of a country's culinary heritage. That includes not only basic dishes, but also more intricate creations and celebratory items.
To add a recipe, I first find as many versions as possible to see what makes the core of the dish. I then try to cut each dish down to its essentials and, if needed, simplify it. I then cook the dish and revise the recipe before I add it to the website. This involved process takes longer than I like, but it helps me ensure authenticity.
I hope you enjoy the site, appreciate your feedback and love inquiries from around the world. The next time someone asks, "What's for eats?," send 'em here!
You can contact me with questions here.