Cecilia Azar Steals The Show
One of the most fulfilling aspects of being a writer is being able to provide a platform for others to shine -- especially when "shining" brings with it valuable information, advice or expertise. In this case, Cecilia Azar offers all three at her young age of fourteen and she throws in a delectable meal or two to boot.
Not unlike her father, Steve Azar, Cecilia is a dynamo in the kitchen. Frankly, she bowled-me-over with her "Roasted Sweet Corn & Red Potato Chowder" recipe. So much so, in fact, that I asked Steve to put his culinary talents and tools down for the week so that his daughter might share some of hers in our weekly cooking section. Proud dad was happy to do so.
Enjoy getting to know Chef Cecilia. The state of Mississippi may just be naming a day after her someday too, just like they did with dear ol' dad!!! The "apple doesn't fall far from the tree" in this family it seems.
What is your full name?
Cecilia Delaney Azar
What is the name of your blog?
How old were you when you launched it?
I launched it in the Summer of 2012. I was eleven years-old.
How did you come up with the name of your blog?
Its name has changed many times since I first started it. I came up with Apricots & Sage a little over a year ago. After looking back through some of my old recipes from when I was younger, I realized I put both "apricots and sage" in almost every thing that I made, and it’s still one of my favorite
combinations. I’ve always loved mixing sweet with savory.
Who inspired you to begin a blog?
One of my older cousins inspired me. She kept a blog of her own and thought it might be nice if I did the same.
Who has been your greatest creative "cooking" influence?
Growing up, I was surrounded by people who loved to cook. I can’t remember a day waking up without Food Network on in our house. Both of my parents love to cook and continue to inspire me, but my dad has always been the more creative one. I always mess with my mom for following recipes too much!
How long have you been passionate about cooking?
As far back as I can remember, I’ve been passionate about food and cooking. I started cooking when I was five years-old (PB&J’s were probably my specialty). My favorite thing about cooking is how much it is like art. Yes, there are some parts of it that involve a little bit of math and science, like baking. Overall, however, cooking is a blank canvas. I also love that there is no "right or wrong, black or white" to cooking. It’s abstract.
What is the goal of your blog?
When I first started my blog, all I wanted was tons and tons of viewers. I usually don’t share it with many people, but just use it as a document and a way to organize all of my recipes. Keeping a blog has helped me stay motivated with my cooking through the years, and I hope it continues to do that.
What do you hope readers gain from your blog?
"Being an inspiration is my greatest aspiration in life." My dad has inspired me with his passion for music and my mom, with her love for being a mother. I want to help others, even if it isn’t because of my blog.
Share your favorite recipe.
This one’s tricky. I don’t usually make the same recipes over again, and I honestly don’t have a certain type of food I like to make. I love it all!
What three ingredients do you always have-on-hand and use most?
Balsamic vinegar, fresh herbs, and citrus (lemons, limes, oranges).
Who is your favorite "Food Network" star?
Giada De Laurentiis. Ever since I started cooking, she’s been my idol. She seems so genuine.
What are your future professional plans in life?
After high school, I’d like to go to college in New Orleans, study health and nutrition, and then go to culinary school afterwards. My biggest dream would be to travel all over the world -- eating and blogging for a couple of years after culinary school. Eventually, I think it would be fun to open a small restaurant or café.
What is your personal mantra?
“If it isn’t perfect, never apologize, no excuses, no explanations.” –Julia Child
I worry too much about pleasing others with my food. Of course, I want other people to enjoy what I make, but I love this quote because it reminds me that not everyone has to like what I like. You’ll never be truly satisfied until you’re content with your own work.
Cecilia, no truer words were ever spoken. It is a lesson many people take years to figure out. Beginning your life understanding this places you leap years closer to achieving all of your dreams and goals -- not to mention, being a great role model for others.
Thanks for sharing your culinary savvy and wisdom combined. It adds dimensions to the flavor each recipe holds. I look forward to more of the same as we add you to the THREAD MB famly on a regular basis!
On a side note, save a seat for me when you reach the point of trekking the world, eating and blogging. "I'm all in!" as your dad would put it.