Obscure Ingredients is a joint project created by Kim Place-Gateau and Jamie Gateau in San Diego, California. It’s the product of our joint obsessions—food, eating, cooking, travel, technology, inspiring people, intriguing projects and fascinating events from around the world.
Jamie somehow fashioned a career in the Navy out of a desire to be an astronaut and a love for all things geeky. Unfortunately, the astronaut thing didn’t work out (an ejection from a Hornet put an end to that dream), but the geek thing has led to advanced degrees, stints on both coasts and Europe and a bag of skills which include understanding nearly everything at xkcd as well as, unfortunately, Dilbert. Between explaining how truly arcane tech things have a real impact on our lives to his wife and how to spell TCP/IP to his coworkers, he realized that there are probably a broad swath of people who might benefit from the same info and who don’t have 10,000 hours to devote to something about which they don’t deeply care. And here we are.
Kim grew up on the East Coast, the West Coast, the Gulf Coast and coastal Europe. Her interest in food and cooking began in college, when she got fired from a florist shop and asked a buddy of hers to hook her up with a job at a busy local restaurant. There she learned that her ability to concentrate on multiple rote tasks in a chaotic situation and work in temperatures exceeding 110°F actually had some utility—she cleaned up as a waitress and eventually learned to cook the line in a busy, hot, tiny kitchen. Since then she’s completed grad school twice, has moved to Europe and back twice, and owned a restaurant twice. She also got married, but only once. While cobbling together a living as a freelance writer, she cooks, eats, writes, travels when possible and scours the internet for amazing food blogs, inspiring photographs and the sort of writing that makes her want to be a better writer. Her professional portfolio can be found at KimPlaceGateau.com, you can find her visual inspiration at her Tumblr, and, if you’re so inclined, you can follow her on Twitter.