I discovered my love of cooking while spending time with my mother who was an avid cook. Her specialty was Southern and Southwestern cuisine. As I helped prepare the meals she would tell me stories of how she learned to cook as a young girl. Tales of tough times after the Great Depression would fill the kitchen and mix with the aroma of fresh baked bread. With each meal she would recount how these simple, yet delicious dishes came to be. For instance, she learned how to make homemade Tortillas and Beans from an old Mexican woman, her bean pot simmering in a pit in the ground while her skilled hands formed the tortillas for her family. Many stories accompanied each meal leaving me with the feeling that I was preparing something much more than just the evening’s dinner.
Along the way, I became intrigued with other cuisines of the world. Having friends from other countries in my hometown, I had the pleasure of sharing in their traditional meals. At the dinner table I would be transported to Spain, Italy and Germany through these new and wonderful meals.
In 1983, I relocated to Madrid, where I spent most of my time traveling throughout Spain and Morocco while studying the culture and food of this beautiful region. Upon returning to the States, I attended Berklee College of Music in Boston to study my other passion. It was here that I was exposed to every kind of cuisine imaginable: Asian, Indian, South American and of course, some of New England’s best restaurants. I began buying cookbooks and trying out recipes on friends during simple get-togethers and also for large “theme” dinner parties, such as “Sushi Night at Shirlé’s.”
I have since traveled throughout America, Europe and Canada in pursuit of all the culinary treats the world has to offer. From these experiences, I have continued my quest for cuisine from THE FOUR CORNERS of the EARTH. The one thing I haven’t forgotten is what my mother taught me in my young ‘cheffing’ days…that delicious food doesn’t need to have a lot ot ingredients to make you feel like you’ve traveled to some far away land.
Welcome to Four Corners Cuisine!
Chef Shirlé Hale-Koslowski