James Barry

Project Manager, Ramble

I have two brothers and two sisters, and sometimes my parents would drop us off at a family friends so they could go out for a night. We loved it. They let us watch lots of TV, they had better snacks than us, it was amazing. This one night in particular we were watching Superman. My littlest brother Michael ,who was a toddler at the time, seemed particularly taken by it. The movie ended, and we all just started playing, or fighting or begging for ice cream, or whatever it is that kids do.  

All of a sudden my other brother comes running up into the main room fairly frantically, saying something about Michael and stairs. We all run to the basement stairs, where Michael is sprawled out at the bottom crying, with a bloody mouth. No one seems to know what preceded this scene, but everyone freaks out and he gets rushed to the hospital, where we find out he's knocked out his two front teeth.

Chances are he just tripped and fell down the stairs, but I like to think that he was so inspired by Superman's abilities to fly that he thought he'd test his own abilities in the most bad ass way possible - by jumping down the Plunkett's basement stairs head first.

When I was a kid I used to love banging my head against the comfortable, padded head-rest of my high chair every time we sat down for a meal at home.  One night my parents decided to take us out for a meal instead, where they had wooden high chairs instead of the plush luxury my thrashing skull was used to bouncing against. I cracked my head back, smashed into the wood with a ton of force, and erupted into tears.  My dad still laughs every time he tells the story.

Now I like to cook at home, but more so if I'm cooking for friends  If I'm only cooking for myself I like to keep it pretty simple. I really really love going out for food, and it's where I end up spending a lot of my disposable income. I've yet to find a 'bring from home meal' that can even compare to spending a six or seven dollars on a sub from Thi Thi or a breakfast sandwich from Cucina. Freshness and proven combinations of ingredients at a reasonable price always win out over a refrigerated grey-looking salami sandwich.

I love food, and I'm incredibly grateful to all the talented people that make it so good. This project is great because it's all about those people, in their truest form.  It's not selling you anything - it's letting you hang out with these people, hear their stories and learn how they think. We're really lucky to be meeting and hanging out with all these talented passionate people, and helping to tell these stories.