20th Anniversary Essay Contest

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As you may remember, a few months ago we asked you, our customers, to share your stories about Central Market and your food journey with us as part of our 20th Anniversary celebration, in hopes of winning the ultimate foodie getaway to Italy and France. We had more than 400 amazing submissions and the Central Market Leadership team had such a great time reading and viewing all the submissions. So thank you to all that submitted stories.

Today, we are so happy to congratulate Joseph Segura from our Broadway store for is winning submission. Joseph went from being a foodie outsider to an epicurean adventurer over the course of the last five years. And that we were such a big part of that journey really touched us. You can read Joseph's full essay submission below:

For the first thirty-eight years of my life, I was a foodie outsider – an epicurean Holden Caulfield or Ponyboy Curtis. I was not really into food. I used to think hummus was just some snooty dip. Then one fateful day five years ago, my wife forced me to watch Julie and Julia. Soon afterward, I bought a copy of The Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. I traveled 40 miles to Central Market not because my wife asked me to pick something up that wasn’t available at our local HEB, but because I wanted to visit the mecca of gastronomy. My whole food world changed. It was a culinary paradigm shift. I never knew there was such a thing as ground white pepper. Central Market helped me broaden my food horizon. I became a foodie terminator. I absolutely would not stop – ever! I turned to Central Market to provide me with the finest, freshest ingredients for all of my new foodie adventures. I began to tell the cashiers, “I’ll be back!” Central Market taught me about smoked Gouda, bison burgers, and apple-smoked bacon. It was love at first bite.
 
I began to watch foodie travel shows with a passion. I became addicted to Anthony Bourdain. My wife and I started to throw crawfish boil parties. We made the perfect paella for our holiday guests. I learned to make French macaroons from a Martha Stewart recipe. Central Market sparked a burning desire for fine food.
 
Delectable food became a hobby. I began to make Central Market “recon trips” where I would study the spices, cheese, wine, meats and all the beautiful bread available. I made croquet monsieur and croquet madame for my wife and myself. Monsieur for the madame and madame for the monsieur. I started including lavender flowers in my pancakes and whisking up omelets with tarragon and goat cheese. I began firing up pepper pachanga pesto on Thursday afternoons. I dabbled in shakshuka with feta. You betcha! I even made a Valentine’s Day Aphrodisiacs dinner for my wife. Cupid gained 15 pounds. Our parties became freakin’ fabulous. These weren’t Great Gatsby style soirees, but Clinton Kelly would be proud.
 
Like a gastronomic Franz Kafka, Central Market ultimately began a foodie metamorphosis within me. Food is now a frequent topic of conversation. “What did you have for lunch? Was it presented well?” Recipes are now adventures. It’s not uncommon to spend an entire Saturday afternoon in the kitchen experimenting with a Julia Child recipe and a bottle of red wine. I used to keep a travel journal, but now I also keep a beer and wine journal. It’s a startling transformation. I’ve been changed into a foodie Hulk. Bad food makes me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.
 
I now consider myself a foodie insider. In the never ending pursuit for fine food, it’s tremendous to have a resource like Central Market. As Ponyboy was told in The Outsiders, “Stay gold, Central Market. Stay gold.”
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We would also like to congratulate the following early birds, who were the first 25 customers to submit stories, and will also receive $25 Central Market gift cards.