Food Memories: The Grown Up Tuna Casserole
Film by Sara WashingtonRecipe by Nick Adams
Nick Adams graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a bachelor’s degree in Literature and, soon after, got a job in media relations in Berkeley.
He didn’t particularly care for it.
“I was not good behind a desk,” he told me. “We came to that conclusion.” He was, however, good with food. He was quite passionate about it, in fact, as anyone could see from the leftovers he would bring into work everyday. After a year and a half he decided to abandon the desk all together and took a job as a busser in a restaurant in the Lower Haight in San Francisco. He did this with the intention of working his way into the kitchen which, he admits, took much longer than he thought it would. Six months of bussing tables got him to the super-glamorous position of fryer, “You know, that guy in the kitchen that is cover in oil and smells like grease all the time,” he laughed. “But one of the first chefs I worked with told me ‘Just look to your right and work harder than the guy standing next to you, and you’ll move up.’ So that’s what I did. I kept looking right and, ten years later, here we are.”
When I told Nick about the Food&_ Food Memories series his eyes lit up and he knew, immediately, that he wanted to do his version of his father’s tuna casserole. “Give me a few days to think about and maybe I can come up with something better,” he said, but he never did. Of all of the dishes that his parents made for him as a child many of them stand out, but none quite as much as this one.