It is so impressive when a person says that she will just “whip something up” for dinner…especially when it isn’t followed by a hasty trip home to flip through cookbooks, then a mad dash to the grocery to buy eight out of the ten ingredients on the list. I could outright lie and also “whip something up,” but what if I am on a weekend getaway with friends with nary a cookbook in sight? I could look up a recipe on my phone, but it would become quite obvious when I keep checking it as I cook. That or my friends will think I am a paranoid phone freak.

It would also be wonderful if I could pull together a dish using the ingredients on hand. When I shop for a recipe, I have two options: quadruple the recipe and find a football team to feed, or watch the ingredients rot in my refrigerator…making that $20 dish end up burning a $40 hole in my wallet.

And so my journey began.

I signed up for numerous culinary classes, learning techniques such as poaching, braising, roasting and de-glazing. I enjoyed all of these classes over the years, but always preferred the technique-focused classes over those that just taught you how to make specific dishes. Once I understood why a specific technique is used, I could apply it based on the quality of the ingredients I have to work with or the resulting effect I want to achieve—a batman utility belt of sorts.

However, cooking without a recipe still eluded me, until I realized that I only covered half of it. Knowledge of the techniques enabled me to figure out the instructions section, but I was missing an understanding of the ingredients list. Which ingredients combine to create complex, balanced flavors? How do the tastes of sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami work together so that I pat my belly contentedly after a sumptuous meal? If flavor is a combination of taste and smell, how can I take advantage of sniffing produce and herbs at the market for inspiration?

And so the next leg of my journey begins.

I started this blog to explore why the flavors work well together in recipes from my cookbook collection, friends and websites. I then experiment with creating my own recipes based on the flavor principles that I discover along the way.

34 Responses to “About”

  1. Jennifer

    Congratulations on your new foodblog! Your first recipe sounds scrumptious! I can’t wait to read more simple yet showcase-worthy recipes. Keep ’em coming.

  2. Chris

    Hazel, wow had no idea you were pusuing a takeover of the food world, love it!!
    Best Wishes with this new idea and look forward to following along, love the grilled peach recipe, may have to drop the prosciutto due to wife being Vegetarian, but dee-lish none the less!!

    • tastypursuits

      Thanks Chris! Shhhh…don’t tell anyone about the master plan; otherwise, I lose the element of surprise!

      I have a number of vegetarian recipes lined up and am also working on creating my own fig and honey ice cream recipe.

  3. Rachna Verma

    Hi Hazel,

    I am COMPLETELY blown away with your passion for food, its so refreshing!!

    I’m going to remember all of this as ‘I knew Hazel Sy when …’ I’ll be looking out for you on the San Pellegrino list of world’s best restaurants in years to come.

    Continue doing what you’re doing bc you obviously love it!

    Take care

  4. Shirley

    yum…all these receipes are making me hungry.
    remember – I’m always available to be your “food tester”!

  5. Fred

    Hi Hazel,

    Good luck with the new blog! Looks like you’ve got it going quite strong so far! I’m always willing to swap dessert recipes/ideas!

    Fred M.

  6. Mike M.


    Hope told us about your blog, and I’m so glad we checked it out – keep up the good work! Hope to see you soon and that you have some of your latest creations with you! Mike and Evelyn M.

    • tastypursuits

      Thanks! These days I always bring some sort of dish or baked goodies with me. I can’t possibly eat all of the food that I make!

  7. Bob F

    Cindy and I will try to attend your demo this weekend, schedule permitting.

    The blog is gorgeous! And the pics! Shouldn’t be surprised, you always had a great eye for detail.

    Keep em coming, Haze. Can’t wait to savor the next article (and dish!)

  8. Jacqui U.

    I had no idea you are a foodie as well. Must run in the family! Good Luck and this looks great!

  9. Germán


    I got really upset when TastyPursuits started following me on twitter. I was like “No way! That’s Hazel’s website. I’m going to hunt this person down and make them pay!. Then I realized it was you :). I’m extremely impressed with this side of you. All these years I didn’t know. I wish I did…I am one of those people that, unfortunately, live to eat not eat to live. Love reading these blogs. Keep them coming.

  10. salvatore

    LOVE your stuff here.
    call me at 646-241-8198 to go over scheduling a food meetup with photo 101.


  11. tastypursuits

    Thank you Scott! I would love to do a cooking/teaching class. Its so nice to give back to the community while doing something that I love…then it isn’t work, it’s just plain FUN! I will contact Gina early next week.

  12. Kevin Ramon

    Hi, I love your blog. You have a true passion for food. Thanks.

  13. orange juice juicer

    As I crossed the street, I saw a man parked by the donation center taking a juicer out of his car.
    The majority of the vegetable recipes include carrots as one of the staple ingredients.
    We found this space age juicer could swallow whole fruit
    or vegetables in an instant and produce great tasting juice for the family to enjoy
    every time we tried it.

  14. Karen

    Do you have the recipe for Tangy tomato Chutney please ?
    I can’t find it this year put it in a safe pla ve and forgotten where !
    Thanks Karen


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