I am someone like you, except perhaps a BIT more obsessed with food.
Little strikes me as more tragic than missing out on an opportunity to enjoy memorable food, often amplified by its specific ‘terroir’: the atmosphere of the place, the attitude of the servers / owners, and the people with whom I am sharing the experience.
I was born into a Hungarian matriarchy in Ontario. Food was so much more than sustenance. It was celebration, bonding, love. My people feed guests and family as a signal of welcome, of sharing, and of goodwill. Eating to live is simply a waste of a multi-sensory opportunity.
In university, I walked into a dream job, albeit as a volunteer: I was a food critic in the city with the highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada. A decade later, I held a similar post in my new Fraser Valley community, at a time when it was a near wasteland of food possibilities. Quite literally, it was feast versus famine in terms of the two Canadian cities that I covered as a critic.
Now, I am immersed in other work, but food still rents quite a large space in my head. No regrets: there are more dangerous obsessions!