It could be said that Kitty Morse is a culinary version of the famed Indiana Jones movie character. Through books, television shows, newspaper articles, and guided tours, she has taken hundreds of people on adventures into the cuisine and culture of regions around the world. On these epicurean expeditions, she shows them the traditional gourmet sites while at the same time revealing the secrets of the time-tested, far from the mainstream, food traditions of the destination. Trading in the adventurer's tattered brown hat for an apron and the whip for a whisk, she's off to a new land of flavorful cooking with her latest book The California Farm Cookbook.
Morse's food odysseys began when she moved from her native home of Casabalanca, Morocco, to complete work on her master's degree at the University of Wisconsin. She began catering Moroccan parties, delving into a repertoire of family recipes used in diffas (Moroccan tribal feasts). For the past fifteen years she has continued this tradition with teaching, catering, and touring through her company, La Caravane, which hosts annual “adventures in food and travel” to Morocco. Her reputation as a teacher and culinary specialist has prompted requests for her to speak on Middle Eastern and North African cooking for a number of groups with appearances at the Smithsonian Institute, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and the American Institute of Wine and Food.
Moving to Southern California in 1973, she began hosting and directing her own television cooking show, “Food, Etc.” Her new series, “Fresh From the Farm,” is presently airing on cable networks in San Diego County, California. It was there she took an interest in the unique harvests of the state and realized as much as the other exotic destinations she has toured, California offered a bounty of garden and ranch delights. “The American public is already well acquainted with the better-known agricultural products,” says Morse, “but a host of others still deserve to be brought to the attention of a broader range of consumers.” The California Farm Cookbook is the result of her desire to lead readers on a West Coast adventure into some familiar and unfamiliar grounds when it comes to the state's produce. It includes the recipes of the growers, ranchers, and producers themselves for a firsthand look at how these Golden State favorites should best be prepared.
The California Farm Cookbook is not Morse's only documented adventure. She is also the author of a cook's tour of Morocco, a free-lance travel and food writer for The Los Angeles Times Syndicate, and writer of a regular column for Women's Times in San Diego. Her magazine articles have appeared worldwide in publications from Singapore's The Peak to Australian Gourmet Traveler to Traditional Homes Magazine to Le Journal Français d'Amerique to California Grower Magazine. She holds memberships with several notable culinary and writing associations, including the Newspaper Food Editors and Writers Association, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and the Southern California Culinary Guild.