One-Armed Mirepoix

Leite's Culinaria

Of all the bad things that could befall a baby, what happened to me was perhaps the best of the worst. I was born with only one arm. Well, sort of. Technically, I was born with radial aplasia, a condition that made my right arm about the size and shape of a plucked turkey wing. The arm is good only as a place to occasionally hang grilling tongs or shopping bags.

Yet since I never had a right arm, I never missed having a right arm, and I grew up a happy kid who tied his shoes, played sports, and was exempt from rope-climbing during gym class. I never thought that my being short an arm would interfere with anything I wanted to do, let alone what I wanted to do for a living, unless I suddenly decided to try my luck as a boxer. So I was surprised that it complicated the job I finally took on, that of a food writer …

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on the James Beard Award-winning Leite’s Culinaria