Curtis Stone For Hy-Vee
To understand Curtis better, imagine growing up in Melbourne, a lovely seaside city on the southern coast of Australia. Born in 1975, he was the middle child with an older brother and a younger sister. His single mother, Lorraine, ran a modest home and small florist shop in a working-class neighborhood, and Curtis speaks of her with warmth and affection. His mother and father, Bryan, split when Curtis was very young.
To help with expenses, Lorraine taught the kids to grow vegetables and raise chickens. Curtis plucked more than a few, though eggs were the primary purpose of the small flock.
"My uncle was from the country, so he'd take my brother and me out in the fields to catch rabbits. I grew up in natural environment," he says. "If you pull carrots out of the ground and are familiar with taking game at a young age, you start having an appreciation for these natural foods."
Partnering with Hy-Vee
As he partners with Hy-Vee over the next few years Curtis hopes that Hy-Vee shoppers gain from his experiences. His goal is to offer recipes that fit everyday life and help families draw closer as they engage around their meals. He also hopes that customers are as enthusiastic about the store as he is.
"The first time I was in a Hy-Vee, I had just darted in to pick up some extra ingredients for a dish," he says. "Wow, what a grocery store! You know, you think that this is the middle of the country and you won't have access to all you can get in LA or some other big city. But I was blown away just walking down the produce aisle."
He also discovered a store that had a set of values similar to his own.
"I love that Hy-Vee focuses on local farming and seasonality. And the fact that they have nutritionists in their stores is great. This matches with their core values about food and family. It's not all about just selling you everything. It's important to give you the tools to live healthy, sustainable lives," he says.