Thursday, September 8, 2011

Changing The World With Food

The lights are off and all I can hear is the snoring dog at my feet.  It is almost midnight and I am wide awake. Why is it that I am such a night owl?  Some people have told me that they find their best inspiration in the shower.  Not this guy, I mean I may sing a little too much, but no bright ideas.  No, I seem to find my best inspiration when most folks are sleeping.  I am not sure why, but it has been that way for a while now.  I think of a lot of things, its like my brain kicks into overdrive or something and I am brainstorming with me , myself, and I.

One of the questions I always seem to wrestle with is what I should write about on this blog.  I know I want to write, but sometimes I have so many ideas its hard to nail down just one.  Sometimes its a topic that jumps up and slaps me in the face and its easy, other times its much harder.  Then it hit me, forget trying to discover some magic idea and just shoot from the hip.  Yeah easier said than done for me, I don't have much hip action, its a scary sight. 

Tonight my shoot from the hip idea or better yet question is if you could change the world with food what would you do?

What a huge undertaking to be asked to change the world, but is it that hard if you really give it some thought?  Changing the world with food doesn't have to be a big idea it just needs to be a good idea that can grow big and become infectious. I would like to see people who would never sit across from each other be able to communicate by using food.  By this I would hope they would be able to express who they are by making food with love that is laced with sincerity.  I am not really talking about world leaders here either, no more like that family member you haven't talked to in months or that friend you gave up on five years ago.  I find that petty differences seem to wedge themselves between us and maybe just a simple jester of food is just what the doctor ordered to at least bring these forgotten friends and family members back to the table.

So is that too big?  Could that be infectious?  Sure I think so, but first one must put aside the ego and stubbornness and stop holding ill willed grudges.  Offering food to another person is a very intimate thing and can be used to not only provide sustenance to  your body but also to your soul.

So what would you do?  Challenge yourself and be inspired to change the world one meal at a time.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Almost Done And It Feels So Delicious

 “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own.And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go.”
                                                                                          -Dr Seuss

      So as I head into the last two terms at Culinary school I am met with anxiety and impatience.  The funny thing is I think that is how I felt the first day I walked into Cooking 1 two years ago.  So I suppose nothing has changed, but that would be incorrect, everything has changed. On my first day my anxiety stemmed from the unknown and what it would bring.  Thoughts then ranged from complete horror to embarrassment and the idea that I may be making the biggest mistake of my life.  Through the two years I have spent in my uniform at school I have learned a lot about cooking but it seems I learned even more from myself.  I learned that making mistakes doesn't mean you failed, it means you get another chance to be the best.  I never felt confident enough in anything in my life where I felt like I could challenge the best until I started Culinary school.  The trust I learned from myself was priceless and that trait will be with me everyday I hone my knife to head into battle on dinner service.

As for impatience it is a much easier explanation, I am inpatient and always will be.

So with school coming to an end soon I find a lot of folks asking me what I plan on doing when I am graduated.

"What?" , I thought to myself.  "You mean I have to get a real job and actually do this for a living.  You mean I can't just be a ten year student and live off employee dinners at the restaurant for the rest of my life."

     This is now the first time I have been asked that question when it didn't make me quiver in fear.  Reason being is because I didn't have the skill set or confidence level to imagine working professionally.  But now I do feel a lot more confident in my abilities but do I have the stamina?  Time will tell but one thing is for sure I will be having fun no matter what.

I know I am making all this sound like fun and games but it is not.  Far from it, it's hard work, it's crazy hours, it's scrubbing and cleaning every night.  Although it is empowering, it's exciting and and its a passion, and that is why cooking is so delicious.