Around the time My family does our annual Chili Fest, I was just figuring out (though, I had pretty much always known) that I wanted to cook.
This revelation came before Josh and I figured out there was more to 500 channels of TV than Comedy Central (which played Scrubs reruns every day from 2:00-3:00 and made for great napping time); Spike (which is how he managed to get me watching CSI); Cartoons, and most recently the channels we spend the most time on when (we’re not busy doing other things): ESPN and the Food Network/Travel Channel. He love sports and doesn’t mind watching Around the Horn, PTI, and the endless crazy loop of Sports Center. I like anything cooking and he actually turned me on to Food Network shows like Next Iron Chef, (the now-dreaded because it plays for hours on end) Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with Guy Fieri, Restaurant Impossible with Robert Irvine, Chopped, etc (as long as it’s nothing with Paula Deen or Rachel Ray).
Anyways, so flashing back to that night… My Uncles, Aunt, 2 sisters and myself had gone for a stroll after dinner and my uncles asked me what it was that I wanted to do with my life. So, I told them, I so wished to cook. The elder of my two uncles asked me if I was sure. Of course I was sure. There was nothing I was more sure about. The younger of the two made mention that those who go into such a field, well, they tend to turn to drinking to cope with the stress. I found that was complete utter bull. For, I, I love to cook and if you love doing something, you have the means to become successful.
They weren’t the first ones to try and dissuade me from this career path. Before that, my Dad’s mum had tried and for her sake I humoured her for a bit and shut up about wanting to cook. I remember the conversation fairly well, in fact. She didn’t understand what I wanted to do. She told me that I was “too smart” to be a chef. The implications there were hurtful. Chefs are far from “dumb”. They’re brilliant. They (or should I say “We” because though I do not cook for a restaurant, I find myself cooking at my boyfriend’s house often enough that his mum should just pay me.) create excellent dishes, write them down, publish them in cook books. They are the people who can work under stress and still create amazing food. Who was my grandmother to insult something I was so passionate and sure about? It stung, a lot. I didn’t want to admit it, but for that, for my Grandmother to suggest that I be a paralegal, someone who sits behind a bloody desk all damn day doing the hard work so lawyers can win cases, it made me resent her a bit. I’m much too lively to be stuck behind a desk or in a stuffy library doing someone else’s work. To me, at the time and now, it’s absurd. Why couldn’t she just understand? I belong among the symphony of cooking food.
So here I am, it’s been about a year. I’m working for a bank, looking for a job in the food industry. You have to start somewhere, and that’s what I want. I want to make enough money to go to school, get some sort of degree, and then go to Paris and learn from (who I consider to be) the best.