Monday, November 23, 2009

From a few weeks ago...

Blogging is weird.  It's hard to find your own voice and feel like you have purpose to your dribble.  I'm going to throw one up in the spirit of not letting the blog die.  I'll be better about this in the future.

First impressions on the inside:

Starting from scratch in the kitchen is like doing any skill or sport for the first time.  My body isn't trained in these motions yet.  As a result, I look a little awkward and feel a little slow (in comparison to the guy chopping at the speed of light next to me).  In addition, it's like my nose overdosed on herbal crack.  After picking herbs for a few hours, it takes a while to come down and stop smelling things through the filter of thyme and parsely.  My point here being that I feel like a real newb and tourist in the kitchen, working slowly and taking snapshots of everything that is normal and average to the local cooks.

Nevertheless, even though I'm really excited to be there, work still work.  Manual labor is tiring.  Really tiring.  I am told this will improve with time, but for the moment I need to focus on beefing up my stamina.

Despite the feined excitement I get from so many when I tell them I shelled beans for four hours, the job IS exciting.  To me.  I can categorically say that after that fourth hour of shelling beans, my speed had increased and I was in the process of learning that motion.  Though like any sport, even prep cooking requires hours and hours...wait no, years of practice to work efficiently.
So while everyday I've been at this job and been thrilled by my improving mediocrity, it's hard to envision how I'm going to get from point A to point B.  The pace upwards is slow, at least it seems that way right now.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


The path that led me to food is not the smoothest or the straightest, but between the lines it's incredibly logical.

Ever since I can remember I've enjoyed food possibly more than anyone else I know.  If it's not delicious it's probably not worth eating. Food is more than substinence; it's one of the greatest joys in life.

Nevertheless, before I had a clue about my life and passions, higher education was important to me (and still is for that matter - for the skills I've learned and experiences I've gathered).  I graduated with a history degree from UW, lived a year in Paris, France studying political science, and spent 3 months in Bosnia i Herzegovina discovering history, culture, and literature through another exchange.  Afterwords I worked 7 months in Moscow, Russia teaching English and contemplating my future (a very painstaking process - Alice - if you're reading - you know this).

All these experiences were very important to me and more or less needed to happen for me to end up where I am today.  Particularly in Russia, the first post-graduate job I ever had, I needed to think critically about my interests now and my vision for myself in the future.  I think I drove my roommate Alice mad changing my career every week, if not more.  Ultimately I determined that the life of the expat was no life for me.
"If you love what you do you don't work a day in your life."
I remembered this quote and pined after it.  Wouldn't this be ideal?  The more I thought about it the more I was drawn to the culinary arts.  In the real world what matters most is the quality of life you lead.  While I have very little 'real world' experience I am most certain of this.  I need to surround myself with something I love, and something that can permeate through the different stratas of my life - work - friends - family.  Something like food.

And so it was.  I separated from my job as a teacher and brought public my life long love affair with food.  It's at least worth a shot...

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