Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Pre-2009 Era

I guess I should begin by telling everyone a little something about the angle I'm coming from. So I'm calling this post the "pre-2009" era.

First of all, I come from a Chinese-Canadian family who, not unlike many others at the time, decided to get into the restaurant business. Suffice it to say that growing up in a restaurant serving horridly Westernized Chinese food, was not without its challenges. Though I fought tooth-and-nail to have a general appreciation for food, it was a difficult when your biggest seller were chicken balls (last time I checked, chickens didn't have balls... and they certainly wouldn't have been white meat).

Juggling school and restaurant was an intriguing experience that I suppose helped shaped who I was at the time. In retrospect, perhaps it could have turned out differently, but I digress...

Having gone through the usual high school to university transition, and graduating with an honours degree in biological chemistry, social norms thought it was time for me to get a job. So I did. Fresh out of university, and high on the freedoms that my job, and my income provided, everything felt... well, felt "right". But was it? That depends on who you ask.

Seven years, and several promotions later, the definition of "right" started to become a bit foggy. So I did what any 27-year old did to set things "right". I went to culinary school.

Perhaps it was a response to something I hadn't done in my early years. To rebel, to challenge, or to simply do everything in my power to piss off my family. After all, you could imagine how the conversations went: 'um, Dad?' 'Yes, son.' 'Remember when you had to work so hard to get me through school so that I wouldn't have to labour like you did? Well, I'm thinking of actually CHOOSING to have the kind of life you did!' *blank stare* You get the idea.

Ironically, my parents never really had a short leash on my career aspirations in my adult years. So I went to culinary school. And in 2009, on a frosty day in November during a class on food theory, that's where I got my break.

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