Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thoughts from the Underbelly: Part 3

This was a continuation of my thoughts when I was about 2 months away from making my decision. In my mind, I felt that the decision had already been made. I just needed something to catalyze the events. In the coming weeks, I was so disinterested in my regular job, that waking up felt like I had killed a cat the night before. The guilt of living day-to-day with little or no motivation were like wounds that refused to heal. It become an exercise in futility.


Sharing hardship breeds unity. Acquiescing to experience brings respect and humbleness. And unless you have worked in a professional kitchen, it is impossible to understand that free-form universe grounded in repetition that is known as professional cooking.

The best moment in a cook’s career, the time they invariably miss most is that safe, one-of-kind place where everyone knows their role and there is a hard-nosed camaraderie that exists between those who share the same passions. Being with such a close-knit family that can only have developed when everyone survives an adrenaline-fueled service. Nightly battles in the trenches, when the pressure was so intense, and the thought of being thrown off-line so imminent, that you struggle to keep breathing. Then the greatest moment comes when you finally "get it". The moment when you realize that you are cooking without realizing how you're actually doing it. Your actions become so automatic that you go from low-boy to pan, and pan to plate, without even knowing it.

Ultimately, what I would like to gain from all this, is a sense of identity, a sense of belonging, and to find something that continually lets me learn throughout my life. I’m not interested in something that has a ceiling, something with boundaries and restrictions. What I want is room to grow, a medium in which I can discover who I really am, what I can really do, and what my true potentials are. I may not be cooking all my life, but if I’m serious about this, it’s a fundamental step in the journey to understand myself.

I've always been willing to show others what I know and what I’ve learned from those who cared enough to show me. I want to inspire others to follow a dream that most people find too daunting and too unrewarding. Cooking professionally definitely isn’t for everyone, but isn’t the chance to realize your potential better than doing what's considered “safe”?

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