Monday, November 14, 2011

Thoughts from the Underbelly: Part 1

When I was weighing the pros and cons of transitioning from the corporate office to the kitchen, in retrospect, I realize that I was focusing primarily on the pros. I looked at all the things that the experience could provide for me. Deconstructed every argument against it with such conviction that I knew that the move was inevitable.


Are we all born into our jobs, or do our life experience dictate where we ultimately end up in the vast social-microcosm that we call "careers"?

I stumbled into the food industry as a relatively older player, playing in a game usually left to more energetic youth. However, I refer to these "youth" with the utmost respect and admiration. Many of us don't think twice about where their plate of food comes from. Whether it's a $43 plate of lamb loin sous vide with lamb shank cannelloni, or a $14 plate of spaghetti bolognese, chances are someone who is a fraction of my age prepared it.

Part of my fascination with food is deeply rooted in how two very different people can take the very same ingredients, and come up with two very different preparations. Evidently, creativity is boundless and theoretically limited only by one's reservations. How do you overcome these restrictions on creativity? Better yet, how do you harness and nurture it?

I hesitate to categorize my enjoyment of food merely as a "hobby", a "phase", or even a "passion". I don't think either extreme is healthy, and does it even need to be categorized at all? As someone who's nearing 30, time is of the essence, and I would be lying if I said I didn't feel some pressure to "figure this all out".

Why do I struggle in making a decision that at first thought, feels like the right decision, only to succumb to the debilitating desire for a stable pay cheque? If we all did things for money, then artists and musicians would not exist, creativity dwindles and fades. Not saying that I'm either Rembrandt or Blumenthal by any stretch of the imagination, but who said it was a prerequisite?

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