Intensity. Passion. Adrenaline. This is the life of professional cooking. This is the path I am staring straight down the barrel at. In talking with many Chefs, they hear that I am a gardener and immediately question my sanity. Why on earth would I go from a peaceful world into a world fraught with so much potential chaos? The answer is simple. I have no other choice if I ever want to truly be happy. This is about living life under my own banner of exploration. The minute I step into a kitchen, I feel at home. It is a logical place for me, which is refreshing to my often illogical mind. I have purpose in a kitchen. It’s like a hot shot of espresso straight to my heart. Knives, fire, potentially blood and often that soft finished product at the end, made from things that grew and lived and breathed and ate and flowered and… Ugh! Words.
It’s really the simplest things like a small spoonful of bright orange carrot soup with a garnish of offset chervil leaf is why I want to cook professionally. So much in this world is haphazardly slapped together, and small details that are so poignant are often overlooked. The reward of creating something that makes someone stop and take notice is beyond fulfilling.
When I started my culinary education, I had no idea how far I would want to take it. That was the point of starting school. I just felt burned out, on life, my career and how I was engaging the world. I went into this with a vague notion of wanting to cook professionally but uncertain how that might actually play out. But the transformation in me has been like a wildfire. From indecision to this intense drive to grab at anything that might deepen my understanding of the techniques that I am learning, to knowing full well that nothing is certain but I am on the right path and have developed, as one friend said, “the focus of a laser beam”.
I have become ravenous. Ravenous for change, for taste, for visual stimulation, for adventure. To say I have always been hungry may be misleading, it may make you think only of physical appetite, a need for nourishment. This is something much greater and more profound than I could have hoped for. This is an insatiable hunger that will keep me on a quest for the rest of my days. It’s the nourishment of the soul and never letting my personal fire die out. This is just the beginning of my life.