Revamp

Photo: Daniel Dent

The horizon is set. Amongst the rolling hills and blue skies, day and night intertwine to become 1 full moment of a brief time on this planet.

Photo: Daniel Dent

Photo: Daniel Dent Description:Scrambled Eggs, Warm Panzanella Salad w/ Green Beans, Cherry Tomatoes and Red Onions w/ toasted Olive Levain in a Mustard Vinaigrette.

A brief yet full moment of our lives…1 full day. As I begin a transition, anticipation is heavy in the air, I become anxious and even impatient for this. Each day seems to extend it’s stay and I am longing to check out. VERY excited, I feel that it is time for revamping. Living in San Francisco it seems like we are constantly in a state of Autumn – the weather can be unpredictable, so is the career of a chef. It is set in stone is that each season lasts a few months each year, we know that there are 4 seasons of which can vary depending on what part of the world you are living in. The weather here is fairly moderate year round with spikes of cold, fog and shivers, frustratingly it forces me to be ready for the sunny days and bone chilling nights – all within the same 24 hours. My wardrobe went from Southern California heat ready to San Francisco layer savvy. Adjust.

In the 4+ years that I have been cooking professionally, I have cut my fingers and hands with various knives, meat slicers, food processors, scraped my fingers and knuckles with graters, cried on the line, become frustrated, had salt poured down my pants, had croutons burn, had nuts burn, thrown away large amounts of dough, sweated profusely, flubbed on a few recipes, had ovens turned off, been angered, been belittled…can I go on?? YES…yet I have had to comes to terms with why I cook as a profession. After realizing why, I become uplifted. What next, now?

As I continue to revise my career path, I also have to question how selfless do I become and for how long. Most cooks will admit that cooking in a selfless act, but when does that selfless act pay off?

Transition seems to be in the air and things are in a state of flux, not only for me but also for many of my fellow chef and cook friends.

In a way we are vagabonds hungry for more experiences, constantly needing to be fed- journeying from one destination to another- at times this can be a curse, but most cooks I know have a vague destination – but through one path cuisine and food. We all want to cook, to learn, to take and to make as much from life as we can. Some of my peers are travelling, some are moving to different states, some are having families, some taking a break, some realizing that a commercial kitchen is just not a place for them. The thread that binds us is our brief time as a team honing in on our focus in each kitchen where we have worked. We all seem to need change, and it’s those times when we face our biggest challenge- maturity & stability. Because as we get older and dig deeper into cooking we just want more out of it. I look forward to one day hearing each of their journeys, over coffee, tea, whiskey, wine maybe even at a table at one of their restaurants.

Photo: Daniel Dent

I was approached by a chef and mentor to become part of a new experience. I have never really managed people before, and it feels like a leap – and it seems like it can’t come soon enough. I have my hesitations and my fears, and mostly its my own worries and woes that can cause me to doubt myself. But I can only make a deal with myself to work hard each and every day I change my clothes and button up those whites. As I work steadily towards this ever evolving goal, I must remind myself how important it is that I preserve some patience. This I’ve learned; Be confident and assertive, but maintain a great sense of unobtrusive confidence, but most importantly maintain a good sense of self and self worth.
I must also remind myself of why I write and blog, to the (give or take) 5 readers a day that come to this site, there are times when I feel a deep feeling in the pit of my stomach before I click the publish button but hey, thanks for coming back. It’s a good exercise to overcome my own insecurities.
Here is a song that I loved growing up, I would have the original Saint. Etienne version playing inside my head as I sat in class and day dreamed about various crushes, adventures and cooking. Originally sang by Niel Young now interpreted by I Blame COCO – 3rd times a charm.