A Message to you

Wack wack wack slice slice slice pound roll boil bake.

I’ve taken on a new task and it has reintroduced fresh new inspiration into my life.

For the past 4 weeks I have been volunteering my time and have been giving cooking lessons as well as providing a hearty and delicious meal at a local non-profit. Most the kids are middle school aged and I was almost intimidated by the thought of them saying “EW…WHATS THIS” or even worst not connecting with them and feeling completely outta tuned with today’s youth.    I have to tell you the best thing that I have heard in ages must have come out of a 13 year olds mouth …“YO THIS IS HELLLA GOOD.”  Other comments such as “I like you better than the other cooking teacher…she was mean.”  Not to mention I think she also cooked them bland food.  It feels really good to connect with these youth, and I also vowed NEVER to play cheesy world music while cooking with them.  It also helps that we can talk about Rihanna and Jay Z as well as how to Julienne, chiffonade, slice, dice, bake, boil, roast etc…

In this post  I have included a video of Sting’s daughter singing a lovely tune that accompanies me in the kitchen, as well as a quick version of my sloppy joes.  Of course if I made this for adults and had a better budget the list of the ingredients would be a little more complex but not much!  Including Orange juice and lemon zest for the coleslaw with cilantro and I would use a beer or a wine to help with additional flavor to the sloppy joe concoction. And yes, hey call me MS. TINA

I made this dish before using a cast iron skillet and carmelized the onions also using some smoked salt, and a nice hearty wine (or was it beer?) I think I also added a bit of orange juice or pineapple juice.  SO enjoy this one for today.

This is today’s recipe.  I have 1.5 hours to prep, cook, clean, instruct, and sit down and have a meal with the kids!  I also have to use what we find at the San Francisco Foodbank, the programs Pantry but also some money comes out of the program directors generous pocket.

This is a quick ingredient gathering/list that I emailed to the program director!

Apple & Cabbage Coleslaw

3 Apples 4 carrots 1 cabbage mayonnaise 1 Green Onion 3 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar 1/2 Teaspoon Coriander or Cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

Apples:  Cut into slivers (please ask Ms. Tina)

Cabbage: Finely Julliened (Please ask Tina)

Green Onions : cuts into rounds.

Sauce: Add all other ingredients together but please ask and make sure all ingredients are present before you start to make the sauce.

Sloppy Joes – Keep in mind you might have some of these Items in the house

Hamburger Buns – enough for surprise guests and attendees.

Ground beef

1 Yellow Onion

2 carrots

1 red bell pepper

4 cloves garlic

1/2 cup Brown sugar

1 can chopped stewed tomatoes

1 can tomato paste ( I think you have this at the house)

1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar ( I think you have this at the house)

(as for spices I can work with what you have in your spice kitchen) So Dont worry about buying any of these I am just listing this for myself.)

Cumin, Coriander, bay leaves, Cloves, Thyme

If there is time for dessert then Lets buy some Vanilla IC. It would be VERY VERY easy.

Dessert?  Warmed Peaches with Vanilla IC.

I love it!! I love working with limited ingredients and making something delicious and comforting.  The past 4 (going on 5) classes were great! They were a bit hectic and many many surprise elements were thrown in, like having no time or the oven was at the wrong temp, extra kids to feed.  Most these meals become impromptu cooking lessons with the kids having some of the most awesome skills and initiative and having some of the greatest palates to boot! Fresh turkey meatballs with homemade marinara accompanied by a salad of fresh greens, to Shepherd’s Pie with fresh made buttery biscuits, to Smoked turkey legs with winter vegetable soup and a cinnamon apple crumble.   Today its Sloppy Joes!  I hope to put up pictures of the evenings. So until then …<3

Alexander McQueeeeeeeeeeeeen

I was inspired to draw a connection with the recent Spring/ Summer 2010 Alexander McQueen runway.

sp-about-mainimageHE IS AMAZING.  His conceptual response to fashion and the runway is major with it’s Avante Garde staging as an installation.   Going through his archival of runway shows I find myself saying over and over again “WOW” or “Oh my GOD!” even “WOWIE” was proclaimed.   Each show is  a meeting of massive multi dimensional morphing! Pure visual imagery and pleasure.  MY GOAL is to go through each runway show and create a multi faceted menu:

Just read the didactics from Fall/Winter 08: “

Based on the British Empire, the Queens of England, the Duke of Wellington, toy soldiers and punk princesses, this fashion fairy tale is dominated by an ancient tulle-wrapped tree referencing the work of the artist, Christo. For the first half of the show our heroine is dressed in beautiful rags: nipped waisted jackets, Victorian-line dresses with S-bend corseted tops, textured, hand-knitted mohair and washed tweeds all in dark or neutral colours lend a make-do-and-mend feel to the proceedings. It isn’t long, though, before our Princess meets her Prince Charming, at which point she descends from her treetop habitat and finds all the riches of the world at her disposal. Her clothing duly explodes into colour and references everything from the wardrobe of the young Princess Elizabeth –crimson velvet New Look dresses, ermine wraps and a bastardised Union Jack print – to the palaces of the Maharajas – a draped, predominantly empire-line silhouette finished with paper-flat embroidered slippers, each pair bespoke and created to complement its own outfit.”

Brilliant!  Is there a possibility that food and the runway can go hand in hand?  Of course!  The dark into bright juxtaposition of layers and layers evolves and just conjures up so many ideas that I could play with.  But with my food knowledge being only so modest what will I conjure up?  His details and his thoughtful selection of staging is just so inspiring.  The other day at work someone offered me a taste of Vietnamese yogurt to which I replied “It tastes like Hello Kitty…Theres that artificial sweetness” . I often times will taste and see food, which is why I have to close my eyes from other distractions and to focus on my palate…

In this link is McQueen’s 2010 line titled PLATO”S ATLANTIS I find playful inspiration sparking up inside me again. Haunting and awe inspiring, it revives my imagination so that it doesn’t relocate to a less creative space…and that BUILDUP!

YUMM.  This futuristic, reptilian, aquatic and hedonistic, fetish bound concept of this particular line sparked a vision of what I would be able to do with food.  Most the time food at its purist form is the most attractive and this connection with wildly exotic can conjure up rich stews, pastas, bountiful and beautiful greens layers of flavor, seafood game meats…It’s beautiful really, it evokes a playful passion that imparts the same attraction when viewed, and surely enough thats relevant with food.

Spellbound. WOW

VIETALIAN

I fell in love with Italian cuisine when my father used to take me to this small family owned and operated restaurant in our hometown.  Now granted I didn’t venture far from home at the time so my experience with Italian food was very limited. A saucy and tangy tomato sauce topped with 2 large and moist meatballs. Yum yum yum…

I endlessly watched Lydia Bastianich when I was growing up with all those old and classic PBS cooking series.  I love love loved making pasta at home for my brothers, and experimented constantly with different ways to wrap flavor around and through strands of pasta.  I dreamed of studying Italian food with an old Italian grandmother.

One day I discovered risotto and I slowly expanded my repertoire.  What I definitely like about this recipe is its warm and rich characteristics.  The root vegetables lends a wonderful sweetness and the butter and parmesan add another level of flavor and richness. I wanted to marry the idea of Italian and Vietnamese cooking.  So on a cold and foggy San Francisco summer I decided to make an Aborio Rice Porridge.   In Vietnamese we call it a Chao…Here is the rough recipe.

Root Vegetable Chao

For the Stock:

1/2 Left Over Roasted chicken
1 Large yellow Onion
1 cup stalks of celery
1 cup  carrots
1 cup rutabagas
1 cup turnips
a good size rind of parmesan Cheese
olive oil, Salt & Pepper,
1 1/2  cup Aborio Rice
4 cloves Garlic
The rest of the reserved Root Vegetables.
4  cups Chicken stock
1/2  cup White wine
1 T Marjoram
4 T butter
olive oil, Salt & Pepper,
Garnish-Cilantro, Scallions, limes.

Directions:

Season chicken well and roast bones/scraps with salt and pepper, roast on high.

Dice: Onions, Carrots, rutabaga, turnip and celery (reserve 1/2 of each for later).  Smash your Cloves Garlic.

Saute onions (sweat) add 2 cloves smashed garlic, add the diced rutabaga and carrots and add your rough minced marjoram as well as butter.

Add stock and a bit of water, now add the roasted chicken, and parm rind.   Deglaze the pan with white wine to release the drippings add all the goodness to the stock pot.  Season with salt.  Simmer for 1-2 hours.  Deeper flavors will form when you simmer for longer.

When the hour has past, and flavors have started to mingle, in a soup pot heat your olive oil,  Add the 4 cloves of smashed garlic infuse the pan with garlic oil, now add the Aborio rice coat well with oil  add a bit of oil and toast lightly.  Add your vegetable medley that was saved from earlier and continue to stir cook till onions are slightly transluscent.

Photo by Daniel Dent

While that rice is toasting  begin to strain your stock.  Remove your chicken pieces and cool.

Add a good heaping amount of stock to your toasted (not burnt) Aborio rice.  You want to add about triple the amount of water at once and let simmer. Remember you want a porridge not a risotto so add all liquids at once, but more stock can be added as the process thickens.   I think it’s s

o pretty with those sweet root vegetables floating with the Aborio rice.  Add more stock depending on how brothy you would like your porridge.

Season well with salt and pepper.  When chicken bones are cooled pick apart the meat, and leave some ski

n for a nice richness. Add scraps of meat into the porridge.  Stir and let simmer for another 30 minutes. Total give for take an hour or an hour plus+. What about those large chunks of garlic?  By this time they have melted and can be smashed down some more to give the porridge a bit of a buttery soft & savory richness. It just adds to the all around wonderful quality of the dish.

By this time the broth has becomes rich and glutenous but still slightly brothy.  Garnish with chopped cilantro, green onions, and a wedge of lime.

Question of the day.

Waiting for the bus, heading home…the bus’ arrival.  I was in front of the San Francisco Public Library when someone stopped with the question…”ARE YOU A CHEF?”  I didn’t know what to answer…but nearly nanoseconds before he appeared I was watching a novelty bus line for tourists slow down; it wasn’t the #19. I wanted it to be but it wasn’t.  I instinctually ran towards the slow-moving bus in hopes of avoiding more prying questions.

When the bus kept on going I was left in this off and odd feeling. “Wait Waittt!” How do you answer that?  Are you a chef? I quickly turned around to try to see if the man was still there.  Maybe even give him an answer but, he was gone as fast as he had

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Birthday Dinner

appeared.  The guy looked like Joe Pesci.  Slicked back black hair with a NY Giants jacket, that’s how I remembered him.  My bus finally came. The whole time I was on the actual #19 bus I felt this nauseous feeling, riddled with anxiety wondering how the hell do I answer that.

I talked to my chef about it and he had a very abstract way of looking at the question.  COOK it’s what all chefs are.  CHEF is only a title of a person that would be the one higher grander scheme of control.  ‘ simplifying it…I can’t begin to write in detail about how he explained it.  It was a bit abstract actually.  Here, so that I won’t continue fumble over the whole brigade Wikipedia answers this question:

brigade system (Brigade de cuisine), documented by Georges Auguste Escoffier

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigade_de_cuisine

or this

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chef

That answers MY question but, the majority of people who see someone in a kitchen or carrying a knife bag will automatically associate you with the word CHEF.  The hierarchs creates a sense of accomplishment  like a notch on your belt.  Without worrying about the regal hierarchy of it all, my friends and loved ones consider me a chef, I consider myself a cook and my title is Garde Manger/Pantry. Nothing too complicated with that.

Hounds tooth…

I didn’t mind it tonight…the climma’ klamma’ of the kitchen.   It was a mellow night compared to last night’s wreckage.  The other night I had my first mentally challenging night.  I worked furiously and to no avail.  On the line by myself, with various mishaps.  Clearly it didn’t detour me.  I’ve been fortunate to come across some reliable and successful kitchens with patience.

Tonight I spoke with one of my sous,and as a student at UC Santa Cruz a professor told him, “When reading becomes a chore it’s time to move on.”  So that’s how he ended up in a kitchen…Santa Cruz…New York…Chicago…and San Francisco.

I’ve heard horror stories.  For cooking, to become a chore.  A haphazard mundane task.    So far, a pastry chef puncturing the nerve in her arm with a sharp German pairing knife (her right hand),  someone walking off the oven line in the middle of a busy dinner rush, slamming s hand in the walk-in then getting sent to the hospital also in the middle of a busy dinner rush, cases of ringworm, fingers getting sliced on the meat slicer, and this my friend is only the beginning of the cuts and scaring.  The other night a fire loomed just 3 doors down from the restaurant.  As the fire trucks came blaring down the street and the smell of plastic and burnt embers filling the air,   through the lights and sirens we kept working.   Mentors have even told me they heard a head cook screaming in the bathroom bloody murder in the middle of a hectic shift because of a kidney stones.

One night after a shift, a couple of us got together for a nightcap, and over a 40 oz and a glass of wine i heard a cook softly proclaim, “I just want to cook”.  Simple. His eyes nearly welled up.  It was the first time that I came across someone who feels that there is much more to cooking than just heat and chaos, the no frills. It is about nurturing a twisted instinct in us all to feed others, and to do it well.  I’ve always wanted to do that.

Maybe it was growing up in a bakery.  Maybe it was watching my mother cook. Maybe it was trying to cook for my brothers when my mother wasn’t home from a long work day.  Maybe it was that one time I made homemade pastries for my fifth grade class (Chinese crackers chocolate and butterscotch chips), or the other time I had to make my twist on egg rolls for an Sophomore English class;the topic, food from your culture (ground beef sautéed w/mushrooms, onions and garlic, along some spices rolled in won-ton wrappers).  I remember thinking, these kids definitely won’t like the grisly noodles and black mushrooms in my mothers egg rolls, so I’ll Americanize it!

In one of my first posts, I had mentioned that I carried my knives in a fancy bag. I no longer carry my knives in my calf skin Marc Jacobs bag.  I no longer feel the need really to get such material possessions when now I can’t even afford to think about such extravagances, even before, they were just window shopping dreams.  I can however think of foie grois, truffles, black-footed chickens, various charcuteries, cook books, a lovely dinner at Chez Panisse.

I now carry my knives in a fold-able black, hounds tooth lined knife bag.  In it I carry 2, 8 inch knives, one western one Japanese, a serrated knife, a 6 inch Japanese vegetable knife, a Japanese pairing knife, a small mandolin, measuring spoons, an ergonomic peeler, Sharpees, Neosporin, and a board scraper.   It’s exciting.  I find comfort in holding onto my knives… my toolkit.  Sometimes admitting that I throw in some chap stick, an eyebrow manicure kit, and even blush and a brush.  I see my hands aging and my bruises and scrapes becoming more common.

Maybe I am exaggerating, after all we all tend to become our worst critics clearly hoping that growth and maturing will develop.   It all pays off.   When you can learn someone new each day, and so far I’ve learned various techniques to cooking meats, pastas, and vegetables, various prep shortcuts, and most importantly appreciating what is immediately in front of you.  Focus and determination, just when you think your about to burst, you remember your ability to breathe.  The kitchen has revived my sense of self. The kitchen has also shown me how to keep up a sense of cool, and a bit of awareness and confidence.

Travel…ohhh travel is on my mind.  I have to admit I haven’t been able to travel much but I find it important for cooks to venture out to new territory, and to explore and cultivate their palate.  To be able to get inspiration from other restaurants and cooks.   To gain momentum by  gathering new ideas and ingredients from farms and purveyors but, to also be able to experience authentic regional cuisine.   Paris is currently on my mind…

I get choked up.

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It’s the start of a New Year.  Excitement is in the air and so is change and I am looking forward to new endeavors.  With that being said, I am letting go of a $1200 studio apartment.  I am finding it harder and harder committing to such a  heavy workload with such little pay.  I am going to go full force at this in hopes of learning more, without the stress and burdens that rain on me financially…we all know the kitchen is stressful enough.

So…Roommates.  Everyone knows what a task it is to find a room.  Particularly daunting is the thought of having somewhat crazy psychotic or worst a hippie vegan with staunch political views that won’t let me cook in the kitchen with animal products.  Those people exists.  Those people also wouldn’t want me as a roommate.  Roommate postings can range from sane to completely outrageous.  Vegans not wanting to share pots and pans, roommates wanting Taco TUESDAYS, must like this must like that must not do this must not do that.  It gets too much.  Viewings take on another rabid spirit.  When opening a door into a new apartment, there is sometimes that scary screeches from a soundtrack of a horror movie.   Think Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO. I don’t want to live with Normal Bates.   Then again it’s San Francisco I also don’t want to live with a Cheech Marin who will wreak of Nag Champa and patchouli.

I will miss my large and new kitchen.  I will miss the oven, where I have created shortbread, and cakes, and roasts, and toasts when I lacked a toaster.

On to a new journey.  More twists more turns.

The other week I cried.  I snorted and blubbered through a moist towel.  I sighed and breathed and got choked up.  I was watching Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. I don’t obsess over many things, or many humans, but I can sometimes obsess over food.  While watching the episode on Spain, I had a bit of an intense reaction to the beautiful philosophy that a culture had on food.  The innovation the soft beauty that was present in each family story.  Adhering to their roots…their culture, and transforming culinary traditions to create new ones.

It got me to thinking. I wanted to travel.  I yearned to.  I ache to.  I want to taste and savour the splendid tastes and aromas of regional cuisine.  I’ve gone on interviews with various chefs and talked about food, and when asked, “WHY?…do you pursue this…do you want this…what is it about food that you like…”

I’ve stated before that I can get pretty emotional with food, as well with art. But I was not expecting it to suddenly overwhelm me when I was watching the show. It evokes so much emotion in me.  A wonderful spirit.  Maybe it’s my fathers spirit lighting new hope within me ,when at times I thought all there was to this world was making my mother happy, and making money.

I couldn’t stop crying.  It wasn’t sadness, maybe it was envy maybe it was jealousy.  I wasn’t there to smell the wood burning, I wasn’t there to taste the seasonal farm fresh ingredients, overwhelmed with the sights and sounds of a different country.  The aromas, the language the sun all tied in a bundle around my heart.  Squeeeezing it sooo tight, that I really thought that my heart was about to burst.

It was just so beautiful.  And I want to experience that.  I love love love that.  The excitement the passion, and the tactile and sensory experiences.

I am exciting about this years change.  With $1200 of rent away…with getting my deposit back.  I am ready to move with no excuses.  With no looking back, no regret.  To be able to travel, catch that bug that my friends talk about.  Focus on expanding my palate with travel.  I can’t wait.  It will be a bit till I am able to save up for my culinary journeys, but it’s definitely going to happen.

I hail a toast to 2009 and beyond.  May the wine be bountiful and aromas be bright and warm.

Good and Bad

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (sometimes).

Life is not very balanced is it? Is it just being 27 and not quite figuring it out yet, or maybe it’s just that hard sometimes to get back on your feet after you’ve been laid off.  Yesterday I was slicing Coppa. 700 slices into it and I wasn’t even bored.  I’ve heard horror stories of a roomful of potatoes… maybe that guy meant a bucket and a lot os exageration.  Today as I was peeling salsify I though would get bored of this if given a bucket plus to peel?  No…I used to really like cleaning calamari. What would take 3 hours the first time was 1 hour next time. Same with pizza dough.  It was at a bar downtown. It was transitioning from a nightclub, into a restaurant.   In the day a full French/ Mediterranean restaurant and at night transforming into a loud dance club.  2 months into it bye bye chef–so his sous became the head honcho and I became her part-time left arm (you catch this joke?). Oh yeah, I worked the bar shift after my days at the museum.  So that meant loads of apps and bar items, like fries.

Days were spent working at a museum and at night I ran outta work to become a cocktail waitress.  I was stable enough to give up the cocktail shift, if the new chef would give the non culinary grad a chance.  She did–and this would my novice first start.  I learned a couple of things; what a walk in was (know i know…), bainmarie , a hotel pan, a sheet pan, how to pull pizza dough, how to clean calamari, how to clean up the kitchen, how to toss in a bowl with just a flick of the arm.

Some bad some good.

Well balance…with the good comes the bad. The good and the bad and of course the ugly… the sharp  knife–the bad cut–and the horrible scar, the bottom of the barrel and rising to the top through the muck in the middle.  Satisfaction… am I ever going to see it?

These past couple of months, I have been fortunate to have met some interesting people along the way.  Usually they have given up something to be in the kitchen. Especially the ones that decided to pursue cooking.  Stories include but are not limited to; one person graduating from Cornell and who steered away from his major, the other person was an engineer, another Univ. of Boulder Grad turned Architect, people with their M.A’s, MfA’s PhD”s, painters, sculpters, an ex hotel manager, a luxury goods and retail manager, one guy even refused the financial help of his wealthy family ( I would try to negotiate with the rents‘ ). All these individuals now work in the kitchen as staff or Chef or Owner.

I didn’t give up much I just got laid off (hope that didn’t sound bitter), and of course I’m not bitter.  A pastry cook relayed an experience to me of a time when she decided 10 years after she graduating from college that she wanted to give up her lucrative career to attend baking school.  It was so nice to see her lift her head up high and say,”You know when you wake up everyday and are happy to be doing what your doing it’s not so bad…” Doesn’t that sound so cliche?  I mean it is but,  it’s a common anthem for people like her.  She did also tell me that if she knew what was to come that she would not have paid all that money to culinary school.  See with good the bad.

Two chefs that I have worked with really helped me gain the confidence to be thrown in a kitchen, my mentors. I told them this and one guy replied,  “Well I wish I would have steered you away from that path”.  I think he meant it jokingly.   This same Chef told me a story about how when he was first apprenticing, his chef had decided that from out of nowhere he was the victim–so with a stabbing point of a finger and the brutal image of and red stained bucket, the whole tub of tomato sauce was poured all over him, in the walk-in. I still laugh when I think of this story.

See, thats the great thing about this all.  I love hearing some of these stories of what people have gone through for cooking.  One of my favorite pictorials and spreads in a magazine was the Gourmet magazine PARIS volume. An Argentinian woman began cooking at 30 and has gained world wide recognition for her food.  She states that she stayed in Paris because she fell in love with a boy.  How charming. I like hearing stories about how food captures a bit or a whole lot of somebody’s heart.

I knew someone who connected the warm and amazing food of their childhood, and associating that with some of the greatest moments of their life.  Comparing the fresh pasta that their mother made or recalling what East Coast pizza tastes like.  I know many people will always feel that it was their “mothers” something that was so good (don’t laugh), I mean I’ve heard people say “My mom made the best this…”  or that.  And, it’s true.  My mom made the best eggrolls, and noodle soups HANDS DOWN!!

Another Chef told me a great story of persistency and about his first restaurant gig.  At 30 he discovered that he wanted to cook. He learned to cook because “I missed my mom’s cooking and I had to cook for myself”.  He had been a regular at the restaurant for years but decided that that wasn’t enough.  He bugged a particular chef who would later become his mentor about working in the kitchen. “Absolutely not” or “Are you sure?” his mentor would say.  Pointless to mention but to make for better writing,  persistency worked out for him–4 months of it.    One day he opens up the daily paper and “Oh Look” that same restaurant was calling for kitchen help.  So the chef gave him his chance and he worked his way up, and now he owns one of my favorite places here in the city.

My parents talked me out of going to a trade school for cooking, so I decided that Art History was my best bet. I still use my college degree, when I talk about art; surrealism to post modernists.  The people that i’ve met have really helped me realize that you don’t always have to go to culinary school.  This idea was a great factor to me to never dive into cooking.  But this time I was persistent.

Food connects me when I am away from my mother and my father.  When this happens I like to explore the Vietnamese cuisine around town, but as always,  nothing compares to mamma’s clean good cookin’.

Leather…

You know I’m not 21 anymore…I find that my hustle to get by day by day is getting harder and harder.   My track record right now since my layoff isn’t the greatest as said by one of my close friends, but the catalyst to my breaking into cooking was my layoff; from a great and consistent 9-5 w/ health insurance. Le sigh…ahhhhhhhhh.  Just when I thought that my college education gave me a great job with room for growth–once again I was thrown back to becoming a waitress “just got for a little bit”… so now the journey into the kitchen…

It still affects me–that layoff.  Lately it’s been such a struggle to keep up with finances and bills. But I just have to keep on moving.  The second job? The Third job?  I think of the frivolous spending amidst a couple of months ago, I think of the holidays to come, I think of the new job that will be starting in December the working nights and the weekends.  It’s gonna be quite the transition. 

I’m not writing about anything bad, but in this journey to becoming a “chef” I am currently starting at the bottom when once I was steady stable and often times longing to cook.  Whether I am prepping squash, pears, beets, garlic, pizza dough or frozen calamari, or whether I’m on the line; I enjoy these moments…I just don’t enjoy the bills that come along–and a beginning kitchen staffs wage.   Never do I begin to question if I am happy doing what it is that I am doing.    

In general life is complex: finding yourself, a career, and working alongside that dang passion that I so often talk about is also hard.   Add that together and you got yourself quite the puzzle.  Student loans are also a reality.  

Is it possible to do both, hustle at both. Pursue a longing and long term desire, and to maintain that professional self.  It can happen it just takes time and right now is a great time for change. And of course a perfect example of that change was Tuesday nights Presidential Election.