During my long stay in Toronto, I was regularly teased and taunted by the many opportunities the city has to offer. Some, I indulged in when I was able. Others, like this billboard for “Become a Chef”, were a tad painful.
It is one thing to decide that you will not follow a career because you are not interested in the slightest. It is a completely different situation when you have a disabling health condition that just the thought of attending one entire class is physically impossible.
Another medium I indulged in was reading until late at night. I discovered that my library has ebooks and I downloaded Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook (P.S.) by Anthony Bourdain. As a human being, Anthony intrigues me. I love that he is shocking, opinionated, truthful and passionate.
There are a million reasons to read Medium Raw but during this time in my life in particular, I would like to focus on the fact that now I know for sure there is no way I could physically do the job. Anthony has an entire chapter dedicated to who he recommends going into the food business and who should stay the hell out. I fall into the latter category without a doubt. Just thinking about all the physical pain I would be in made the industry so much less glamourous.
Until I walked by George Brown and saw the students cooking in the windows I had no idea how hard I had been holding on to the hope and dream that one day maybe I could do this. My heart hurt, seeing those tall hats and all that stainless steel.
With Anthony’s help at realizing some dreams might kind of suck and kill the foodie spirit inside me, I learned via a Foodie Art Therapy Day that I can become a homemade expert instead. I can learn on my own (something I have always been good at anyway) and enjoy the experience in my own kitchen. And hell, I can buy a tall white paper hat if I want to damn it!
Thank you Anthony for speaking the truth. It is your gift. One of your many gifts. You are one hell of a writer.
Now I can walk forward and continue my foodie journey, my way, with focus and conviction. Damn the man. Do it myself. My way. My kitchen.
Amen to that. Who is to say that your reality won’t end up being bigger than your dream. If one door closes, another opens – and often it is better and just as satisfying. You should totally buy that tall, paper hat 🙂
Samantha Nottingham says
I second that comment, buy the hat. I’m sorry to hear you can’t follow your dream, but working for yourself is a more exciting way to do things anyways. Only your rules to follow, and your menu.
Paula - Buenos Aires says
Go Suzie! *shaking pompoms*
If you want to learn about and enjoy food there are many sources out there. I´m thankful that we live in such interesting times with instant access to information.
Debra She Who Seeks says
I know the special heartache that comes with wanting to do a particular career but having that dream stymied. In my case, I just could not get my foot in the door far enough to be permanently hired. Always in the wrong place at the wrong time, it seems. But life goes on and we adjust, because we must.
I’ve watched a couple of Anthony Bourdain’s recent travel/cuisine specials on CNN. Very entertaining. He strikes me as having been a wild child in his time. Perhaps still is, in his advancing years!
I just finished Kitchen Confidential and Medium Raw is next on my list. I too, absolutely love that man. I think Anthony Bourdain and my Jon have a lot in common personality wise… Now that I’ve wised up, I’m so fond of that “calling it straight from the hip”, passionate, to hell with it attitude that is brutally honest and with a no-nonsense style of caring that I’ve never been able to pull off myself.
Kitchen Confidential was brilliant so I hope you’ve managed to grab that one on e-book too 🙂
I still have pangs of wanting to do the chef thing but I know it’s truly a young persons game. Not sure I would want to spend years peeling potatoes to show my salt at this point in my life. But like you, I am determined to do the at home expert thing. Which still gives me time for my travelling and photography and all the other things I’m passionate about. I mean, why do we really need to choose just one? Going about it at your own pace gives you that freedom without all of the soul-crushing ego-in-check yelling that kills us. I mean, we got enough of that in that damn writing class, did we not?
Hugs to you! Enjoy your Anthony! 🙂 (and I’ll enjoy mine! lol)
Heather N says
I think that cooking or baking ‘professionally’ for others might kill my love and passion for food. I know I would be totally crushed if someone hated something that was to myself, perfect.
Cooking for my family and friends is perfect.