Tuesday, April 26, 2011
For the Record...
I love cooking. Cooking for me must be what writing a song is like to a musician, painting a picture is like for an artist, what dancing is like for a dancer. It's exhilarating. It's frustrating. It's hard. It's fun. It makes me smile, and it makes me wanna throw shit across the kitchen. I get to use my hands and have many different instruments to choose from. I get to get down and dirty, sticking my hands in squishy, soppy things. I get to create. I get to manipulate. I get to saute, puree, flambe. I get to indulge. I get to smack things, beat things, roll things, cut things, flour things, bake things, stick my hand inside things. It's absolutely amazing and I love it.
Do I want it to be my job? Not in a million years. I am often asked, "Why don't you go to culinary school?" and I quickly reply, "Because I'm already $80,000 in debt from Undergrad and Grad school." Then I'm asked, "Well why don't you just get a job in a kitchen and go from there?" And my response is, "Because I have no real experience in a formal kitchen, besides the occasional make-a-platter-look-pretty move, or make a cheese river for a buffet table (I gotta thank my buddy Julien for teaching me that one), or garnishing things, so why would any chef hire me?" Or, "I'm only experienced to work in a place like Chili's or Applebee's...both places I despise, so no thank you." The other one I usually hear is, "You missed your calling." Hey thanks...that's exactly what I need to hear. My life is now wasted because my calling has been missed. I guess I should just wait for my demise, and throw in the towel, because I have already missed my purpose in life.
Here's how I feel about cooking. It's therapeutic. Smashing a clove of garlic or pounding out a piece of chicken is good for the soul. Turning something I've never even heard of into a surprisingly delicious dish makes me proud. I love to cook. The more you cook, the better you become at cooking. I used to never stray from a recipe. Now, I whip up my own creations all the time and they are GOOD!! I find that I love my food so much, that eating out has become less attractive to me because I am uber-critical about the food I encounter in restaurants. I find that often, I can do it better. I can taste the difference between fresh and frozen. I can tell if you opened up a bag, poured its contents into a bowl, melted cheese over it and passed it off as $9 French Onion Soup. I can tell if the woman or man in the white uniform and funny hat in the back loves or hates their job just by taking that first bite.
I love to try new things. I can't eat the same piece of chicken everyday. I hate leftovers. I just want to create things. Things that I'm not responsible for for the rest of my life. Things that I can eat after I create them, or throw away if I don't like them. Cooking is my hobby. The minute I turn it into a job that consumes me and makes me hate it, is the minute I'm no longer interested. Capish??