Being a Chef is about living for the nights that the window is so full of tickets that the Executive Chef is wrapping them around her arm as she goes. Meanwhile everyone is prepping on the fly, the menu becomes 86d, and there’s a line of customers out the door. Afterward, all the kitchen staff are high fiving each other on smoke break, talking about how awesome it was that they just got their asses handed to them.
Four times a year, it’s about writing the new menu while drinking, smoking, and looking at food magazines trying to reinvent the wheel.
It’s about never eating the same thing twice, and always being the food critic.
Too often, it’s about the entire kitchen staff drinking root beer, because everyone drank too much the night before, and promising to themselves, that they’re not going to do it again. But they do. Somehow they can’t get enough of each other, even though they spend 12 hours bumping dicks in a cramped kitchen.
Occasionally, it’s about really slicing your finger wide open, and knowing that you need stitches. But instead of going to the hospital, you tape it up, put on a glove, and get back to work. Because you haven’t got time for that shit, there’s no one to cover your shift, and you won’t pass a drug test anyway.
Most of the time, it’s about that shit that you just can’t make up. Like showing up for your morning shift at the restaurant, and finding a gigantic anatomically correct cow sculpture in the middle of the dining area, because the owner thought it would be a good idea to do tequila and mayonnaise shots with his friends and steal the sculpture of a rich heiress. Before you prep for your shift, the owner expects you to help him return it.
Once in a while, it’s about sitting down with an elderly lady who you cook for everyday at her senior living community, and eating Christmas dinner with her, because she has no one.
But sometimes it’s about saying, Fuck it.
I found myself off on medical leave for 4 months for reconstructive foot surgery. One foot at a time. A total of 4 weeks of bedrest. And life just slowed down.
That’s when I realized that I had brand new snow shoes in the closet that I never used. Shiny moped with 30 miles on it. Mandolin silent in its case. A hippy van that never left the driveway. A retro camping trailer up north that sat empty. Dogs that were ignored. Wife that was missed. Dual income no kids, and no time to enjoy life.
I haven’t got it figured out yet, but I’m learning. Do I really need to make X amount of dollars in order to live or to be happy? I’ve started to ask myself, Is this something I need or just something I want? It’s about waking up and realizing that may be I’m doing some things just because they’re convenient , and not because it’s best way to do things. Chefs cook these amazing dishes while at work, but at home, they’re eating microwaved pizza rolls and poptarts. Not because it tastes good or because it’s good for them, but because they have no time, energy, or passion left once they get home. If I make more time, I can do it myself or find a creative, thrifty way to fix something.
This blog is about balance in life and passion for food. It’s about slow food and slow living. Scaling down, living on less, and enjoying more.