Saturday, August 20 – Thoughts on my life and cooking

20 Aug

Up until this point, I haven’t had much time for reflection on 7 weeks of culinary school, so I thought I’d take a moment – more for me, than anyone else – to put down some thoughts while I’m enjoying a quick salmon lunch I made for myself (pictured, above).

My life seems to be at a frenetic pace. Up until last week, I had what was really a full time job, an enormous amount of stress that went with it, and school M-F, with reading, recipe review, and supposed “practice” every night. It was definitely doable as I did indeed do it all (well, maybe not really the “practice” part as much as I should have), except that I cracked a few times and didn’t do it all with grace or graciousness. I cracked on my husband, I cracked on the lawyers with whom I was working and those on the other side of the deal, and I cracked on myself, asking myself questions like: “what am I doing?”, “what was I thinking trying to change careers at this stage in my life?”, “am I insane for thinking that one day I can have my own restaurant, and the energy to run it AND be the executive chef?”

So, what am I doing? I’m combining two things I love to do – cooking and going to school. I’m treating myself to a grand adventure and doing something I’m passionate about and have been passionate about for as long as I remember.

What was I thinking trying to change careers at this stage in my life? Well, how old would you be if you didn’t know your birthdate? I think I’d be in my late 20s. I have enough wisdom to know what I don’t want do and I have enough zest for life and learning that I find the energy to keep trying everything I want to try. And, unfortunately, life is short, which has become all too real for me in the last few years, so I’ve gotta go for it!

Finally, am I insane for thinking that one day I can have my own restaurant, and have the energy to run it AND be the executive chef? Most likely, but then aren’t all amazing chefs who want to do that and actually do it? I know the strikes against me: age, time to master different cuisines and techniques, lack of experience in restaurant kitchens, lack of capital, the economy, and the fact that a staggering amount of what could-be-great-restaurants and great restaurants indeed fail. But, I also know my advantages: I’m smart, I’m driven, I have a lot of business experience, I have a lot of “life experiences” that can translate into knowing what people want and how to give it to them, I have an incredible partner in life, friends and family cheering me on, and I know enough law to keep myself out of trouble 😉

Carnet keeps telling me to not put so much pressure on myself, as this is a journey of exploration. It is and through this exploration, I could go in a hundred different directions. But, I have this problem of putting a ton of pressure on myself to have to know what to do next and to be the best at it. Also, I’m hung up on this idea of opening a fabulous, small restaurant in Honolulu which would cater to the non-transient population which would equate to serving exceptional food (not the crap that plagues so much of Waikiki). But, who knows, maybe I’ll be a food writer (doesn’t everyone think they can write?), maybe I’ll go back to my original idea of several years ago (a food truck) although it seems like I’m a little late for that in Honolulu, maybe I’ll work in fabulous kitchens in Spain and/or Italy, maybe I’ll do pop-up restaurants, or maybe….

But, for now, I’m going to make some “paleo” sides for the bbq brisket I made (started marinating last night and finished today after several hours on low heat) and plan to serve to Carnet as a late lunch when he arrives from Dubai in about an hour.

And, yes, I’ll read my ServSafe book.

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7 Responses to “Saturday, August 20 – Thoughts on my life and cooking”

  1. Danielle August 21, 2011 at 1:37 am #

    Thank you for being a constant inspiration in my life! I love you Rachel and am so proud of what you are doing and accomplishing.

    • rachelogdie August 21, 2011 at 4:36 am #

      Thanks, D. You are awesome and one of my inspirations to keep trying new things 😉

  2. Pete Maguire August 21, 2011 at 6:18 am #

    You are right where you are supposed to be Grasshopper, continue the journey and accept the challenges doing your best each day. Your love for food and your effort and willingness to achieve will serve you well. You are a very giving person that obviously loves to serve others and enjoy great life experiences, you love the culinary arts and your definitely ready to share a passion for it, get cooking and make parties happen put the lessons to work and grow from what you know.
    I have already seen subtle changes, attention to details and improvements in many areas…and this has been less than 40 days of education. Keep up the good work and know that the path with the least resistance isn’t the path to what will be the most fruitful experience -especially when it comes to education. The best food that melts in your mouth is executed with care and precision, attention to detail and knowing that you understand why you do what you should do to the best of your abilities. Keep pushing yourself like you always do and your efforts will certainly reveal more of what’s to come – you will be a Great Chef, I am expecting it!

  3. spinchterlalalicous August 21, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

    Rache, it is way scary sometimes to go for your dreams..but this is the life we are given and if we dont try for them…. how the heck do we ever make them come true? You are living your dream and so many people go through life without ever taking that chance! You go girl! 🙂 Wish I was around to hear you crack! We all do it (if we are playing life hard) and some spectaculary so! Isnt it fun in hind sight? And in the end it is those steps, especially the cracking ones, that lead to success and making the dreams come true! Love you, miss you and rooting for you from afar! xxxC-lou

  4. Brian Neisler August 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    Hey Rache,

    Those that have done great things in their lives are those that are fueled by a passion for what they commit themselves to. I have no doubt that your love and passion of cooking will lead you to fulfilling your dreams, no matter what form or shape they may take.

    Cheering you on,
    Brian

  5. Auli'i Ellis August 30, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    I will absolutely eat at your restaurant or food truck in Honolulu!! Keep on this journey, Rachel! You are doing great and before you know it, school will be pau and you will be graduating!

    Cheers,
    Auli’i

  6. Rob September 6, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    There are a few building vacancies on Waialae Ave. right in Kaimuki just waiting for a solid restaurant to open up. Just sayin’…

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