As the holidays approach, many will turn to the kitchen for their gift inspiration. They’ll check their favorite recipes, pull out ingredients for preparing and packaging tasty delicacies to give to loved ones and colleagues, even to the friendly mail carrier and newspaper delivery ladies. As they wait for the goodies to emerge from the oven, their minds may begin to wander, to consider what it would be like to quit the day job and have a dream food job as a food entrepreneur.
Getting Started Continue reading
Chef David Robinson has been a caterer to a former United States President and to senators, to movie stars, hedge fund financiers and the biggest shots in the military–including General Colin Powell.
Today, he was interviewed on CBS This Morning by Lee Woodruff on his successful campaign to take the military into the kitchen.
After ‘Chef David’ created a 10-video series: How to Cook (And Eat Your Mistakes), he concentrated his efforts on a new program called Culinary Command Training, an intensive culinary training program for returning U.S. veterans, as well as active military. Continue reading
Video cameras on every street corner. Astonishing advances in forensics and astounding powers of detection can lead to the arrest of ‘persons of interest’.
It doesn’t take great powers of deduction to realize that every one of us is a person of interest. We all have a unique story to tell. The goal is to maximize that singularity and — as Martha Stewart would do — monetize it.
Here’s a baking and pastry student. A charming young woman. She’s missed several of my classes. (Am I being boring? Does she hate me?)
I worry about me. I should be worried about her.
She pulls up her pants leg to reveal a large, angry-looking bluish bruise on the front of her leg. “I’ve got Type One diabetes,” she explains. “It’s uncontrolled. I don’t know what to do. I won’t be able to get a job when I graduate. I can’t stand up for very long. No restaurant is going to hire me.”
She will soon be receiving her Bachelor of Professional Studies degree and she knows more about what was previously known as juvenile diabetes than many food professionals. And she’s lovely.
She comes from a large family and likes being around little children.
She Googled ‘Type One Diabetes Medical Centers.’ Immediately up popped the Mayo Clinic and several other medical centers located throughout the country. She applied for a job. Got it!
Now she teaches children how to cook and how to manage their insulin-dependence.
She is superbly qualified for her work. Has access to the best medical care for herself. And her days are filled with laughter.
Yesterday, I overheard a culinary student discussing an assignment for his history class. He revealed he was going to write about weapons. He then launched into a lengthy explanation about early man’s earliest killing efforts. Apparently ancient carnivores swung a ball on a rope and bopped a beast. Then they ate it.
Most of life can be explained by conjugating the verb ‘Eat’: I eat. You eat. We eat. Or, Heaven forbid, we are eaten.
The student continued his monologue with a lengthy discussion on bows and arrows, and bayonets and other ingenious weapons used for inflicting bodily harm. He was clearly enraptured with his recitation of man “kind’s” gory history of violence.
I intruded into the conversation to suggest that he could use his interest in death and destruction to teach a course at West Point Military Academy.
As you see, every conversation, no matter how random, contains elements that can evolve into a brilliant career.
As a food person, this culinary guy could interweave the origins of steak tartar, the history of the spice trade as it related to the Crusades and, of course, Hannibal, his elephants and the diet of ancient Carthaginians.
He could also apprentice as a butcher.
I just met an Irish clog dancer. She dances competitively and loves it — or did love it until she decided she had to earn a living and enrolled in professional culinary school.
There she has to hop, skip and jump her way through her courses. But, her dancing has fallen by the wayside.
Now, she is two weeks away from graduation — and confused. She needs a food job.
She “confesses” all she truly wants to do is have a lot of children — and dance!
Her new plan is to learn how to manage a bed & breakfast with a view to owning her own business.
The Woman Who Lived In a Shoe
Her soon-to-be-born children will live with her just like The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. She will establish herself in her community by offering dancing classes.
This will surely be a far, far better thing than working as a line-cook in a hot kitchen.
Bed & Breakfast business owners may also offer picnic baskets for their guests during the day, and in the early evening, cocktails with hors d’oeuvres or even pastries and a dessert wine at the end of the day.
A bed & breakfast need not be all about beds and breakfasts.
Image courtesy of http://stocklogos.com/logo/ballerina-italian-pastry-art
I recently met a charming young woman who had spent 12 years as a ballet dancer before enrolling at the Culinary Institute of America.
I asked her why she had stopped dancing.
She said she had become totally fed up with having people shout at her…
I immediately thought, working in a hot kitchen with an irascible chef would obviously solve that problem!
I said nothing.
She then volunteered that she was happy she could now eat a bacon cheeseburger and fries instead of the half lettuce leaf that would keep her weight low enough to be hoisted over the head of her partner.
“What’s next after graduation?,” I asked.
“I want to be a dining room manager in a fancy restaurant,” she said without pause.
I asked her if she knew that Thomas Keller employs a dancer to show his waitstaff how to walk gracefully through the room before delicately before placing the plates on the table.
She mentioned her years of ballet training at her next interview. She landed the job she wanted.
Now she’s pirouetting all the way to the bank (and coaching little girls who suffer with anorexia).