Food Job: Shopper

A rather grumpy-looking culinary student folded her arms and glared at me.

I had asked her what she wanted to do when she graduates. I complicated the question by asking her not what she likes to do but what she loves to do.

In response to what she clearly thought was a dumb question, she answered: “I love to go shopping.” Everyone in the class laughed but I thought this was a really useful piece of information.

I told her about a former colleague at Windows on the World restaurant who is a tabletop consultant. She scours manufacturers’ showrooms for the latest designs of china, glassware and distinctive serving plates for several upscale restaurants. My student now does the same thing. She works part-time as a tabletop counselor and the rest of her time as a prop stylist for a food photographer.

She goes shopping everyday.

When a chef wants a tagine or a mandoline or any other piece of specialized equipment, she knows exactly what it is and can lay her hands on it immediately. She finds the cobalt blue plate for serving the smoked salmon and the lavender dish for the chocolate cake.

She found her “bliss” — her perfect food job.