Memoirs of the traveling chef – My Food Journey
Following the family tradition I was soon packed off to boarding school. My food adventures carried on at school as well. The first time I saw the school kitchen my jaw dropped. I thought to myself, now here is place where I can go crazy. To my disappointment I soon figured out that the school kitchen was strictly out of bounds and I would be in real trouble if I was ever caught there. But some friendly conversations and gifts can work wonders if you want to get things done. Soon enough I found myself inside the humongous school kitchen. The friendly kitchen staff thought I was just being in the kitchen to avoid a teacher who was looking for me to remind me of my low grades. But little did they know that I would pester them with my endless questions, ’why do you add the tomatoes now?’ ‘What happens if I add too much water?’ and so on. When the head cook couldn’t take anymore of my questions he would say just watch and learn, and learn I did.
Seeing my enthusiasm, one day I was handed over a mammoth spatula and the head cook firmly said ‘I want it to taste nice!’ To my surprise I was in charge of the mashed potato. That’s when I realized seeing things’ getting cooked was far easier. Two hours and a huge pot full of bland mashed potatoes later I was sure the kitchen I where I wanted to be, even though I barely managed to finish the potatoes in time, with a lot of help of course. To this day the school reunion is something I really look forward to, it gives me a chance to go back into the same humongous kitchen where my love for food took shape. The head cook is now of a ripe old age and is about to hang his boots, but he still remembers the mashed potatoes.
After getting out of school I was one of the few guys in my class who knew what I wanted to do in life. So I was off to culinary school where I learnt that life can be tough. Books were never my thing; the kitchen was where I was truly in my element. I could barely manage to scrape through in the exams, but the cooking tests were where I showed my true colors. Spending all those extra hours in the test kitchens paid off after all. I was picked up by a big hotel chain soon after college and in my mind the chef in me had arrived. But the reality of a professional kitchen soon hit me, the long hours of non stop work, and a boss who flips a switch at free will were just some of the perks of the job. After laboring through some hard years in a hotel kitchen I decided to move on. That’s when I was introduced to the glitz of a cruise line kitchen, same kind of work but in more exotic locations, who was I to complain. A little sea sickness later I was ready to travel and cook my way through the world. Ahoy there chef!
Through my travels I was lucky enough to taste some of the best food from world over and make some fabulous friends in the process. All thanks to my adventures in the kitchen. So don’t let anybody tell you that cooking doesn’t do any thing for you. For all you know it might take you places too.