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Aug 30 2011

The Last Course

Last year I took the biggest risk of my life – moving to a new city and leaving a successful career to attend culinary school. It could have ended badly (i.e. penniless, or worse, with a self-amputated finger). Thankfully, (fingers intact) as I reflect upon the past year, I know without a doubt, it was the best personal and professional decision I have ever made.  I followed my dream and greatest passion in the world: all things food….not many people can say that…

Most people (of sound mind) would not leave a safe job making great money to pursue the difficult lifestyle and low wages the food industry often brings. But life is short, and we only get one, so shouldn’t we be doing something we love everyday? I am beyond grateful that I had the means to pursue my lifelong passion, in addition to the support of family and friends.

Despite the 5 am schedule, brutal back pain and long hours, I would wake up every day for school with a smile on my face, excited for the next adventure.  I did not miss one day of cooking class in fifteen months (I wish I could say the same for undergrad).  As a business major in college, can I argue that the financial cost of culinary school was worth it? Probably not in pure financial terms (I’m waiting to break even).  But, in terms of pure personal joy, I can honestly say this was the most fun I’ve ever had.

I will spend the rest of my life making other people happy with my cooking – which is what makes this investment the investment of a lifetime.  And let’s not forget about the duck confit, maple pot de creme, salmon quenelles, sole a la meuniere, braised oxtail, steak with green peppercorn sauce, duck a l’ orange, thai crab cakes, miso cod, italian sausage, duck liver pate, fruit tarts, fresh pasta, almond croissants, etc. etc. etc…

So what’s next you may be wondering? The plan is to merge my business background and kitchen skills to start earning a salary again (i.e. I’m for hire)!  I’ll keep you updated via this blog….

The good news is, I know I’ll never starve!

And to finish, some final highlights of my last semester:

Sole Doria

Veal Scaloppini with mozzarella and prosciutto rotolo over polenta

Spinach and artichoke ravioli w/ fennel fondue & a buttered spring ramp and lemon broth

Miso black cod with sauteed baby bok choy

Maple pot de creme with hickory nut brittle

“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains, and we never know we have the key”

-Already Gone Lyrics by the Eagles