Cooking burn out happens to everyone including me. I’ve burnt out at just about every restaurant job I’ve ever had and while I do thrive on the adrenaline of restaurant life, I don’t thrive on the all consuming nature of the job.
The life of a private chef is typically not as demanding, but it is still prone to burn out.
The pace when you’re working in someone’s home is slow and manageable and other than spontaneous requests for homemade cookies every now and again, fairly predictable. Maybe it’s just boredom I’ve been feeling more than burn out. Either way, if I’m not feeling energized by what I’m doing I’m not happy.
Fortunately, I have recently re-found my cooking mojo and I am once again taking advantage of the freedom and opportunities that I have with my job. I have a huge kitchen with 2 stoves, 2 ovens, every appliance I need and a fully stocked pantry. I have no food budget, very few food restrictions and total creative freedom over everything.
A good part of my new found invigoration is thanks to cooking shows like Jamie At Home, cookbooks like The Fat Duck and food blogs like A Foodie Froggy in Paris. I’m a bit overwhelmed by the amount of information available these days and feel like I never have the time to take part as much as I would like, but I am finding inspiration and feeling my creative juices bubbling.
Last night I created a Bolognese type sauce with an Asian flavor twist. I used pork and beef and infused it with flavors like fresh ginger, star anise and orange zest, garnishing it with scallions and cilantro. It was surprisingly yummy and even the kids inhaled it (the true test.) On Tuesday I put together a Gala apple-Vermont cheddar cheese savory crostata with a wheat germ crust to go with some pork medallions I was serving.
If anyone is ever interested in more details about anything I cook I’m happy to oblige.