Off The Deep End

Sometimes I wonder if I’m crazy for doing what I do. I take brutal punishment in the form of physical strain on my body and mental strain on my mind. Each day comes with the possibility of new injuries. For example, last week I burned my arm eight times in less than two minutes. I now have scars on my arm that look like track lines. My finger was partially severed off last year. I’ve had a paring knife dropped off the line and land into my foot.

I love the world of food, from the deep influence of culture upon cuisines to the variety of flavors and techniques. I’d love nothing more than to stop what I’m doing, and travel the planet for a year. I’m torn between two worlds of food, do I want to work the line forever or do I spend time working my technique and my writing? I ask myself, should I go into education and teach new culinary student my love of the craft, or do I seek out the brigade system and try to achieve Executive Chef of a high scale kitchen?

I absolutely love the rush of adrenaline that comes when orders start coming in, the thrill of showing off my skills and plates and the enjoyment thats comes when servers tell me that customers truly loved my cooking. Each day after that, I can’t help but think is this really what I put myself through harm for. Its the complete factor, one part cooking, one part, happiness, one part physical and mental duress, and one final compliment that really brings it together. I’ve asked countless of my fellow chef’s about what is the one thing they regret about our industry. While most say money, several have told me they wish they could practice the craft safely.

While I can’t possibly see what lies in store for me in the near future, I think about it constantly. After I graduate from school, should I continue my education, study abroad, work the line, or work on my writing. What would anyone else do in my position? I ask you readers to tell me your deepest concerns for the craft, what would have done differently or changed about what you do.

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