Now that it’s become Autumn, each day seems to get a little colder and shorter. I almost long for the warmth of the sun during the summertime to replace these frigid nights. Sadly, I also long for the time when cooking to me wasn’t a job or a career, but something I enjoyed. Since my time at Encore is coming to a close, I’ve been working fewer and fewer hours. This isn’t by any means a bad thing but the longer I’m away from a kitchen, the more depressed I feel.

Finding Oneself

I have embarked on somewhat of a mini-vacation from work to New York City, my mecca of food, and to campus at the Culinary Institute of America. Just being back on CIA grounds has brought new life to my weary body. I see so many others like me wandering the campus, each one with a story to tell. I ran into a group of fresh students and chatted with them, for well over an hour about what they should expect for the time ahead. It was strange, almost, talking to them like any of the storied chefs that walk these halls, watching with personal delight as they hung on every word I said. It brought me back to when I was here in their shoes, fresh faced and eager to expand my culinary world.

Brooklyn or Bust

The friendships that you make at school are more than just bonds formed from the kitchen, they are people who grow with you, and learn from you, and vice versa, as you progress. I went to NYC to visit some friends off on externships. My friends Sarah and Sam, at Union Square Cafe and Le Bernadin respectfully, shared their experiences and stories with me while we enjoyed a few drinks together. Both of these people are talented and have bright futures ahead of them. Just seeing them again and hearing such wonderful and not so wonderful tales of New York and kitchen antics made me want to hop right back into a kitchen, just like them.

Lets, get, cooking.

Now that my trip is coming to a close, I have found what I was looking for out here in New York. At one point, I felt as if I wasn’t in love with cooking anymore. I felt robotic, almost uncreative. All it took was seeing people from a different perspective to bring me back to why we all do it. We are all different, in some way, and it shows in every meal we prepare. Its the difference in us all that bring us together, for the benefit of the craft.