Please note: If you are an English major, highly intelligent, or generally get angry about poor writing, grammar, or incomprehensible thoughts, please don't hate me.
Plane leaves tomorrow, 6:00, from Ronald Reagan National Airport across the river from the District. Just about to start packing, no I have not started yet. I'll be fine, I have a list. I had a superb weekend at James Madison this past weekend, spent it with most of my best friends. Nick, Jeff, Emma, David, Kelsey, and every other person, thanks for making my last weekend in the United States(for two months, or forever!?) a memorable one! I love you all. Seriously!
In the past week or so, I have begun thinking about the "WHY" and the "WHAT," of everything. Why I love cooking, why I want to cook, why do I enjoy traveling, why do I sometimes have reservations about fully committing to cooking for the rest of my life, what do I want in life, and many more, I'm sure. My memory is horrible.
I have a deep passion for cooking, and it continues to thrive and develop every moment I spend in the kitchens and eating, seeing, enjoying. However, I know the lifestyle, I know that once I commit to cooking, there is no looking back. I know that if I do cook, my days will be long, pay will be short(although I firmly believe due to the Food Network and food awareness that has come about that wasn't present during my role model's in the culinary field's beginnings, that hopefully the field will get a bit more recognition and overall the harshness in the field will be relaxed) In the past, I have been weary of this. But thinking about what I really want, and why I want it, it helps to really show whats true and what would make the best sense to continue on with. I recently applied to George Mason University, thinking that I would attend there for a degree in politics and work the nights in one of the kitchens in Arlington/Washington, D.C. Therefore, simultaneously keeping both paths running that I wouldn't mind spending my life in, Politics and Cooking. However, due to my mediocre grades, average SAT scores, and what appeared to them as a lazy, recently-graduated high school kid, who has done nothing in the past year, they denied my acceptance. I can't blame them, but how do I explain what I'm doing on an application that is solely education based? I don't know if I could do politics, maybe too much paperwork, might be too boring at times. But I would have liked to try. But currently that path has been closed. I'm alright with it though, food and cooking are my gig.
Hang in there, I hope the thoughts in the past few paragraphs have been comprehensible. It's difficult at times for me to communicate what I am thinking.
If I work hard enough, cooking and food will give me all I need in life. It might be hard, but it will be rewarding. I owe it to everyone who has helped and shaped me in the past 8 years of my culinary journey.
Why I love cooking: the food, the fast pace, the comradery, the people involved, the places it can take you, the difficulty, the reward after a successful dinner service, the drive and endurance it takes to succeed, the feeling of pleasure that you receive after someone eats and is blown away, smiling ear to ear, because they don't know what they just ate, or why it tasted so good, but they love it, and it evoked memories from the times that I can't know, but connect to only by means of food.
One recent memory of this is just last week, during dinner service as it often happens, a patron came up to the window at Acacia, and older gentlemen. With a huge smile and with jubilance in his voice, he said something to the like of "Outstanding, really amazing. That is all I have to say. Amazing. Thank you." It hit home for me.
Who knows what my next year will look like, I wouldn't mind spending it in kitchens in Europe. Or perhaps Culinary school in NY or Providence. But they need to give me some money. I'm not trying to have over 40,000$ in loans. We'll see what happens.
It is now 12:23 and I need to begin packing.
But first I want to thank everyone who is in my life, a lot of the time I think about how incredible all of you are, how everything is so perfect, I like to think that my life and relationship with you all is really something special. Different. Thank you familia for supporting, being amazing and funny, and awesome. I love you all. Thank you Nicholas for being my best friend, you are my boy, YOU ARE AMAZING. Thank you Jeff for teaching me, we're good counter parts. Emma, we have grown, I love you. You keep me grounded. Thank you Courtney I owe you, your passion amazes me. Ynhi, Caroline, Joni, David, Kelsey, people at Cafe Caturra, teachers at Midlothian, Phil, Andy, Dale, Chris, Star, Edgar, and Aidan at Acacia. Chef Joe at Can Can, Chef James at Can Can, Mike Y, foreign friends. If I know you, then thank you for being a part of my life. So many thanks and appreciation.
I began to find my voice in this post, awesome. Much to do in the next 24 hours before I leave, thank you sincerely for reading.
Now listening to: Gettin' Over-David Guetta Ft. Chris Willis
Next post should be from the Philadelphia Airport, Stay Tuned!
Below are some shots I took during my last days at Acacia, Enjoy
Finishing Scallop plate
Sous Chef Phil
Peruvian Style Tuna Ceviche, avocado, pickled watermelon rind, tuna, pickled red onion brunoise, cucumber, crispy shallot.
Left: Smoked Salmon Salad: celery root, pickled red onion, hearts of palm, blood orange mousseline, house smoked cured and smoked salmon, blood oranges
Picture at the top: Pan seared Sea Scallops, house-made linguine, baby carrots, brussel sprouts, cipollini onions, basil butter sauce (That picture came out real nice)