One of the things I’ve tried to do in this blog is to give an accurate accounting of what it’s like to be a chef, and be in not only the throws of restaurant life, but in life as a whole. It’s not simply cooking great food and making people happy. The life can be a grind, it can be frustrating, and it can depend on others to do their jobs well and I’ve always reported on that with accuracy and honesty, and will continue to do so. Therefore, I present this post in that spirit, because this is the current state of this chef.
As many of you are aware from a previous post I, with support from my family, decided to give private catering and consulting a shot, with the hope that I could make a fair living while providing care and support to the newest member of our household. While I had a great consulting gig this summer that allowed me to be there for Theresa, and I had some small events, I cannot see too much on the horizon that will allow me to make an adequate financial contribution to our household.
Perhaps our decision was made with too much influence from the strong emotions of the time just following the loss of Theresa’s mother, or just maybe the decision to leave the professional kitchen was made with the hope that we could do something to ensure that we had control of our own culinary destiny. Either way, things have not panned out as we had hoped, and will not in the foreseeable future.
I suppose we could give it more time to see if the Fall season and the Holidays bring a change in our business outlook, but do we dare take it so far that we end up a situation that forces us to make major financial decisions? This little culinary services operation at this point is not worth the risk, and it’s something we can revisit far down the road if need be. So, with Theresa now in a full-time day program for the first time and working towards some life goals, it seems like this is the right move for the good of the family as a whole. With a mortgage to pay, and a family to feed, I have to do what’s necessary and look for a chef’s position and get back into the kitchen.
I am grateful for the ability to spend the last several months with Theresa and getting her settled in her new home. In retrospect I should have just called the move a sabbatical or a leave of absence from restaurant life to focus on family matters so the door to the kitchen was left open, but again, deep emotions and uncertainty can play a huge role in decision-making as I have learned. I did the right thing at the time, and I need to do the right thing now for both myself as a chef, and also for the entire family as a father.
With that said, I am in a state of flux and am looking to take on private functions, but am looking forward to opportunities to find myself running the right kitchen again.
The truth is folks that I miss the action of the restaurant kitchen and the opportunity to create menus suited to my skill set. I miss the action on a Saturday night, and I miss the challenge of making each person who sits down for a meal very happy with their to allow me to cook for them. I do belong in the kitchen, and I belong there more than I’ve been lately. I’m a happier person when I’m in a professional kitchen, and that is important for the balance we need in family life. With Theresa finding her place in our family, It’s time for all of us to find similar roles as members of the group. Were not there yet of course, but with Jenn doing well in her job, Stella starting first grade, and Tate doing his part as the adorable youngest member of the family, it’s a good time for me to return to my proper role as the happy, grumpy, tired, creative, hard-working guy known to the family good old dad that is also a good and dedicated chef.