chefsday is about the world as viewed by an irrational recovering depressive chef who’s kinda smart and sometimes a humorous neurotic with a bit of anxiety.
At the age of eight I decided I would be a chef. In fact that year for Christmas most of my gifts were kitchen related.
Not much happened.
During a semester off from Siena College after the Dean of Academic Affairs strongly suggested I go out into the workforce by telling me not to return to school I took my first restaurant job. I had just finished the fall semester of my sophomore year and just turned 18 with no real direction. I knew I loved to cook but I didn’t know how to go about it. I ended up working at Mike’s Pizza Adobe in Schenectady and found it to be miserable work. Little did I know it was the food and not the work I disliked. I went back to Siena for my junior year of cross country and became a better student.
Not much happened again.
I entered a professional kitchen again at 35 when the world of retail had worn thin on me since my type of people skills were not tolerant of people. It was at Café Capriccio that I really found myself starting to get serious about food, but not disciplined or knowledgeable about the business side.
After that I worked in way too many places that were either uninspiring or downright discouraging. It wasn’t until the last half-decade or so that I find myself extremely serious about all aspects of the business, with food at the top of the list. I think it’s because I finally found myself in a good place where I had the freedom to express myself with food that I saw how important the management of the business was. It was at The Wine Bar that I really developed into a chef with all the skills necessary for success except for one. I had a difficult time with my emotions and systems for venting frustration.
Again I found myself in a place where I was uninspired and having a difficult time emotionally. There were some very difficult times in my personal life and the people around me paid the price.
I stepped away from the kitchen.
I currently operate the Yawning Duck Culinary Services on a part-time basis where I provide high-end multi-course dinner and cocktail parties, and private cooking classes in client’s homes. I also do some consulting work. I enjoy it, and it gives my daughter Theresa the opportunity to work with me which she also enjoys.
The New Year approaches and I have made great strides in my life. After coming to terms with my long-term depression I am finally deep enough in recovery that I can get back into the regular workforce as a chef and find my stride once again. I’m looking forward to cooking in a professional kitchen and doing better work than ever before.
The story continues…………