Cooking professionally isn’t an option for me right now. I have 5 herniated disks on my neck and lower back, rotator cuff pain and other issues that make it too painful for me. I tried working a part time job as a line cook at the first upscale restaurant in downtown Fort Lauderdale to see if I could get back into it. Working in kitchens is like riding a bicycle. Before I knew it, I was trained in all the stations and going right back into old habits of ignoring the pain while popping ib profin daily. After about 3 months I knew it just wasn’t going to work out so I made the emotional decision to quit.
After that I just couldn’t bare to watch anything cooking related on TV or YouTube. For months I just avoided the subject all together. Being an amazing chef was a life long dream and passion for me. Since I was a little girl I’ve always had a passion for food and hospitality. How many people do you know that knew what they wanted to be from a young age and actually fulfilled that when they grew up? Not many.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes a long the way. I mean who hasn’t? I chose the now ex -boyfriend over the great volunteer opportunity or came back from my internship at Mario Batali’s steakhouse in Vegas instead of staying to see where it could take me. Only to break up with him a couple months later. We all make stupid choices that stopped us from getting closer to greatness. But it doesn’t mean our time has run out. That doesn’t mean the game is over.
Recently my husband and I were both sick in bed and searching through Netflix to find something to watch and I came across this show I remember watching before. Against my better judgment I put it on. It was about Italian chef Massimo Bottura and his story behind opening Osteria Francescana. I cried about 3 times while watching it. Because in that moment I thought to myself “I will never have a chance to try to become like him anymore, It’s over for me”
As I was moping around for the next couple of days I came to the realization that maybe it isn’t the end for me. I probably can’t work in a restaurant setting anymore but that’s not the only way I can grow my talents and rekindle that passion I once had. The only thing that’s stopping me from becoming great… is me. Not my injuries, not the life I have with my husband and the desire to have weekends off for “us” time. It always boils down to me getting in my own way.
I came up with this idea to cook recipes from the famous chefs cook books a while ago, after I watched Julie and Julia again, but I got so caught up trying to pay bills that I had to shove this project to the back burner for a while.
The plan was to start with Thomas Keller’s the French Laundry. I chose that book for nostalgia reasons. When I starting my culinary career, his name and that restaurant was in everyone’s mouth. He was the most amazing chef at that time and I want to go back to when I first fell in love with cooking.
Where this journey takes us, we wont know until we take it. At the very least we become better home cooks and throw the best diner parties. Or maybe, just maybe we take this opportunity to humble ourselves and see what we can learn from the best so we can become amazing chefs.
I’m not willing to sit back and let another year pass on by without trying. Are you?
The reality is there are a lot of obstacles in the way as well as having too tiny of a kitchen to do this right now but I’m working on it. We will get there real soon! For the time being I will be posting various recipes and reviews.
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