darn, i think my rather longwinded reply post was lost, so much for making a charming first impression.
anyway, thanks for the welcome mezzaluna, really appreciated:)
I guess it's really strange that working in the culinary world didn't occur to me until the very end of my undergraduate studies. I've been surrounded and been in love with food for as long as can remember. My favorite bits of books and films are always the food (eat drink man woman anybody?)...my dorm walls were covered with posters of dairy, sashimi, pastries...I'm a bit of a strange bird, i admit haha...I spend my days arguing and making fun of vegans (i kid, i kid)
the 'what the ****?' do i do with my life question really kicked in when i was a senior, and one day it sort of just leapt into my mind that i spent a great deal of my life thinking and being obsessed with food. it was only a half step to realize that i should work in the kitchen. Part of me wishes that i'd known this before i spent a load of money on undergrad studies at a private college, but i do feel that i have gained skills and perspective i would not have otherwise.
strangely enough, it was on the day of my last final, after i handed it in, that my prof asked me about my plans, and i answered "I don't like that question" and he proceeded to tell me that when he graduated college, he wanted to go off to CIA and become an executive chef. This is a man i respected intellectually and personally for over four years and i never knew this about him. Although he obviously became a prof, he said he somewhat regrets not cheffing and that either way he'd have been happy. It was kismet. I thought he was going to laugh at me when i told him i wanted to become a chef.
I think i was always intimidated by the business, from what i've heard from waitstaff about customers and abusive chefs, you know the gamut.
But it wasn't just him, I think of my immigrant grandmother and my parents and the culinary tradition they've given me, and my friends and the joy that talking and critiquing food, cooking food, and of course eating food gives me (as if this was in question!). All of these things, i would say, have informed my culinary journey.
Unfortunately for me, i have no experience in a kitchen, it seems all i know how to do is work hard and be passionate. i know it's going to be a lot of hard work, but i wouldn't have it another way. I only learn through doing, and i want to soak up all i can about this industry. This site so far looks like a great resource, a lot of honesty and support. Glad to find this place, definately.