37 years old, been cooking since I lied about my age to gain entry into a kitchen at 14.
I have worked every position imaginable in food establishements, from fry cook to server to bartender to graveyard shift baker. Fine dining line cooking to fine dining banquets. From apprentice to Chef.
I have thought about getting out of this business many times, to get into something with better money, better hours, more of a life... but I simply can't. It's in my blood.
I believe in simple food, cooked simply, and I believe that the only skill required for this trade is a love for food. Real love. The kind of love that makes one realize that a handmade hamburger needs just as much skill and attention to detail as a rack of lamb. I have no time for snobbery in the kitchen, or pretentious posturing.
I believe that humility is the most important virtue in a cook, and a virtue that is rapidly vanishing from the industry, led by flamboyant television Pied Pipers that do my trade no credit.
I believe that the trade has gotten away from it's roots. Gotten away from the basics.