First off, feel free to move this "topic" anywhere that may fit better.
I changed my status line on this forum to "Professional Chef" the other day. When I registered here a couple of years ago my status was "Culinary Student." Anybody who's had the chance to read "Medium Raw" should know that I am exactly the guy that AB suggests I shouldn't try to get into this business, except for the overweight part. I haven't weighted 240 lbs since my late teens, thanks in part to becoming a food snob and for a time a serious fitness addiction. Not as bad as coke I guess, though chronic shin splints and bad knees argue otherwise.
I'm a career changer, I went to an expensive cooking school, first real kitchen job was for a chain where nobody gave a, well, gave a what ever is the strongest sentiment that won't get edited. I nearly had a breakdown. Doubt and second guessing ( with a dash of self loathing) nearly cost me my marriage. I stuck it out because the food mattered. Because I could always count on the food. The food was bigger than me, even if nobody else around me gave a damn, I had that power. I could care about what people passed across their lips.
I've worked for great, driven chefs that would turn my head in knots with their fits of inspiration and frustration (often at the same time). I've worked for lazy, insipid, chefs who's secret desire was to be nothing more than one of their well heeled customers who would show up after closing and order off menu. I've sous'd for these guys. I've been their voice and right arm.
I've got my own kitchen now. Its miles away from from the fine dinning environment I've trained for. My crew are the usual / unusual mix of line jockeys, super creative recent culinary grads, no-idea-why-these-guys-are-working-here-in-the-first-place types. And I love them all. No matter what their background is, they all care. And they all (I hope) know I care about the food than my ego.
This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. I spent most of it running around trying to buy up any and all Boston butts in the free world. Somehow, pulling in favours I didn't know I was owed, I pulled it off.
This is my country's day of thanks and I am here, well past the point where I should have passed out, alone while my wife is away with her family. Changing that simple status line on my profile has been the hardest thing I've done in a long time. Before I put my head down (which I should do as on my day off I'm cateeing a dinner of twelve| tomorrow) I just wanted to say, well,