Thanks guys. My love of cooking came from... Well, I can't really say, it just sort of always was there, me watching my mom cook dinner as a child, I'd be on my stepladder watching and trying not to get burnt and as I got older my responsibilities went up to dicing an onion or whatever, but I always felt this close connection with what was going on in those pots, and I always wanted to know more. I spent plenty of time in fields not related to cookery (working the checkout at the local grocery store ftw), but it always felt like a job and not a calling.
Several years later, 2 higher educations tried and skipped (I passed chemistry, physics and math, which I see as useful for food prep, but I ultimately just couldn't handle the strict thinking of these schools), I decided to join "the fray" and go for that chef's hat. I knew it took a bastard, and I knew I had him in me.
I got my wheels on this place, "the archer", run by a man who had surely taken in more than he could bite. It was a glorious setting, and reservations were set for years ahead, but someone had decided that this glorious summer retreat needed to be year-round and a'la'carte. That killed the man. I left after a couple of months, on good terms, as this was all too crazy for a beginner, as I was. Looking back, with my current experience, I could've turned that place in months, but I digress.
I used my (by then, meagre) contacts within the trade to gain my next contract; a classic, french-inspired steak house with roots going back to the 70s. I learnt my basics here, basics I still rely on. Stuff like caring for a stock, cooking a roux, or a thing that impresses my current students to no end; how determine how much a steak is cooked just by the touch.
Also, by year 2 and 3, I learnt the basics of controlling tickets, spewing out more orders than I had ever thought imaginable. Every now and then, more often than not, I miss that place.
I got my colours in '08 and got myself a job as a cook by walking in the front step of this restaurant I heard needed help. I was hired without much fuss. We did a lot of fun food, cooking scallops, veal and the like until the financial crisis hit. Fuck her(/him?).
The crisis saw us scrambling for customers while still keeping with our high-end profile. Not a win, I'll skip the intermediate stuff as it was all clutching for straws, but we ended up serving foot-high arrangements of shellfish and other things not readily available (and expensive as sh*t) in my area. Oddly enough, the place didn't survive. It was, however, bought by some very, very rich people. The people who started the venture of which I'm currently employed.
My story so far. Let me know if you want to know what happened in my trained years.