Measurement of success


What is success?? Is it the fame and glory? Being nr 1 according to some panel of judges? We have a way to measure most things in life, a cup of sugar and a spoon full of honey. We can even measure a 1/301 of an octave with what they call “savart”. It’s actually quite an amazing scale, it is an interval that separates two of the same notes. Again music speaks more than words ever can, for me the savart can be seen as  that small unexplainable thing that keeps two people apart. 

Let me get back to my big question. How do we measure the most important things in life? Love- we have all had someone (I truly hope) that responded with I love you more, when you said those magic words. Whether it was just a friend or someone you loved more deeply. 

What is success and how can we say that we are or aren’t successful? What if the guy that begs for money is actually the best vocal artist that will ever walk this earth, but he chooses to only sing for those special people that crosses his path? He will never be on the billboard charts, but he is a actually a whole lot better than the guy that sold his soul to fit the croud. 

Lately I have been questioning life, in a deeply I don’t know who I am way . On the one hand I love what I do, I love every thing about it. It’s chaotic, it has more mysteries than I ever thought, constant new things happening. It’s challenging in a way that keeps you on your toes, away from the over thinking. 

My challenge is, I don’t know if I am actually making an impact, I am not changing lives or saving some helpless kid. 

I am being selfish.

But then again, how can I be selfish if I do what I love? 

Rantings of a busy mind rules again. 

Success is being happy. Happy in all aspects of life. Being happy with being single, being happy with your career. But most important being happy with who you truly are. The real you.

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Respect for ingredients 

“Respect is one of the greatest expressions of love” 

I am fortunate enough to work with some of the most amazing ingredients. I have noticed though that there has always been some kind of lack of respect for even a “simple” ingredient like an onion. 

This makes me extremely upset. Every ingredient is a gift from the earth to us. It starts out by being a humble seed, and there goes a lot of effort into growing ingredients. People take time and pride to grow them. They invest their time into making the soil a perfect growing environment, they feed and nurture this simple onion. Did you know that your average onion takes about 100 – 175 days to grow? So why do we see this as “just an onion”.

Let me just say, I don’t get upset easily. But then you see things, that kills your soul just a little bit. It makes you cringe, and your heart stop for a second. 

So what started the whole me being upset thing? It started with the truffles, and no not the chocolate ones. I will have to go back to the very beginning. How do we find truffles and why are they so expensive????

I read this article that says is beautifully, truffles grow in symbiotic relationships which mean that they give and take. Kind of like we are. They need such specific soil to grow in, the Ph level needs to be perfect. They don’t just grow anywhere, they are a bit snobby. They hide underneath the ground, and are delicate treasures that are found. They don’t flaunt their beauty like a flower, they stay  hidden away from the outside world. When you look at a truffle for the first time, they seem odd. Then you smell them, and it’s in your face. It is robust and delicate and knocks you off your feet. In my mind it feels like they have this multitude of personalities. 

And then you find them scattered around the freezer, like they have been discarded to the pigs. Gems like these are hard to find, so why would you not give them the respect they need? 

I am still very new in the industry, and i beg of you. Treat every single ingredient with the respect it deserves. Always remember that mother nature hands us a lot of gifts, and all she asks in return is just for you to show gratitude. Every time you handle any ingredient, think of how it got to be in your hands at that moment.  It’s your duty to handle it with the necessary respect. 

XXX

Disconnected feeling

Ever get those moments when you feel disconnected from yourself? Well that moment seems to be an everlasting one the last couple of days. 

It’s like I can’t seem to get in the rhythm of things this week. The only songs stuck in my head ranges from depressing to jumping off a cliff. The thing is… i am extremely happy. Maybe it’s because I know I am not allowed to be this happy. By the moral laws layed out by society. I had a big loss in my life. 

My emotions have been, well, I don’t know where to place them. There is no box labeled for this. I walked into the kitchen this week, and I was sooo happy to be back. But then, how can I be? I lost my brother , I took care of him, I cleaned what looked like an episode of dexter in his room. 

Dealing with a bunch of silly emotions, makes me feel like I have lost this strong person I was two weeks ago. The thing is, it’s like the kitchen is my saving grace, with an extra guardian angel looking out for me. 

How do we keep our emotions out of the kitchen, I haven’t doubted my self this much in a very long time. I believe that I am the master of a fake smile, and years of  boxed up feelings behind it. 

It’s unfair, I am happy!! Happy with my life, proud to be part of this magical place. 

But then you find these perfectly created tiny snails in your garnish, and you stop to think just how beautiful life really is. Some might think it’s just a silly snail, but you should have seen this one! Obviously saved my new found friends. And that’s when it hit me, I never want to loose that part of myself. That quirky person, the thing I hated about myself for most of my life. It’s just who I am. 


I have accepted that there is a place for that in a not always perfect world. It’s incredible to think even in a busy kitchen, rushing to get everything done for service. There is always a moment to breathe deeply, and enjoy the little things in life. 

So today I am just trying to be okey with the fact that I am happy. It sounds crazy, and my heart is torn apart. In the midst of the chaos in my life, I have found my happy place. Outside- i am bombarded with a thousand different emotions. Although at times it has seeped through the cracks in my heart, and YES it has taken a toll on my work. Feels like it’s been my firsy day in a kitchen this whole week. 

 

Why are you smiling?


When you can’t stop the edges of your mouth from almost tearing away at your cheeks, that’s when you have discovered the fantasy of what the world calls happiness.  But this time it’s not just my libra fake smile to the world. It’s real.

So we make this one gorgeous dish that looks like a sunflower, to make this we use baby carrots, slice them paper thin, and roll them up in these perfect little petals. So you need to make about 30 of these tiny little petals, to make the flower that’s smaller than the size of your palm. So it takes time, and they need to make the perfect sharp edge. It’s time consuming, and it might be seen as a daunting task. But seeing this picture grow, petal by petal. It becomes something beautiful, well not beautiful but in a sense mesmerizing. Then just a few yellow or white petals, randomly placed, it’s perfectly imperfect. 

There are several components going into this small intricate dish. A thin layer of carrot gel, a perfect circle in the middle – removing that small center and evenly replacing it with a smooth carrot and orange purée. The carrot gel is then evenly spread with the double thick yuzu plain yogurt, which forms the canvas for the perfect petals. It’s like the flower met the sun for the first time. It’s love at first sight. 

Oh and yes i get distracted, lets get back to the smile. It’s like my heart won’t stop singing, there is permanently these songs playing their chorus in my head. And this dish is one of the reasons that I can’t stop smiling. I walk around in the kitchen and my Cheffie will ask me why am I smiling. Dear Chef, you and this kitchen are the reason. The reason I get excited like a kid in a candy store. So I can’t always tell you that. But thank you for taking that fake, painful smile and turning it into this beautiful bubbling explosion of true happiness.

“When passion meets inspiration, an obsession is born.”

henri cartier-bresson


It’s exactly like falling in love… the sweaty palms, racing heart, stars in your eyes and the desire to invest your heart and soul into this new “puppy love”. 

I walked into the almost magical kitchen, they were busy cleaning up after what seemed to be a rough Sunday lunch. But I could feel it, the music that was simply in my soul, the overwhelming rhythm of my heart and the grace and passion of my hero. You could feel the love! And in that moment my passion was back. And this time it was fierce! 

I was so nervous, what if she made a mistake. Why would I get this opportunity??? There is simply nothing special about me. So why me??? This is my year, 2017 will be the year that I will start believing in myself. 

My first day, the smell of the kitchen felt like a soothing hot bath on a cold winters day. The blanket in front of the fire place. A safe space. I know, how on earth can a smell be so comforting. But oh GOD how it comforts and scares me, all at the same time. 

This is where the obsession started. Working for someone where you can feel the passion and love even when they slice an onion – utterly contagious. Well I have a drop in the bucket compared to her. I eat, breath and sleep my career. It’s become part of my being, religion and way of life. Being a Chef is not supposed to be a job, it should awaken your soul.

The journey begins

It started out with me wanting to run away from responsibilities, and a relationship that was again not the so called one. An angry drunk that never admits she is wrong (yes she!! I am a gay women) On my way to dinner with an old colleague and friend, and maybe a glass of wine in my system. I decided. 

It was now or never!!! A have received a job offer from an incredible Chef, which I have said no too. I lost my passion in a sense, and I was deeply in love at the time. So why would I want to pack up my life again!! And move 1700km away from what has become my home. But in the 5 years since I worked as a student for her- she has always been my greatest influence and mentor. So I sent her a message. And miraculously the offer was still on the table!!!

A week later it was set in stone. And that’s how my new journey started…