For those of you who don't know me personally, you may not know that I've been working at the Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen. In the interest of blogging and shameless self-promotion, this is me the other week:
I look happy, don't I? Glowing, I'd say, if I'm going to be totally honest and totally conceited. But yes, I am happy. But I'm also scared. And no, I'm not slicing chicken with a paring knife; you just can't quite see that my hand is choked up on the blade of my chef's knife.
For those of you who don't know me personally, you may also not know that I quit my job in order to finish culinary school. I graduated from UCLA with dreams of becoming a really cool magazine editor. After all, isn't that what every wannabe journalist dreams of? I worked in digital media and technology news as an editor/producer for several years and although I really liked it and although I had the utmost admiration for my co-workers, it wasn't enough. I wasn't passionate. I slowly started shifting my attention to baking and cooking and eventually founded this very blog. I was happy.
But soon after, cooking and blogging in my spare time wasn't enough either. I felt myself plateauing. More than anything, I just felt comfortable.
Meanwhile, my boyfriend had recently discovered a love for investing and fantasy football. (Ick, fantasy football. And believe it or not, he somehow got me into it -- even though I haven't the slightest clue what a "toucback" is. But more on that later.) Every morning he'd jump out of bed to check the stock market and Matthew Berry's latest commentary on who to play, who to bench and all the other things that induce my eye-rolling and sighing.
I was a little jealous. I didn't have anything that had me that excited to wake up each day.
Weeks later, I decided enough was enough. I needed to hone a new skill and to do something for myself -- while still creating value.
I Googled "cooking lessons." Lukewarm feelings of excitement started to bubble. I was getting close. I found the Le Cordon Bleu website. I messaged an online representative via live chat. Within two days, I had filled out my FAFSA form and enrolled in culinary school. Classes were to start the following week.
From there, everything was a blur. I kept my day job, working as hard as I could all day so I could go off the grid each night to cook my ass off. Knife skills. Basic butchery. French cuisine. Latin cuisine. Mediterranean cuisine. Sushi-making. Catering. I was steadily building a repertoire of kitchen skills.
As I approached graduation I started figuring out my next steps. I knew I wanted to do something with food but I didn't want to work in a restaurant. As I thought more about food writing, food styling, food photography and recipe development I kept circling back to one thought: I just want to play with food all day.
Before I knew it, I was quitting my awesome, stable news job in favor of an uncertain temporary position at the LA Times Test Kitchen, where I'd have more opportunity to learn about and of course, play with food. And it's been as enriching as I had hoped it would be. I've cooked all kinds of food and even got to star in some instructional videos.
I've finally graduated from Le Cordon Bleu and once again, it's time to figure out my next steps and find full-time work. And so, the fear is starting to creep up on me. I don't know where I'll be working in a few months. I don't even know if I will be working in a few months. Heck, I don't even know where I'll be living by then.
Since I started this blog two years ago and given it a makeover in the recent months, I've re-realized how much I love creating. So stay tuned, friends, as I progress through a career transition into food media -- you can expect more delish megish creations including recipes, self-pitying but brief rants and perhaps even some dinner parties.