I’ve gotten lost in it.
The sound of tickets printing — the inevitable feeling of drowning in the things you cannot control. Lost in the sizzle and pops of eggs frying and timers ringing, knowing that at some point it’ll be over, but it won’t be any time soon.
That’s how it feels, sometimes.
It takes a lot out of ya.
I question myself always, if I’m doing the right thing. Am I doing a good job? Does it matter? Does the hustle really pay off? So many times I find myself running circles in my mind of whether or not my coworkers think I’m a doofus. Or if my silence is hard for them when I’m trying to figure something out.
Truly I am not the best cook. My passion for such things fails, at times. My inexperience shows still and I wish I could always do better.
When food becomes a business, things change. It becomes so much more about the hustle, about as one person calls it his “piece of the pie”. I’m tired of shitty restaurant gossip. I’m tired of knowing who does what. We all have the same bills to pay.
All I want is my tiny corner of the world, to have people eat food and to say it was good, as the saying goes.
I don’t need an award.
How infuriating it is at times to be pressured to want things you never needed to know you had to have in the first place.
Pressure. Pressure to do more, always.
And I am guilty of putting it all on myself. This is what I’ve learned these past years in the times of Great Hustle, as I’m learning to call it. Nonstop, it feels. A few breaks to travel here and there, but mostly building and building and building.
I have failed in some of my relationships. I have loved well, regardless. I have seen so many things I cannot stand in myself. Things like pride and power.
There is a price to pay. That price looks a lot like anxiety. It looks like stress and quiet tempers, all because of this tiny corner of the world.
If you ask most chefs to speak, we groan at the idea of having to be that vulnerable. Partly because we do it on a daily basis. There is no greater vulnerability to me than having someone mess with your food because they don’t like it. It means much more to a cook than you can ever imagine. (maybe that’s why I’m afraid to have kids. )
Maybe I am tired and worn.
I am not shiny and polished. I do not have a good side for pictures. I will not be on TV or write a cookbook. That’s alright, too.
At the heart of what I do is always for you. Even in my deepest lack of patience and exhaustion, I allow you in daily — and some of you I feed and some of you I hug and some of you I get aggravated with.
From the depths of my what I consider my soul, I am here with you for this time.
And maybe we can change what we need for ourselves when the times comes.
But for now —
Let’s eat each others food
and say that it was good.
One response to “cooked.”
I have never ever had anything that you cook be anything but perfect. Please look at yourself thru our eyes. I hardly eat out because the food that I get in local restaurants are not as good as I get at home. Why would we want to pay three times as much for food when we eat out and eat food that is cold or not seasoned well or so dried out because it was cooked yesterday? I have no problem sending people to The Depot with a promise of really good food. You deliver, my grandson, and deliver well. Stand tall. We do not tell you enough that you are good, talented, and a great man.