Mom, I’m Hungry

Yes,  Mothers Day was Sunday and it’s now Tuesday evening. But this post, nevertheless, remains appropriate. No excuse- I guess. But if you want one, I’m blaming it on computer mishaps.
It is not uncommon to find at the top of most of our “hero lists” the women who gave us life, often electing our mothers as one of our heroes. The following is, perhaps, an unorthodox tribute to that maternal heroine in my life and how she delivered me to the culinary pursuit.

As the adage goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

In my being brought up. I have come across many inspirational and influential villagers that have directly or indirectly impacted me and have played a part in paving the road I travel to success. Inspired by so many people, it can take a minute to identify the most influential.. Nevertheless, I have found great enough reason to identify my mother as that factor. While she may not have influenced me in what may be considered the most conventional way, my mother has undoubtedly had a hand in my passionate career choice. Many cooks tell stories of how seeing the mother or grandmother- mommas, madeas, grannys, and nannas alike- slaving over the stove week after week magnified their own innate desire to cook’ in my case, it was my mother’s absence from the kitchen that did it for me.
                

It was in Mom’s job description as mother to cook for her children.

But nowhere in her job description was there any mandate specifying how well she had to cook. So, technically, she got the job done. The food was, by definition, cooked. As Mom was cooking, I was sometimes allowed to and at other times required to assist her in the kitchen. I always had a love for food, but in the kitchen, I developed a boundless affection for preparing it. As I grew older, I grew aware of those things that surpass the raw definition of cooking. Though I remained grateful, I could no longer remain satisfied with that which was served on my plate and I sought to enliven every meal, a challenge I approached with a new-found fervor. Mom’s cooking created in me an appetite for the culinary arts. 
Mom did more than strike a match.
The exposure she widened my eyes to constantly stoked the flame. Mom has taken me to diverse eateries, awakening each and every one of my taste buds to the many cuisines and providing me with an understanding of how the restaurant business works. She ensured that I was surrounded by those that could confirm and encourage my passion. She built bridges that connected me to a network of culinary influence. She connects me to my aunt and uncle who are both chefs. They have been there to teach me a few tricks of the trade. She instilled in me the virtue of service, a virtue that has opened doors for me and introduced me to restaurant owners who have in turn opened doors to experience, allowing me to nourish my gifts. It was Mom who paid for food related workshops and activities. While wrapped in this network of influence, career ideas and plans were allowed to take form.
I ascribe my entrepreneurial drive to my mother. She has been my teacher inside and outside of the classroom. One of the greatest lessons she has taught me is to remain free of the rat race. She taught me not to chase jobs and their pay, but to climb to the top and establish my own business. Over the course of the brief years of my life, I have constantly worked diligently at this task and I am quite fond of its results. I plan to continue in this, sharpening my food related skills and cutting out a niche for myself in the foodservice industry. I will work under another chef as necessary, but my ultimate destination is to launch my own restaurants, filling not just patrons’ stomachs with food, but also their filling their hearts with an awe of the culinary arts and inspiring them to discover what they can do.
I have taken steps that my mother either built or pushed me over. Undoubtedly, from birth, she introduced me to food, and has since then motivated me to dream and press on to become a chef. She has roared, from the sidelines, words of inspiration. Had it not been for her, I may have never decided to strive for excellence in foodservice. Without her, I might not have aimed to be anything. Mom gave me life. What life is there without food.
Disclaimer: This is no bashing of my mother and her culinary aptitude, but a celebration of her involvement in my culinary development (though she exploited my cooking as forgiveness of her neglect to do so 🙂 ).
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