Tamia A. McClain/Chef Tim- Blog #2

24 07 2009

I remember about a year ago, I put on my chef whites for the first time. It was a great feeling, one I will not soon forget. On the first day of class, Chef Wook asked us who we were and why we were there, and I proudly said, “My name is Tamia and I love food.”

-If asked the same question today, I don’t think my answer would be much different. I literally dream about the restaurant I wish to have some day, and visit the place in my mind frequently. I know what I want. I know why I’m here.

In the Bible, it says not to despise small beginnings, but sometimes that’s hard. I’ve had a couple of jobs while in school, and it’s always the same, you always start at the bottom. Even though sometimes it sucks going through, (like my job right now), I can truly say that I have learned a great deal from every step along the way, and will be able to draw on the experiences both good and bad to someday become a better leader, a better cook, a better person.

I have so far to go. So much to learn. I have come so far already.

I was drawn to the industry when I was in college. I love hearing people’s stories about how they got into cooking. –There I was in business school, president of the whole show, and it hit me hard one day while I was off-campus in my apartment. I hated it. I didn’t belong there, no matter how much I tried to convince myself. I figured if I hated it then, I would forever. I saw myself on Wallstreet or in law-school working hard, I could do it, but I just didn’t want to. I wanted to be happy, and I realized that I was the happiest when I was entertaining my friends and family. I have always loved how food brings people together. 🙂 So, I left.

12 months later, I find myself glad about the decision I made, inspired and excited about what the future holds. I find myself continually awed by the industry, and know that the only limits here will be the ones I set for myself. I was able to line up a sweet externship in Arlington Heights, and I’m open and ready to learn as much as I can, finally give my all to something.

I’m gonna ride this thing till the wheels fall off.

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