With a fiancé who is an aspiring chef, I am constantly opened and informed about a whole mysterious world going on behind those swinging kitchen doors. From the foodie slang, to the stories about his kitchen battle scars, I have found a new found admiration and appreciation for the culinary arts. Though, I do find that my favorite piece to Nick’s stories would have to be the constant humbled attitude he has towards himself in the cooking field.
Nick has had multiple food jobs, he’s attended a culinary school in Baltimore (BIC-Baltimore International College), and does not go a single day without a chef knife
in his hand at least once; yet he makes a point to say he is not a chef, nor does he know when he will truly be deemed one. No, he has not had enough oil burns, hospital visits, or cocaine up his nostrils to be called “chef” yet. This is what makes Nick’s thirst and drive to imagine more creatively and cook harder than the rest, much greater and more apparent than the average cook.
There is actually a really great Anthony Bourdain quote that says, “skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don’t have.” This I think can apply to most anything in life… Anyone can figure out how to cook or craft or write… But what makes those cooks and crafters and writers out there different from people like Anthony Bourdain, Martha Stewart, or Robert Frost? I believe something in their character, whether it is imagination or determination, separates those who just mosey through life and those who don’t just live life, but make life (or food) worth living for and enjoying.
The fact that being called “chef” is a term that gets thrown around by unqualified franchise cooks, just shows that they do not understand the true grit, heart break, and long nights that being a real chef takes. The real chefs, the ones who are true artists, have an understated bond with food and an immense dedication to their craft. More often then not I hear that chefs marry their work, they cook for long nights, and sacrifice so much, all for their art. While this does scare me… it’s worth it because cooking is Nick’s expression of himself and his creative contribution to this world.
As an avid eater—because trust me, I can throw down some grub, I find the underground, dirty… pretty organic chef world to be actually something quite complex, raw, and absolutely deliciously addictive.
I feel that before meeting Nicholas, I was blatantly unaware of the sex appeal of sauce dripping ever so sweetly off of a chef’s completely original creation. Their ability to mix science, creativity, and human necessity into something so artistically and naturally beautiful, makes being a chef so much more than what people see (or care to see).
I am very fortunate to be sharing my life with a chef. They work hard and play even harder! Our creativity and imagination can bounce off of each other, and hey… I am more than willing to be his taste tester for life!