Sometimes I think my love of cooking and food trumps all of my other passions. I had a stint in the tail end of high school where all I could think about was going to culinary school. The idea was silenced by my parents as quickly as I could spell it out. They told me it would be a hard life. Physically and mentally. You’re always on your feet in a hot kitchen, you have to work late nights, weekends, holidays. I still don’t think I would have minded because cooking is something that I find centering, even kind of inherently akin to. But, I have to say, I am happy to have pursued traditional academia as it lead me on the path to actualizing myself into a writer.
I became especially sure of it when I realized through the years that I didn’t need a culinary education to be a great cook. Part of what I love about putting together a dish is the reckless abandon of rules and restrictions. I almost never use a recipe, except for baking. I do not own a single cookbook, because, for me, I want to create something that’s organically mine; something that is completely subservient to the facets of my personality that are haphazard, impulsive, and childlike in their vastness.
I don’t have a desire to learn extremely complex recipes with upwards of 20 ingredients. Why would I? I can make an elegant, beautiful gnocchi dish like this one above in under 10 minutes using 5 ingredients while wearing sweatpants in my own house. And then eat it in bed while watching Netflix.
So, I guess, in the end everything worked out pretty alright with me and my never-ending prowess of food. It just so happened that I ended up getting paid for my other passion, and still get to come home after a long day having my kitchen be my sanctuary.