Thursday, November 11, 2010

unfurling and reinventing

I love the idea of blogs, i really do. I'd never consider myself a writer, but rather a sharer. I love sharing and showing people possibilities. Which is why I started this blog in June when I had an epiphany about a vegan reuben sandwich I made. While being high on the Russian dressing I ingested, I wanted to share my love and enthusiasm about food and the vast loving ways it can be made! After that, my summer sort of declined a little bit, and I quickly lost inspiration of sharing. phooey!

I'm gonna be an open book here and give you my low down quickly. 11 years ago (2000) I graduated from culinary school in NY, moved to AZ, then to CA working as a chef in a few restaurants, then as it turned out, not really liking working in a restaurant atmosphere so I stopped. I'm just not cut out for the stressed out, repetitious, burned out, egomaniac environments that are typical of most kitchens. That was in about 2003. So since then I've still been trying to pursue my passion of vegan baking and cooking wherever possible- trying to keep it on a nice low simmer on that back-burner of my heart's desire, and at the same time working front of house in various restaurants over the years. I've always wanted my own business, and now 11 years later I feel like I finally sculpted a form of what I'd like to do and that is to be a Vegan Personal Chef and baker. Just me and the client. Cooking and baking by myself, shopping for fresh ingredients, creating exactly what the client needs and endless possibilities- this is great right? I'm really good at something and I know what I want to do with my life!?

So knowing this is what I've decided I'd love to do- along with being fueled by quitting my stressful job this spring, being completely penniless and then having sent 70 some-odd resumes with no results..... This past summer I figured, hellooooo Craigslist! I then proceeded to post ads religiously to Household Services to drum up some cash for myself. "Vegan Personal Chef for hire" That quickly brought in 5 clients and boy was I excited. My first clients! Creating menus, doing the shopping, getting my own key to the house, having consultations- I was actually doing it!! Everyone loved my food, called me back week after week, gave my name to friends, it was going great! It really only helped me out financially a little bit, and in reality I still needed a full time job- who was I kidding!? Livin in California ain't cheap! My rent alone is over $1,000 a month, add truck payment, gas, phone, internet, auto insurance, credit card payment, and my cat's mouth to feed, SHEESH! Having a couple clients was a HUGE learning experience, but again, I needed a job. sadface. After the long and painful wait, I finally got a job at a great restaurant making tips again.

So that brings me upto date. Since I got the full time job I've been tryin to get back on my feet, catch up, and survive and still daydream about and chip away at my Personal Chef career that isn't too far off, I hope. I still have one client remaining whom I cook for once a month, bless her heart! Also made a vegan wedding cake last month which I'd also love to get back to doing (Berkeley back-burner for 5 years). I haven't posted on Craigslist or hung up flyers since I got my job in August though, hello- now i work 40 hours a week again and have hardly any time available.

So why am I not taking the plunge? Oh my god, I'd LOVE to and I like to think I am already! Does anyone KNOW how difficult it can be though to start a business???? Have you ever tried?! Being an entrepreneur is HARD! I know that, and I'm ready for the job- but moreso than being merely difficult, it is expen$ive!! Permits, fees, licenses, advertising, equipment, liability insurance, renting space, getting approved for this and that, computer programs, etc etc etc. It's a laundry list I tell ya! I suppose if I got a huge loan or grant tomorrow I could swan-dive on in! WEeeeeeeeeeeee!

So thus begins my journey, and from this moment onward, my blog here about being a workin woman trying to get by and at the same time follow my bliss and get my own business running here in San Diego. After all, this is why I attended cooking school, and moved to California from Wisconsin away from my beloved family. I want to make a career for myself and I want it to be my heart's passion which is vegan cooking and baking. CREATE CREATE CREATE!!!

I just want to reinvent myself on my blog, or better yet in my LIFE! To simply express and get it out there into the universe that I'm only human and I can't be so hard on myself and maintain this perfect blog image of cooking immaculate cuisine every day of my life like some sort of imaginary Betty Crocker.

So I thank you- for reading, maybe understanding, and accompanying me down this path as I learn, grow, unfurl and hopefully create and flourish. Some days may be mere grunts of frustrations in getting another late fee on my credit card, or it may be a huge triumph or photos of beautiful food I made for a client. I'm ready for it all, this is my life!

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