Selfie - A Cook or a Chef

🎵 I wish I was little bit taller,
I wish I was a baller,
I wish I had a girl who looked good
I would call her 

I have always wanted to be a lot of things. In elementary school, growing up with Snoopy and Calvin and Hobbes, I wanted to be cartoonist. After learning guitar in attempts to impress ladies in high school, I wanted to be a rock star. Before college I wanted to take my passions of art, Legos, and physics and become an Architect. Eight college applications later, I got rejected from the Architecture programs I applied to and had been accepted to 4 Universities that offered me their engineering program. Fast forward 8+ years later (time is flying), I am a licensed Professional Engineer.

Comics. Music. Art. This career offers none of those creative outlets. Sure, I can get creative in how I align storm drain systems or determine a shape of a bioretention unit, but it doesn't beat the feeling of giving people chills or warm and fuzzy feelings inside. Fortunately for me, cooking is way to do these things both literally and figuratively. I found my answer. Regardless of what I do for a living, cooking and eating is something I do everyday. The perfect creative outlet.

Everyone is a cook the moment then turn off the stove and pick up a pan. Some may be better than others, but once you dice those carrots or the meat hits the pan, you're a cook. I want to be something more than a cook. I want to be a chef. I first got this notion when I bought and read David Chang's Momofuku book. I originally read Momofuku to learn the secrets of making ramen, but I came away with something more. What it takes to be a chef.

To be a successful chef you need to be able to take risks, a strong cooking foundation, learn from failure, have a creative vision, and most of all desire. This desire is not to be confused with passion. 

It’s not about passion. Passion is something that we tend to overemphasize, that we certainly place too much importance on. Passion ebbs and flows. To me, it’s about desire. If you have constant, unwavering desire to be a cook, then you’ll be a great cook.
— Thomas Keller

So of these items, I only have a great deal of failure under my belt. Being the engineer that I am, I pick apart the reasons why I failed and find solutions to mitigate those failures. What I lack the most is a strong cooking foundation. I cannot tell you the difference between an Espagnole sauce versus a Velouté sauce.

So what is my next step? Read. Cook. Repeat. I won't be quitting my job anytime soon to work for minimum wage at a line cook for a restaurant, so I will have to learn from through the words of the greats. Read. Cook. Repeat.