When people meet me for the first time, and they ask what I do for a living, they are always impressed by the fact that I am a chef, then fascinated by the type of chef I am and what my exact line of work is. Then almost inevitably they will ask what is my favorite thing to make and I will always reply “reservations”.
It gets a laugh but I am not being funny. I am being honest. What I do for work does not define who I am. I love to eat out. I love to experience other people’s cooking. I love to analyze the flavors, not to copy or criticize, but to savor the exotic experiences of dining out.
And then the part that I most dread occurs. The person will almost always tell me what they made for dinner the other night and explain how they did it, and almost 100% of time, I will zone out and just hear blah, blah, blah. I am sorry, I cook for a living and I really do not care how you made some salmon. Would you tell someone after you find out they are a doctor how you applied a bandage to your cut all by yourself?
I realize that people currently hold chefs in high esteem, but I really don’t like the fascination with my job, the questions, the advice requested. If you meet a garbage man, do you tell him what you put in your garbage last night, and how you washed out your recycling like a good citizen? No, you will probably change the subject and ask him what he likes to do so you don’t have to talk about garbage. Or in reality, you probably won’t even talk to him, but that is for another blog post.
Ask me what I like to do other than my job. I like my job, but it is not something that I want to talk about with everybody all the time. What I do for a living does not define who I am.
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