This is a little something I did for school and I hope you enjoy:
Since the time I was born food has been an important part of my life. The first real memory of food that I have is bringing my mom Bagels when she was in the hospital with my sister. I was only two years old, but I can still remember the smile it put on her face. Although my family is originally from Gloversville, Ny, after immigrating from Poland in the early 1900′s, the heart of our family lies in Connecticut. Being Jewish and Polish, food has precedence in many of our family gatherings, from holidays to birthday parties.
Being such a close knit family, we were always together for the holidays and other big family events. So even though my immediate family wasn’t too large, I only have 2 sisters, my extended family was massive including 13 cousins. Weekly on the Sabbath my parents, sisters, Grandmother, and I would all get together for dinner. It was with homemade Matzah ball soup, delicious grilled chicken breast, and fresh baked apple pie, that I fell in love with food. When I was younger it was my Grandmother who did all of the cooking, but when she got older and I went to High school she started needing help in the kitchen. At first I was just taking orders, but after about a year or so I was able to make a whole meal by myself. My ability to put smiles on faces with food is what made me truly want to get in this industry.
For dinner my family always made sure to eat together, except on Thursdays as that was our day to go out to eat. Although our meal was usually pretty simple it was nice that we all got to sit down and eat together. The values of eating together as a family unit are some of the most important in my opinion and I am really happy to have had them instilled in me from such a young age.
As I got more into cooking and having the best possible products to cook with, I convinced my grandmother to create an herb garden every summer. We had Basil and Thyme, Oregano and Mint. Planting and seeding with my Grandmother were some of the best times I had during those long summers. On top of this we would also seek out and frequent various farmers markets in the area. We would always buy fresh maple syrup for our Challah french toast on the weekends. Between the farmers markets and our outdoor garden, my Grandmother and I put quite a few fabulous meals together.
My favorite foods are those made with love and passion. I know that for some people comfort food is what throws them, but for me, any meal will do. I enjoy eating foods I have never eaten before and if asked what I would love to eat my usual response is, “whatever you would love to make.”
The High School I went to was a Jewish boarding school far away from home in Greensboro, North Carolina. My life at home wasn’t immaculate and I wanted a new experience and a great education. The only major time I ever had off in High School was summer vacation. That was the time when my Grandmother and I would plant gardens and visit Farmers Markets. It was the best time of year for food, and to this day I still crave her apple pie.
After cooking for so long with my Grandmother I knew it was time to move onto a restaurant and eventually, culinary school. I decided to take a year off after High School to visit Israel and cook. I knew that it was going to be a great experience, but I could have never imagined how truly great it would be. I ended up working in the open air markets of Jerusalem with a chef by the name of Tali Friedman. She is not only well known in the world outside of Israel, but in those market, she is very well respected. She takes tourists through the markets before bringing them back to her kitchen, high above the marketplace, for a beautiful hands on meal. This experience with the best ingredients in the world helped me grown my palate and my skills. The summer after Israel I was officially diagnosed with depression. Depression is scary and my parents didn’t take to it very well. While in limbo I decided to take a job cooking at a country club in Hyannis-Port Mass. Although it was only for the summer, it was a great experience working at a high end club, and the people I met, I’m sure will prove invaluable one day. After this I was forced to take a trimester off from Johnson and Wales before finally arriving for the winter term of last year.
As my time at Johnson and Wale has progressed, my dreams have changed. Although I still desire to be the best in everything that I do, including cooking, my focus has changed. Prior to here I strictly wanted to be able to say I was the best in the world. Now, I know that it is more of a business than that, and although I still want to work as hard as I can to get better, I have also changed my focus. For a little more than a year now I have had my own food blog and it is something I really enjoy running and writing for. It is fairly successful with over 2,000 views in the first year and I think that most of that is due to my passion for the topic at hand. I would love to continue to write and eventually, possibly pursue a career in it.
Johnson and Wales has impressed me with its knowledgeable professors and hard-working student body. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else and am very glad to call it my home. That being said there are definitely bigger and better fish to fry when I finally do step out of here. Not only do I know that I will be prepared for the rest of my career, but I know that if I ever need help I will always be able to ask the people that I’ve met here for guidance. I’m glad that I found this school and that I am able to work as hard as I am towards becoming better every day.
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