I have had a hard time discovering who I really am, and frankly I still don’t know. But one thing I have learned about myself is that I can grow and I can be better. I look back on how naive I was when first entering into college 5 years ago out of high school. I thought I had a plan, I thought I knew where I wanted to go. As it turns out I didn’t, and I was not ready for it even if I had known. I am able to look back on my plan and see I was not as interested as I thought I was. For I attended classes but spent hours studying subjects I wasn’t taking, but I always loved learning the new, being adventurous and discovery.
I went back home the following year to reassess my future. To learn what I loved and my passion was truly for, and I continued my education at my local community college to keep my thirst for knowledge wet. This allowed me to do a strange thing, to take course that sounded fun. I took French, and statistics, accounting, and college cooking course, micro economics and marketing as well as geography. These were the courses that sounded fun to me, not that I needed them or anything but they came natural. I studied these as it turned out put me on a course towards a business degree which I then transferred to my current school Johnson & Wales university; helping me to complete a bachelors a year early.
All the while I had found a place to wet another interest, food. A local restaurant had kindly taken the opportunity for cheap help and hired me as a dishwasher, with promise of teaching me the basics of a kitchen. One of my now friends Executive Chef Robert Smith is really responsible for me being so passionate. As I worked starting doing little things around the kitchen while fulfilling my main duties of dishwasher, I was able to see his passion for food. He is not necessarily the greatest chef, or the smartest, or even the most pure, but he loves food and was willing to share that and guide me in my first steps in the industry. He also had a remarkable talent for answering questions, at least those basic ones I had at the time, with an encyclopedic accuracy. He also did another thing; he allowed me to eat at create, if there was extra or time he let me make a sauce or roast a chicken. These little things all keep my teeth sunk into what was now becoming my obsession. A subject that truly enthralled me 24/7. This was where I could discover, create, learn and always find something I don’t know. A place where I could combine my first passion, or at least my interest, of science and technology.
I have an endless love of food, but not just for food, it’s for everything involving food, the food culture, ingredients, techniques, lingo, tastes, I have a love for discovery and true understanding. Any one of my classmates will tell you as they have to deal with my infinite number of questions throughout class, Many of which have are not needed as part of class material but rather just for the gain and complete understanding of a subject.. But I am an engineer, the application of science and mathematics by which the properties of matter and the sources of energy in nature are made useful to people, at heart. I have found that I can combine these. Not just by taking technology into the kitchen, but the logic and studious nature of any science major. Learn the basics of food, this entail not only going down into the molecular chemistry that takes place during the mallard reaction but its history and evolution as well.
I want to learn the culture and tradition of food; the roots, the molecular culture of food. I want to change the meaning of molecular gastronomy to encompass not just the science but the culture too. I want to find the reasons why the US doesn’t have any and is that why we are in such bad health. To learn the relationship of nutrition and food culture. I believe food is the meaning of life, and it’s true we live because we eat. Simple enough and how we live and feel and everything our body does can be resolved to “you are what you eat”. This realization was only amplified by my recent internship at the restaurant Mikla in Istanbul Turkey. Turkey offered me my first real glimpse of how life can be better with the depth of culture. There is a rich tradition in Turkey, one of the oldest, and I was fortunate enough to explore this culture with Food anthropologist Tangor Tan, who works for the Mikla restaurant company in Turkey explore just that; the rich culture and traditions of the Mediterranean and middle east.
This exploration bit off the piece of me that really showed me where I was destine to go. The richness of culture, the tradition and respect for this showed that there is more to learn and this is really the base of food. It is where to start and learning the rest of food. Once you learn why then you can learn how.
My passion is food, the true understanding of every detail. For how it is made to how it digests to how we as Homo sapiens use it. To how we start growing from hunters and gathers in the 10000 years ago all the way to making jellies and foams out of seaweeds. Then taking that knowledge and applying it to our world our food. Bring restaurants into new realms of tradition and history. This creates a cuisine that is not only healthy but sustainable and will be delicious.