It might be a lot like yours (or not at all)

Everyone Wants to be a Chef!

In beauty and the biz on October 12, 2007 at 9:18 am

by Lana Burrows

Intro

as i plan for my upcoming culinary education, i can’t help but notice that so many people around me are also heavily into the field. a few of them are actually going to culinary school, starting around the same time i am (January), and others just love cooking or are total foodies (a good friend, another good friend, a good friend of a best friend, the aunt and good friend of a good friend, and old friend); i am hardly unique in my passion.

however, back when my passion begun, five years ago…i was incredibly unique for years. in fact…it wasn’t until late 2006 when i decided i was going to make this dream happen, that everyone and their mom started coming out of the woodwork saying they are also way into the art of food. why is that? in this article i will explore a few theories i have as to why this coincidence (or not) occurred.

Reality TV

it’s no new news that reality tv has taken over the tube. there are not many corners of life that have not been highlighted–including cameras behind the scenes of the culinary world. and it does make for good tv, from Next Food Network Star, to Bravo’s Top Chef, to prime time’s Hells Kitchen, to Next Iron Chef on Food Network…there are a plethora of shows that have normal folks hyped on the competition, excitement, and creativity of the culinary industry.

in addition, the Food Network has a ton of programming, all teaching the average couch potato how to whip up the finest gruyere soufflé in 30min. i remember back in 2002 when i discovered the Food Network, and began watching it constantly, observing, learning, and practicing. but back then, the only chefs who were on the show were Emeril Lagasse, Mario Botali, and Bobby Flay! in the past 5yrs, the channel has expanded in large proportions, and still delivers the bottom line…teaching anyone with cable a thing or twenty about food preparation.

Law of Attraction

the law of attraction is a new age sort of theory that i recently discovered, but i have actually always possessed this capability…it’s not anything new i learned or had to try to practice after reading books on the subject and watching “The Secret”.

Wickipedia has, as always, a great definition for The Law of Attraction:

It states that people experience physical and mental manifestations that correspond to their predominant thoughts, feelings, words, and actions and that people therefore have direct control over reality and their lives through thought alone. A person’s thoughts (conscious and unconscious), emotions, beliefs and actions are said to attract corresponding positive and negative experiences, or “harmonious vibrations of the law of attraction”.

i’m not going to preach about this theory and how true to reality it can be…but i do feel bad for people with a constant negative voice that surely holds them back from their highest achievements and utmost happiness.

as far as this pertaining to why many of my friends and people i meet are involved or enthused about the industry, this theory would say that it’s because i’m putting out a vibe to draw types of people into my life to create “harmonious vibration”. because i’m thinking positively and forcefully about my career goals, things in the world are aligning to make that possible, including support and inspiration from people around me sharing this similar interest.

Internet Amateurs

the internet changes many industries, like my job at a print magazine for example. but the way i see this playing out in the culinary profession, is the way it plays out in every profession. the control and success is less in the hands of the professional than it has been previously, and more in the hands of the capable amateur than ever.

from food bloggers to recipe sites, we are allowed to be an expert on this topic (as i am appearing to do right now lol), and soak up all the info we can to increase our knowledge. we don’t need to spend $30 a pop on cookbooks, because many will rely mainly on the internet for their recipes. it creates a feeling of ability, capability, and a never-ending resource if you have questions along the way.

Living in the City

it’s not that people in small towns aren’t into food. but in my most recent move from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles…and anyone who has moved to this colorful city can attest…i have realized that people here are just plain doing stuff. and by stuff i mean, perusing creative careers that include their talent or business skills. finding others in the culinary field in a city that has thousands of restaurants that are part of a $5billion industry isn’t tough. from actors with server jobs, to models with bartending jobs…chefs are just another layer, and finding people in the industry to network comes easy.

Expanded Circle of Friends

it is possible that the coincidence of meeting more people into food isn’t part of a worldwide shift, perhaps it’s more personal. in the past year, i’ve stepped out…okay cannon-balled out, of a previous circle of friends. that previous circle was focused mostly and sometimes only on the particular type of music (drum and bass) that we listened to. not only was it rare to find someone with outside interests…but it was even rarer to actually have that sort of conversation with any of them. then once i began meeting new people or perusing acquaintanceships that could be friendships, i discovered they were people that shared common interests with me in an arena beyond just musical interest.

Age

i have also noticed that people who pursue high-level food careers tend to do so later in life…usually it’s a change of career focus…which is more likely to happen towards the 30’s of after. it’s less of a surprise then, that when i was rippin’ and roarin’ around in my college and post-college years of mayhem, that no one else really considered that for a career. at this age, many of my friends are trying to do their own thing, they are bored already with the rat-race, corporate ladder climbing, and work politic b.s. and want to take matters into their own hands. also, i’m at an age where we are more likely to do adult things like “entertain” instead of throwing a houseparty kegger…so we are discovering our capabilities of serving others good food.

Conclusion

after taking all these theories out on a first date, i don’t think i will be able to commit to just one. i think it’s obvious that all these factors play together in tandem to create this sudden rise of foodie friends. and don’t get me wrong, i think it’s great! i completely encourage more foodie friends and culinary career hopefuls to enter my life so we can talk about our favorite kitchen appliance, the best way to prep garlic, and our favorite way to prepare steak. having these people in my life, from friends to mentors, makes me feel like i’m not so crazy to be nearly obsessed with creative and classic food prep to the point of wanting to develop a business in this industry!

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  1. You’re in for a wild ride. Enjoy it. kinda cool that you’re going to be going to AICLA, that’s where i went.

  2. i can’t wait for the challenge 🙂

  3. you’re definitely an inspiration and a welcome “fellow foodie” to my life. this is most definitely something I discovered as I got older – only been cooking two years now. but I am sooooo glad I did.

    very nice “essay” and all your points are valid and interesting. great post!

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