Lately, I've been yearning for a new job that is not related to the food industry. I realized where this need has been coming from and that is the lack of fulfillment or love in what I do. Catering is a whole new industry for me and I have a great flexible schedule and can be creative at some points but I honestly haven't learned any new groundbreaking skills or strategies as a professional cook. I also don't see any happiness or enjoyment in my customers or clients, just a demand and need for food. I see lack of satisfaction in the meals I make, and with myself as well. I used to love cooking so much so its disappointing that that love is drifting away from me.
So, I've decided to put it upon myself to volunteer to share my cooking knowledge as a teacher at the local homeless youth center. I enjoyed teaching art to children during my time in the South Bay. Interaction with the youth and children is always fun and a great learning experience. They have greater range of imagination and are so honest unlike average, working adults whose creativity have been withdrawn and hidden for so long.
Lets hope I can keep this drive to find a great gig as a cooking or art teacher for the local homeless youth center. My strategy for cooking at the homeless youth center would revolve around resourcefulness and innovation. I had a lack of skills and parental guidance while trying to learn how to cook as a kid. My mother was limited in her skills, as she only knew how to cook Asian dishes, so I would watch the food network (when it still had real cooking shows), PBS, or HGTV to learn American cooking techniques and try to replicate it myself. I never went to culinary school but that never was an issue for me with getting jobs in the food industry. The best of cooks were determined and self-disciplined. They relied on themselves and learning through practice and experimenting, and knowledge of others. Asking for help never hurts too.
Back to resourcefulness and innovation. I didn't have the usual or typical ingredients of an American household. My condiments were soy sauce, fish sauce, and some exotic fresh herbs, not your usual ketchup, mayonaise (hell, i still can't spell it either) and mustard crap. So I had to work with what I had. Thats what built my ingenuity and creativity in my cooking. It was the lack of items I had. I used what was already there and I used ALL of it. Nothing was wasted.
The creative type of cooking skill can honestly only be learned through experience, not taught by me or some Michelin starred chef. Put yourself in the position of a foster child, a homeless youth, a teenager who needs to make a meal without parental supervision. This is why I feel this teaching workshop will be an important adventure for me. Its a reminder of how I came to love cooking and why I do it anymore.