The 54th Deadline: What Makes You Tick

Throughout the years, I have come to realize how many random interests I have picked up. At times, it is too many for my own sake. I simply like a lot of things.

But one particular thing I love a lot in this world is the art of cooking…

Cooking was my salvation years ago at my worst. It gave me something to care about when I was just looking for some direction in life. By all means, I was and am still no natural. It took me a long time to learn how to hold and use a knife correctly without risking injury.

Yeah, I know it is a lame thing to admit, but I literally would cut things inches away from my fingers because I was so scared.

Still, despite all of the random struggles here and there, I still find myself enamored by the craft.

Perhaps in a different reality, I could have worked on the chef route after high school.

I know some people want to bash the field, saying it doesn’t make a lot of money (well, I can’t argue with that — unless you make it to an executive chef status at a fancy hotel or something like that), the hours are long, you get treated like crap, customers think they own you, foodies think they know how to cook better than a trained cook and so forth.

But you have to be passionate about the craft in the first place.

Below is what I made for dinner tonight. I can cook. And on a good day, I can cook well.

One Part of the Recipe

More than anything else, I know I need to cut back on eating out. As much as I love to try new foods, I spend too much money when I am perfectly capable of making my dishes from start to finish.

I kept trying to make too many excuses about my living arrangement. However, my current place makes it hard to make food the way I want without a proper stove or kitchen. Still, it goes to show I can still put together half-decent (and up) food using just a burner.

It’s not about the tools sometimes. It’s how you use them.

In fact, cooking has taught me a lot about life.

It has taught me about ingenuity, creativity, the importance of following the “mechanics” of a process down to a science and plenty more to come if I just stick with it.

I still watch cooking shows. I still watch restaurant shows.

Even when I don’t think I should be, I find myself looking up something random about cooking for the mere sake of geeking out about the food-related knowledge.

Down the road, I still will never forget about an extraordinary dream of mine — to open my very own restaurant.

But that particular dream is still a ways to go at this rate. I still need to pick up other pieces for my own recipe for success.

Until then, I can call myself an aspiring chef until I get a lot better. I don’t say “chef” loosely. It’s a title you earn.

“Progress is perseverance.” — Nhan Pham


Originally published at The 54th Deadline.