Friday, October 08, 2004

It aches!

There is a part of me that is all about what I do in the kitchen, what I do when I create a restaurant menu, what I do when I create a special dish for the "Special Today" board. I am aware of that part when I am doing the work I love and am experiencing the pleasure that is so specific to me during this activity. It is so personal it is difficult to describe what I feel. I have this sensation of warmth within, this feeling of being completely me in the best of all possible ways. I am busy and happy at the same time; I am relieved, for a moment, of my and everybody else's flawed humanity. I am part of something perfect and complete in a greater way than I could ever or would ever have to be personally.

Then there are those times when I must sit with the management team, the ownership, the accountant. There are human resources staff evaluation forms that must be filled out; there are profit projections on menu restructuring to be computed and written up and submitted. There are technology text boxes to be written and inserted in "recipe books" along with the measurements for the new recipe I'm proposing for the menu. There are staff discipline procedures to be done and, once accomplished, to be put on forms and memos and sent to many people who have no idea what a pleasure one can experience in the kitchen. I am not resentful of these people sometimes, when I can look past the frustration of the seperation from doing what I love, I merely sadly wonder if there is anything in what they do that they can enjoy as profoundly as the person who is cooking can?

And then, when I've gone on to that unhappy time between one restaurant or hotel kitchen and the next, when I'm feeling this vacume in that place that is only occasionally perfect and complete, that is when I feel this ache.

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