Saturday, June 13, 2009

My happy place

A couple weeks ago, on a busy Saturday night, I was cooking at the restaurant. We had a few tickets hanging and we were a little behind but things were flowing very nicely. We had a great groove going. The orders were going out at a nice pace. I was having a fantastic time when it dawned on me, I was more relaxed than I had been in a while, and as I think about it, I seem to be the most relaxed when I'm up to my elbows in orders. Sure there is the stress and adrenalin that comes with being busy on the line but that's different. That is what makes it so fun. The relaxed I'm referring to is probably better stated, "at home".
I've been a restaurant owner for a little over a year. Before that I was an employee and all I had to do was worry about cooking and running the kitchen. My stress level was up there but as I look back I really didn't have to many worries. Now days, however, it's a different story. Cooking is just a very small part of what I have to be concerned about, as is the case for all chef/owners. But, when I'm in the kitchen and I find myself absorbed in the process of cooking I am happiest. I cook, that's why I opened a restaurant. Taxes, bills, employee problems, cash flow issues, all of this has it's place, but the real center of it all is the food on the plate. I hate running a business, but I love cooking. When I find myself getting drug down because of all the other concerns I try to remember dinner service is coming up and then it's all worth the while.
I suppose there has to be a center point in all our lives. That point we can look to when everything else is dragging us down. The kitchen has became my sanctuary. It is the reminder to me why I do the other stuff. Cooking is my meditation; My happy place.

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