Category Archives: Background and General Food Thoughts

The Back-Story

Perhaps it is best to begin at the beginning before going too far along. Now that I’ve written a bit about food and its impact on my life, maybe it is time to explain why the career shift is so important and why this is such a big deal to do. Why move from Banking to Blogging? Well, for the past several-odd years, I have been working in financial services in New York City. Originally, I began my working life in the field of international relations. A few years after I completed my Master’s Degree, I moved into the world of banking. It will probably not be a surprise to discover that I have worked on the marketing side of the business. I liked the writing, running events, and developing of ideas into strategies.

Having been in New York City when the terrorist attacks occurred in 2001, it is hard for them not to have had an impact on my life. The ability of food to bring together friends and family in a nourishing setting is only a small sliver of the power that cooks and chefs possess. In the aftermath of so much loss and destruction, food also provided the ability to heal and to feed people’s souls. I, myself, hosted several friends who were stranded in the city that night, heating up the handmade lasagna bolognese that I’d made for a party later that week for dinner. In talking to someone who counseled victims of that trauma, she said that this need to create, whether by cooking or other means, acts as a direct counterpoint and provides a sort of balancing factor to the devastation that took place.

So perhaps the move isn’t such a dramatic one, given the major changes that have taken place in my world over the past few years. (Shortly after the attacks, I lost my job as well and was unemployed for quite a while after that.) Cooking has been at the core of who I am for most of my life. I’ve lived in a couple of states and four countries and have traveled to many others. In each locale, I’ve found that the food-culture link is an essential element to my understanding and appreciation of the places I’ve been. I’ve also taken with me a stable of recipes to share with the friends I have met and made there, knowing that food is a basic human need and a fundamental level on which we are all connected. Besides, I have found few individuals who are strong enough to resist the power of a batch of homemade brownies!

From Banking to Blogging: moving from paycheck to passion

“You should really think about opening a restaurant.”
“I’ll give you free rent in exchange for cooking for me for the month.”
“Marry me!”
(said by a female friend who is now married to her college sweetheart and is the mother of an adorable toddler)

These are only some of the phrases I have heard over the course of my professional life from people trying to encourage me to turn my passion for and hobby of cooking and food into a career. None of these people actually work in the culinary field, they have just enjoyed eating dishes I’ve made and attending the dinner parties I’ve thrown together. They think that the leap from cooking to culinaria is a natural one. Being passionate about something, as I am about the world of food and eating, isn’t enough of a reason, however, to try to turn it into a paycheck. Or is it?

I have a certain hesitancy about this path. It’s just that…well…what would I DO? I’m not interested in being a chef (restaurant or personal); I can’t afford to go back to cooking school at this point in my life; I’m not really sure I’m all that interested in starting a little boutique food shop; and I don’t have the contacts or skills or background to delve into the world of food writing head-first. So, my options are, I feel, pretty limited.

The next best thing, I decided, just might be Blogging. Blogging has become the new means of self-expression and self-publishing, so maybe it is a good place for me to start. In order to give me enough courage to take the risk to bring the two things together – my Passion for cooking and my need for a Paycheck – maybe the thing to do is to share my trials and travails along this journey.

Websites devoted to all sorts of topics and viewpoints have sprung up (excuse the expression) like mushrooms in a damp cellar. There are lots of blogs about food and recipes and eating. I hope to become one of those that is more like a white truffle: highly-prized. I know that the passage from concept to execution will be a lot like cooking itself – sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet, but always to be savored for itself!