When I was in college, a lot of people would tell me that I should open my own restaurant one day because of my hotel and restaurant management course. Years later, after graduating from culinary arts, I’ve been told the same thing by my relative. Having my own restaurant is not what I really want at that time as I felt that I still need to gain more experience. Then, a friend of mine just learned about my natural nutrition background and suggested that I should open my own organic café. After what happened to my visa (many thanks to the embassy for letting me wait for four and half years), I am still considering it but not without having enough resources and the right ingredients to make all things possible. But I still do want to gain more experience, knowledge and skills from a great mentor before I continue on my own venture.
Right now, I am considering my other options while I’m still working on my visa. Honestly, what other options do I have when I have been unemployed for more than 5 years? My late-father could have written me a Certificate of Employment and even if he did, people (that includes everyone) may not accept what I’ve done as a job, not even as a work experience because it’s not compensated (most especially I’m not paying taxes, etc, etc.) But if I look outside of the box and my sometimes non-conventional way of thinking, I can consider this a work or job experience. Today, more than ever, I need to shut off of what other people say against me. I know that more five years of being jobless is not a good impression to anyone. But I think society should open up their minds that although I have not been in the workforce for so many years for some inevitable reason, it doesn’t mean that I have allowed myself to become futile.
I thought I can always go back and work in a restaurant or hotel kitchen. Five years ago, I worked as a prep cook in an Italian Restaurant, then five years later, do you think I still want to work as a prep cook or is it just my pride? But is this what I really want? Would working there bring me joy? Is it because everyone wants to become a hot-shot chef and I want to be one of them? Most people are asking if I’m still into culinary arts. I still certainly do. I believe that my approach to cooking and how I work with food has taken a slightly different route. I think I have found my niche in the food industry in the world of healthy/natural/holistic cooking (but still in the process of living holistically). I may not know exactly what I want but this is what I know, I would love to cook and extend my services to other people and to the world aside from my family.
Allow me to DREAM BIG for awhile and this is what I see myself doing:
- I am working in a health and spa resort as a holistic nutritionist and as a natural food chef with extensive knowledge in food therapy, raw food and Macrobiotics. I am using ingredients that are grown in the resort’s farm. Recycling and decomposting scraps from the kitchen is part of the resort’s program. I am also working with other health professionals in alternative medicine such as naturopathic doctors, acupuncturists, chiropractors, herbalist and so forth. Think of it as a hospital but it’s holistically inclined.
- I am the owner and chef of an organic restorative café with my own organic farm. Again, recycling and decomposting waste from the kitchen is part of the café’s contribution to mother earth.
- I own a tea bar where I a serve a variety of healing beverages and where people can purchase a selection of tea products and accessories. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to have my own line of handcrafted raw organic dark chocolate collection to go with it.
- I am a holistic nutritionist and a personal natural food chef to a famous celebrity. I don’t have anyone in mind at the moment. Actually, I do but you don’t have to know.
- I am working on my book which will be published by Harper Collins USA or Canada.
- I am launching my own holistic health/natural food magazine in the Philippines. I believe this kind of magazine that solely focuses on the holistic side of food and health doesn’t exist yet in the market (unless I am not just aware of it).
I was wondering how I am going to make those dreams come to pass. Right now it doesn’t matter for as long as I have those goals in front of me, even in the bleak of economic times.
Coming back to reality, I am still sitting in front of my computer reading-through my resume which may not be as impressive as other more experienced cooks out there but I believe that it has substance, integrity and sincerity. Twelve years ago, there’s only one culinary school in Metro Manila area. Today, almost every school is offering culinary arts and twice a year many students are graduating and looking for a job in the food industry. Competition is so tough these days and that scares me a bit. The truth is, going back to the hotel or restaurant kitchen is not what I have in mind but it could be my only choice at the moment. But then again, I have nothing to worry about because I know I’m going to do something great right now and in the future. Now, that’s the spirit.
Your comments, thoughts, ideas and plans are welcome.