A Chef’s Journey: Recapturing the dream

If you have been following my blog from the beginning or been awesome enough to read the different sections in it you’d have seen my posts under “A Chef’s Life” where I detail the journey and reasons as to why I became a chef. I started it from the beginning and went through the tales and tribulations and chopped fingers of my journey from being a novice tv foodie who thought he knew food to being a classically trained gourmet chef. I described how even though I love being a chef and how awesome the wonders of this industry have been to me, my ultimate goal is not really to be a chef but to actually begin my own business and start a food revolution in Soweto (where I’m from) and amongst my yuppie peers.

I came into this industry 5 years ago to open my mind up and gain knowledge and understanding of what being a 5 star chef is about. I’ve absorbed as much as I can and have tried to work in as many different environments as I could. I’ve been a private chef for a lovely young family, I’ve been a caterer to the super rich and famous, (the kind who make you sign clauses that promise you quick deaths if you speak about them. Lol), I’ve worked in one of the top hotels in South Africa, I’ve worked in restaurants, I’ve catered to high commissions and embassies, I’ve catered huge funerals and weddings and small dinners and intimate occasions, I’ve worked at one of the most exclusive lodges in the world and been lucky enough to have fed faces most people only see on tv or in newspapers. I’ve been a trainer and coach. I’ve been a tv chef, though briefly, I’ve been signed up and approached for a book and I tweet like a mad man when I have time. So basically, my goal to build up a portfolio and profile behind this chef thing of mine has been a steady but gradual process. Why am I telling you this? Well, so you understand the method to my madness and strategy. 

One of the many things I took with me when I quit the cutthroat corporate scene is that everything in life is a process. EVERYTHING. I wanted to open a restaurant and to get into the hospitality industry but I did my research and found that 90% of startups in the industry fail in their first year and 90% of the remaining ones fail in the 2nd year. It’s a fickle industry which costs a lot to get into at first. I wrote down a strategy which I felt was the safest bet, it involved me actually becoming the industry itself. I would build a brand behind myself first and build up the customer base and demand and hype. I also chose to rather gain experience and learn how to be a good chef and handle different types of customers.

I realised a month ago that it was time for me to finally kick the final phase of this journey into gear. To finally build that training kitchen people on twitter have been bugging me for. It’s time I finally moved back to my hometown and began the revolution. My goals and plans are insane and everyone I tell about them thinks it can’t be done but that’s the beauty of it really, if it was going to be simple then it wouldn’t be worth the effort.

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I’ve neglected this blog for 3 months now due to the mad hours I work but it will be rejuvenated and given a new lease on life. More recipes and entries about being a chef will come in the next few days. With time there will be a product line and online store coming as well as video tutorials for the recipes I share. I’ll detail each one of my crazy culinary business goals as they get implemented. There have been some crazy and hilarious encounters along the way and I’ll be sharing them as well as I embark on this next chapter of this journey.

This is probably the most serious blog entry I’ve done on this site yet, it will be the last. Its time to awaken the madness and do epic shit. Forgive me, but greatness awaits…

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