Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Changes: Our Lives Then & Now

Time heals wounds. Now, I can testify to that. My life has had its fair share of ups and downs and although I would like to say that I am stronger now, I think that is not enough to make me better prepared for what's yet to come. After surviving a very tragic pregnancy which lead to the demise of our first child, our lives came at a stand still. We both were shattered by our loss and have thought of giving up several times. I have constantly cried not just in my sleep but in nearly every waking hour of the day. But after months of tears, my husband and I have decided to move on. We know for a fact that we will never forget what we have lost however, we realized that our child will not be happy to see us this way. Instead of continuing to cry over her, we made her our inspiration to strive harder. It was back to work for me and back to school for both of us. This time, we decided to explore our love for food. It was a journey that we know we will never forget and never regret. Culinary school is not as easy as it seems however, we were glad to have been a part of something that made us more passionate about food. Life in the kitchen is tough and at the moment, we only hope that we will be able to survive it.

Looking back on the years that have passed as we embark on our journey to becoming cooks, we realized that there's just so much we have missed. If only we could turn back the hands of time, we could have been more exposed to the world of food earlier on. Culinary school taught us many different things. Apart from the knowledge which we have gained, we also gained some new-found friends and mentors. Although we may not know what the future will hold for all us, we remain hopeful that one day, we will all be able to get somewhere with the knowledge and skills that we have learned and that with each passing day, we will continue to grow and become better. Life is different now so it seems. Yet, it still feels the same. I will always find happiness in food however, now, I can't seem to find it much in the food that I eat if I know it was not homemade or made with love. Fast food used to be yummy, now, I just enjoy eating it when I am exhausted and have no time to cook for myself. Knowing things that I did not know before about food made that difference. Any other changes? Sure, plenty.

Back in the day, we were more concerned about when the next anime, gaming or toy convention will be as we would like to attend them, take photos of cosplayers, get some freebies or even buy something otaku-related. Now, all we can think about is going to the next food convention despite the fact that most of the big ones happen in SMX which is very far away from us. In the past, I was the only one who enjoyed going to bookstores especially second hand bookstores due to my love for reading fiction. Now, even my husband enjoys going to the same places because we now have love for books and magazines related to food. It looks like our bookshelves will be filled with a whole lot of them soon enough. Shopping was not something that we enjoyed however, now, we enjoy shopping – shopping for anything we can use in the kitchen only though but it is still considered a change. We no longer see kitchen utensils, equipment, ingredients, fresh produce and food itself the same way. Culinary education and kitchen life has changed all of that. In fact, even watching MasterChef became both more interesting and less interesting. More interesting because we can now analyze some aspects better but less interesting due to the unfairness of who gets to be booted out every week.

On television, the life of a chef always seems so grand, so eventful, so different. But once you immerse yourself into the field, you will soon realize that it is not all that. Unfortunately, that is what the general public do not understand. Most people believe what they see on TV and so, whenever they find out that you went to Culinary school, they immediately think of you as a chef which is of course, not true. Having proper education will of course give you a leg up on others however, if you do not practice or pursue your dream of working in a kitchen then, what is the point of being educated in the Culinary field? Whenever we get asked if we are chefs, we say that we are cooks. We might be educated but we know that we are not yet that educated to be called chefs. We have not even earned the right to be called that. Wearing a chef's jacket and a toque might just too much for us as the moment especially since we have not taken the TESDA NCII examination yet. Hopefully, after applying everything that we have learned in school in our daily kitchen duties and after taking that exam, we can be proud enough to be called chefs. For now, our journey has merely just begun. Hopefully, after a few years time, it will all be worth it. 

In reality, life in the kitchen is filled with both blood, sweat and tears. Every cook/chef needs to invest not just time and effort in the kitchen but creativity as well. Life in the kitchen is hard and draining. Very different from what we see, read and hear about. But no matter how un-glamorous the kitchen life may be, we are here to stay. Whether we become famous or not, does not matter much to us as we only care for those who we make happy with the food that we create. That's what real happiness is to us right now. Definitely a big difference to what happiness used to mean for both of us. Hopefully, our passion and sincerity for what we do will come through everything and anything that gets made in our kitchen at home and at work. This is our life now. Better make the most out of it.

 Our first day in school.
 First time in the kitchen as we practice our safety & sanitation. (HACCP)
 Our first kitchen hands on with Chef Rudolf Ranada.
 Hubby and I in our chefs' jackets. 
Fruit and Vegetable Carving With Chef Vicky. 


  1. Good to read the changes. I am happy to know both of you have moved on.

    I guess I will give time to visit your restaurant in the future. Would you cook for me then? :)