From the office to the kitchen

There are some questions I'm often asked:From the office to the kitchen

How long you've been cooking?
Where did you learn cooking?
Did you learn cooking from a culinary school?

Well, there is a story to tell which might answer those questions.

I used to walk into my office when the day was bright, see the blue sky through the window, and leave the office when my day had gone, and sky turned grey.

I tried to make my days in the office better, so I cycled through a park to work in the morning, had my lunch in the park among the trees and flowers, enjoyed my cup of tea and cake in the office in the afternoon, punched the card at 5:30pm sharp, cycled through the park again to go home, and relaxed myself with yoga.

I did my best to stay in that office job for one and half years.

When I decided to leave the job, my colleagues asked me “What are you going to do?”
I said “I am not going to do more office jobs. I want to work in the kitchen.”
One of them laughed and smiled at me and my ideas. Working in the kitchen doesn't suit a girl, and it's not for the 'intellectual' office worker like us. I could see the thought his eyes.

Then I quit, and never walked into any office again.

But I didn't walk into any kitchen either. I was just doing nothing much.

Not having a job was difficult, not only did I not have a stable income, but I also looked so strange when everyone I knew was working. They were all asking “what are going to do? When are you going to find a job?”

No job, so I had a lot of time to travel around. I didn't have any plans. But gradually, I came back with new ideas and flavors from traveling, from staying with an Italian chef's family in Italy, from staying at homes in Germany and Sweden and Australia, from making friends with street restaurant owners in Thailand, from watching and learning everywhere I went. I found that food and cooking was a great way to get to know people.

When I came home, I cooked the dishes that I had learned in other countries for my family and friends. I found that was the best way to share my travel experience with them. Cooking and entertaining people was suitable for a jobless person like me. So many people know I can cook.

I walked into a Italian restaurant in Taipei and got a job working in the kitchen. After cooking so frequently for my family and friends, I had decided to learn how to cook properly. That was two years after quitting my job.

Working in the kitchen wasn't as easy as I thought. Standing six hours by the preparation counter was extremely tiring at the end of the day. When the business got busy, staff in the kitchen were shouting at each other. I had to react to the head chef and the staff fast, or I would get shouted too. It was tough, but I didn't want to go back to my office job again. I had to learn fast.

That was how I started my cooking career. And I am still working in my own kitchen.


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