Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The back story

 Is the (lemon) grass greener on the other side of the fence?

My day job is in construction - designing landscapes. Things are not exactly rosy in this field, where we've lost an estimated 37,000 jobs in our area alone. Unlike banks, we get nothing from the government except requirements for very expensive insurance, paperwork, and requirements to have done five years of the same thing to successfully bid on even the most banal of projects.

So, maybe the construction industry is not the best place to be right now. I'd done photography a long time ago, and continue to apply these skills for occasional projects. It's just that the outlook for this career does not seem much better than for construction, and you have to compete with every bored houseperson with a decent camera and lots of friends for referrals.

What about working in a restaurant? I'd taken some cooking classes about 20 years ago, planned and prepared menus and food for groups of more than 30 people, and still do private parties. Over the years, I've collected a lot of cookbooks, made all kinds of dishes from all kinds of cuisine and have a lot of friends who ask me when I'm going to open my own restaurant.

There's only one catch: working in a restaurant compares to preparing private parties like driving down the freeway versus doing hot laps in a Ferrari. I would need some training, plus real restaurant experience.

I enrolled in culinary arts at the local community college. Knife skills, professional cooking, theory.

I started my quest for a job in a restaurant that prepares interesting food, where I could learn something.

And this is where the fun begins...

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