I have spent the past five days in
and I have to say that I have learned quite a bit since being here when it comes to food and food culture. I actually have worked and lived here twice. Both times for a campaign that I was hired to organize. When you are on a campaign, you spend most of your time, organizing volunteers, identifying voters, building relationships and well going crazy one day at a time. You have very little time for food and what little food you do eat, it is not good for you in any way. Chicago, IL
When I worked for Hillary Clinton, it was suggested to us that we do not eat any food that is “round” like pizza, burgers, bagels and donuts. Probably a good policy to have, but it was really not practical.
There was a completely different reason for my being in
this go around. I am not visiting family, I am not here for yet another campaign, I am not here to visit the museums and I am not here to watch the Black Hawks beat the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Even though they did). I am here for two main reasons. Chicago
The first reason being that I am applying to work for a non-profit organization that works with urban and low income kids to teach them how to become unified threw cooking. The sad facts are that if you are lower income or you are living in neighborhoods that have little to no access of fresh produce and natural foods, you are eating fast foods and processed foods almost every single day of the week. I have noticed this for a couple of years now, so to have an opportunity to work with this organization would be a dream come true for me.
The second reason for my stay in the
is that I am finally taking the necessary steps to enter in the world of food PROFESSIONALLY!!! I have applied for culinary school. Putting myself in this position may just be one of the scariest things I have ever done. Going back to school at my age, with my past career, a husband and child and all the unknowns is the rawest thing I have done since the birth of my amazing daughter. And isn’t that what makes it fun? Windy City
I was able to meet with the school on Saturday morning. I sat in a small interview room, talking about all my passions for food, but how I lack the professional skills to go further with my dreams. I had such a good conversation, that I just knew in that moment, this is exactly where I needed to be.
After the interview, I had the privilege of going on a tour of the school. Even though it was a Saturday, there were students everywhere. There was even a pastry class in session, so I was able to witness these bright young students in action. I have to say, I became a little intimidated by it all. Their beautiful sugar sculptures were drying on the rack, sparkly and colorful. I wanted to reach out and touch one of them, but I refrained.
In the next room over, there was a large kitchen with the smell of chicken stock wafting threw the hallways. When I peeked inside, there were a couple of students working on a project. They had prepared themselves a large breakfast of eggs, sausage and toast and then begun their work. It is so comforting to see people eat food and actually enjoy the food. I live in a world of food limitations, no carbs, no sugars, no TASTE! Not in this school, no there is food being prepared with artistic skill and the love that goes into taking care of a new puppy. How exciting it is to see it all.
Finally, it has been an absolute joy talking to the people of this city. Hearing the excitement come from their voices just gives me tingles. I live in a city with depression. I love
and there is a reason that I wanted my daughter born there. However, it can be a little upsetting hearing people “welcome” newcomers to the city with “why Memphis ” or “hope you don’t get jacked” every single time. Coming to Memphis has lightened my mood considerably. Chicago
I am actually sitting in a coffee shop right now writing this blog. The married couple that bought this place after working in the medical industry has been extremely helpful to me since my arrival. Offering restaurant suggestions, neighborhood suggestions and my favorite, “
is a world class city and it deserves a world class mayor” wow! To have yourself describe your city as “world class” took me back a little. I NEVER hear that about other cities. Chicago
for being the world class, innovative, artistic, food-centric and my personal favorite proud city that you are. I can’t wait to be a part of it and really become a food professional. Thank you for the amazing stay. Chicago