Saturday, January 10, 2015

Once Upon A Time I Wanted To Be A Chef - My Little Story

Many of you have been following my blog from the very beginning and you know first hand the evolution I have gone thru. Some of you are newer and you have seen me now as I am. I am going to try to fill in the blanks but first lets talk about knives. I love knives.
I have knives I never use because they are way too special and I don't want anything to happen to them and this custom knife by Middleton Made Knives is a perfect example - I treated my self to this knife for Christmas in 2013 - so its pretty new.
I have knives I have customized with special handles that I use when I want people to ooh and ahh over how cool the knife is and this razor sharp Japanese beauty I have had for probably 20 years now is the one that shines in that spot light.
Then I have the knives I use at home, gobs of them. You name it I probably have two and all sorts of other little doodads and whatnots.
I already mentioned the knives I never use except on rare occasions and here they are all together.
And then there are the knives I use for work, I have this knife bag and I also have a smaller one (not shown) with utility knives that I loan out to people who help me on occasion. This particular kit is now a year old as my other cherished set that I had collected over the years was stolen, very heart breaking. I also have a bag of zesters and other assorted tools and yet one more bag of specialty plating spoons but thats a post for another time as well as my oddball knives and hunting knives and machetes and ghurkas and you name it - plus my huge pocket knife collection - I get all frazzled just thinking about it. This is where we start the story - with the knives I use for work. 
Fortunate to have met Liza Minelli
Fourteen years ago I decided that I was going to live my dream and work as a chef. This was not an easy path to take at 40 years old but I had to do it. Ten years ago I started my blog, that was an easy step to take and it introduced me to all of you. I was happy to find a community of like minded people who all shared their lovely food and inspirational words and blogging was exciting and new. I was able to learn a lot from the blogging community and at the same time I was able to hone my skills as a self taught chef. I worked hard at learning everything there was to learn. I had an adolescent boy as I was a single dad at this time (he is 16 now) that demanded a lot of my attention so I wasn't able to dedicate myself to any job so blogging became my biggest effort. I blogged and blogged and blogged and blogged. I also started to take foods to the playground for other moms and dads and child care givers to taste. I spent a lot of time in playgrounds with my son. Before you know it (3 years into it or so) I started a little soup subscription service where I made a couple of kinds of soup each week and would deliver containers of them for a small fee to whomever wanted them. I did this for a couple of years until one day one of my subscribers mentioned to me that they had a friend of a friend that was looking for chefs to help with a catering company and I should give them a call. I called them and started working right away. While working for this one company on occasion (the catering work wasn't regular which was perfect for my schedule and my adolescent son was now a teenager) - a party planner for another catering company asked me to assemble a tasting as they were looking for a new chef. I jumped at that opportunity and gave it all I had. I got the job. I was the new chef. It took me 6 years from when I first made the jump to when I was doing it as a pro at the level I am now. I could not be more grateful, happy and proud. I worked hard then and I still do now. I set a goal and I achieved it even at my later age.  Don't let anyone ever stop you or discourage you from your goals, with persistency and consistency success will follow. I won't ever be able to thank all the individual bloggers that were and still are a huge inspiration to me but I think you know who you are. Thank You.


Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

I am so pleased and proud for you Christo. You've made it in a very competitive industry and you are an inspiration to everyone. Way to go Chef!

Christo Gonzales said...

thank you Sam - we are some of the food blog trendsetters I have always believed - its amazing how time flies - I appreciate your continued friendship and support

Blog Widget by LinkWithin