I used to believe I could fly, I was born an “elf child” as the name Pamela was given to me, and yes that’s its meaning. I have held myself back. Yes, I’m 98% the culprit or should I say “was” the culprit. I have always “LOVED” to watch my parents cook and entertain, there was nothing better. I held myself back (without being aware of my scotoma). My dream came true in June 2011 and I started living it in October 2011: the dream of becoming a chef. I no longer “believe“ I can fly, I am flying!!! No one is holding me back, if it is to be, it begins with me. I am performing my rites of passage…..I am free, I am living my affirmations, life is good. Cooking, or should I say, watching my parents cook, was a joy for me. I enjoyed playing outside with my sisters and brothers but when it was time to prepare lunch, dinner (sometimes breakfast before school) I was on a stool looking and trying to help. Most of the time my mom made the meals but when she was working on the train as a chef, my dad did the cooking. My mom had large biscuit pans that were black from lots of use, all types of knives that she sharpened on the back porch near the smoke house.
My family always sits down together for every meal, and we begin every meal with a prayer. The food would look and smell so good it was hard to keep our eyes closed. We always had homemade biscuits, cornbread and cakes. We raised our own chickens and hogs, boy you should see my mom ring the chicken’s neck! She did it so fast and merciful; there was always an audience to watch. Thinking back my moms’ potatoes, rutabagas, and other vegetables were perfect cubes. I did not understand it then but now I know! My dad loves cooking fresh meats and of all things eel and catfish stew. Anything they cooked was excellent and I really never saw them use a recipe book. Can you believe that?
My parents at 89 and 92 still cook and the food is still delicious. I learned and imitated their cooking and kitchen activities, still now I see them back in the day cooking, as I now work in the Chefs Academy Kitchen. Everything I conquer in the kitchen makes them proud. So I am free when I cook. Cooking is a beautiful thing!!
I have other inspirations that include Julia Child, John Gargone, Maya Angelou, Emerald La Gassi, and Paula Dean. Each one of these chefs had to overcome some form of scotoma. Julia Child did not know how to cook and she doubted herself, but with the help and support of her husband she overcame her fear, enrolled in a French all-male cooking school, rose above the adversity and graduated at the top of the class. Mrs. Child never looked back, she continued her career to become a world renown chef, TV personality and author. I was very saddened at her death; I realized that she lives now bigger and better (death could not silence her fame). As I stated earlier, “I am flying.” Well, I could not have accomplished this without the help of my instructors and these treasures we call text books. All lessons carry us to the edge of excitement and awe with no return to our past habits. Life’s lessons are sometimes hard to digest; however, culinary lessons contain all the ingredients, vitamins, water, tools and directions that one will need to carry on the road to excellence. Will you travel with me on this journey? I have received in one term all of my goals and my visions if I must travel without company. Teamwork is the key to any undertaking in the world today. One of the lessons that have been instilled in us is: You don’t have to like your co-worker but you must work well with them. The world is small and you don’t know who may have to loan you a case of seafood for the next evening rush. The DISC test helped us realize our personalities and who and how we react to others and how we can work out differences amongst each other. The learning tools have been too numerous for me to go into but I am thankful for every word uttered from my “Strategies for Success” class.
My health has been a draw back in my career, I have battled cancer and survived, I have lost my sight for 1 month as well as my ability to walk for greater than a month. I had faith and a positive attitude that carried me through the fires of life that tried to consume me. I held myself back when I said “I don’t think I can drive out to school,” or “I don’t know how I’m going to do it.” I prayed and now I have driven a full term with no accidents or major health setbacks. Lou Tice, the creator of our “Strategies for Success” class is a wonderful person. I give him so much credit for his teachings which are eye opening and we can teach others to get on the road to excellence. My math skills were another drawback but now I feel comfortable that I will master that class. I’m on a roll... I have put plans in effort to bring my career goals to fruition; I am in line with getting my company off the ground. I am to be a traveling chef, doing contract work when I desire and when I am not traveling I am working with diabetic and obese persons bringing them a higher quality of life and happiness. I will help all that I can and if I can’t I’m sure that one of my classmates can fill the order. I love to share and I believe in “each one, teach one”. I could go on and on about the joys and techniques I have acquired but I may bore you and that is not my goal. I am so blessed to have been accepted in this wonderful school that I call my second home. I will work for the first five years to become proficient. I am flying and it’s all because of endurance, patience and a positive attitude and in front of that comes my love for my fellowman.