Friday, October 26, 2012

Micro Blog: Jorge Zarate-Arenas

Hello everybody let me share with you the steps in my journey that have brought me here and the people that have inspired me to reach my goals. 
My mom was the first person to teach me the basics of the kitchen when I was little.  She told me I had to learn to cook like her, so that when I was away from home I won’t have to miss my family's cooking. My mom told me that someday I would understand. At first none of that made sense to me because I never imagined myself being away from my family. One day in my adolescence, my uncle Juan, who was known in town for his culinary skills, invited me to a tour of festivals in different towns where he was responsible for preparing the banquet for the parties. That was a beautiful experience, because I like traveling to different towns where his reputation was known and I saw how people loved him and admired his work and dedication. I remember my uncle Juan used to say, “Son, if you learn how to cook, this is a very noble profession, and if you do it from the bottom of your heart, it will open the door to wherever your life takes you”. At that time, I did not understand the meaning of his words. When the time came for me to be away from my family, my mother's words showered on me like rocks because there were occasions when I had no choice but to eat food with bad flavor. It was then when I decided to buy some basic cooking utensils and begin to recreate the dishes of my family, starting with breakfast because it was the easiest thing for me to do.  That's when I discovered that basic skills were inside of me, though I did not have the perfection of my mom or my uncle Juan.  Nevertheless, I felt that I had my family close to me again. With the passage of time, through trial and error, I was able to recreate some of the family recipes-thanks to the teachings of my mom and my uncle Juan.
    Many years later, I found my passion in my career as a scuba instructor in the island of Cozumel.  Through my career of meeting people from various parts of the world, I had opportunities to enrich my palate with new flavors and different styles of food. Since then, I’ve gained a respect and admiration for those behind the scenes delivering dishes with dedication and creativity. Since I came to the United States a few years ago, leaving Cozumel to be with my wife, I have taken job openings which I did not particularly care for.  My wife saw my frustration, and recorded a television program, in which The Chefs Academy advertised and promoted a new cooking school in the area. Watching the program lit the spark in my head, and at the same time, the words of my uncle Juan hit me in the face like a frying pan as well. My wife’s gesture has ended up showing me the way to a new opportunity in my life, where I can dedicate my time to something I’m really passionate about again. So far, I’ve only cooked for my wife, who enjoys and appreciates my efforts in the kitchen, but I hope to gain more experience, knowledge, techniques and different cooking styles soon, and have the opportunity to put my enthusiasm into something tangible for others to enjoy.
    I’ve got my inspiration in the career of cooking thanks to my family from whom I got my first lessons and advice, and also thanks to my wife, who ignited a spark inside of me that’s hard to extinguish now.

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