Brennan and Mike are getting together this weekend for Rebecca's birthday(that's Mike's wife by the way), I couldn't be more aggravated that I can't join in the festivities. Why I can't?... you might ask....well that's because I am still in the middle of this rather tumultuous relocation to Charleston, SC. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for the new job, new scene, new everything, but camaraderie is lost in the process.
So what is the point of me posting this, is it to air out my personal life??? Not exactly.
The point is to illustrate the fact that successful people surround themselves with SUCCESSFUL people. This proverb applies to any profession from the President to the quickstop clerk(love that movie). I am where I am today because of the people I have worked with, mentors and peers alike. Of course there are other factors, the individual must have drive and intensity, but a chef needs that competition.....that hurdle to jump, that mountain to climb, otherwise he/she slides into the mediocrity surrounding them, and where does that reflect.........in the food.
One of things that bothers me the most is when I walk into the kitchen and there is no focus whatsoever. I'm not saying that everyone should be head down with a scowl on their face, but.....there should be FOCUS. Not focus to impress other people or focus to simply get through the shift, but focus on ingredients and technique. I've seen it so many times, cooks will walk into a kitchen and not shut there mouth until they clock out, oblivious to the work they have done. These people are destined for failure........but....there is hope, another breed exists!!!
This breed is the artisan, the renaissance, the conscious chef. This is the person who respects the food, the one that is constantly pushing to get better. Why??! Because they care about what they are doing, not just for ego, but for their own professional integrity.
That's what Brennan and Mike are. Brennan and I met Mike somewhere around circa 2003, in a little beach town called Fernandina Beach(a place that Mike refers to as the armpit of America). We were all working at Amelia Island Plantation and it was a huge turning point for myself. Since then we have all followed very different paths, from major hotels, to private clubs, to private restaurants. Between the three of us I think we have covered everything except catering.....oh wait, we've done that too. Anyways, my point is that I am thankful that I have people around me to push me to get better, any young culinarian who reads this should do the same. Brennan and Mike are cooking a coursed dinner for Becca's birthday and despite their brotherhood, you better believe there is an underlying competition. THAT IS A GOOD THING. If there wasn't, Becca might as well have her birthday dinner at IHOP.....
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