Why become a chef?

It has never been my goal to become a chef, but rather to learn how to cook really well.  The story of my great grandmother cooking crawfish bisque for two days is a folk-like memory stuck in my mind of an individual I am directly related to but have never met.  It is the bond of food which allows an individual to talk with the past, and create the future.  There are no shortcuts to great cuisine, and there never have been, it is a combination of curiosity and drive which create future cuisine to be passed to the next generation.  After leaving New Orleans, I landed in Hilton Head, South Carolina.  My girlfriend at the time was working for her father’s restaurant on the island and was pursuing sommelier certification.  It was at her father’s house, where the book “The making of a chef:  how to master heat at the CIA” made an appearance.  I read the book, and while searching for something to do, realized I could learn at a place, argue with the instructors (in a valid researched way), and travel cooking.  It was in the environment of the May River, amazing obscure French wines, and conversational family meals that solidified me in the culinary profession.  Having grown up on great food, at the time, what I had known to be the best food in the world, and then discovering the European aspect of dinning it was a smooth transition in the pursuit of gastronomy.