“To Cook or Not to Cook?” That is the question resting heavy on my mind these days. For those of you who know me two questions might come up when I talk about my love for the kitchen; “LOL Sarah? Cooking?” or “Wait…I knew you cooked, but culinary school?” The latter would be more of a question from the friends of mine acquired within the last 5 years or so. It’s amazing how you can simply fall in love with something so deeply and quickly. My love for food has always been there, but my passion to prepare it has slowly been evolving over the last few years, and I’m enjoying every moment of it.
I always dreamed of being able to use my talents to make a living. I love to sing more than anything in the world, and cooking is quickly rising in the ranks. I was always a bit hesitant to go to school for music. I didn’t have a passion to teach and I always felt that if singing was my calling, I would do it with or without a degree. I seem to view cooking in a completely opposite way. The culinary world is so vast and the skills to be learned can be difficult and complex…something I feel going to school for would be a great benefit. So the question..to cook or not to cook…for a living?
While entering into the fantasy world I call my imagination, and listening to the Singers and Swing music channel, I started doing some research on the top culinary schools. If I had any regrets from college it would be that I didn’t take it as seriously as I should of. If I could go back I would have gone to my dream school, taken out that BIG loan, and be living happily in debt, but with a degree that I wanted. Now, I’m not saying I’m not proud of my accomplishments, I just might have gone about it a little differently. In saying this, if I were to go to culinary school, I want the best!! Ha don’t we all right?!? Well, I can have the best for a mere 22,650 Euros per COURSE at the prestigious Le Cordeon Bleu of Paris. I mean how fabulous would it be to live in Europe and wake up everyday to study the ins and outs of the culinary world with some of the World’s best instructors? Who wants to contribute to the Send Sarah to Culinary School fund??
I’m a pretty big dreamer and I’m guilty of sometimes dreaming a bit too big. So maybe I should take a step back and evaluate some of the great institutions right here at home. (This is where logical Sarah starts to kick in.) But I’m done dreaming yet…
A Trip Down Memory Lane
My first trip to Paris was intimidating, rainy, and very cold. My friend Melanie and I decided to set off on a month long adventure through Europe that would end up being one of the most incredible times of my life. We flew in and out of Paris, but the two girls who landed in Paris were not the same girls who flew out a month later. I remember getting there and feeling so overwhelmed. The streets were confusing, our packs were heavy, and we were on a mission to find a place to stay that night. When we finally settled in we were off to explore. I have to say, there wasn’t much exploring that night. Along with the jet-lag came an immense feeling of intimidation. We walked up and down the streets looking at all of the people sitting outside drinking their coffee, smoking their cigarettes, and chatting about life. We were so unsure of our new location that we didn’t partake in the festivities because, well, we just didn’t know what to do. Was it okay to just sit outside and drink some coffee, did we have to order food, would they be rude because we didn’t speak French (well I didn’t at all)? Needless to say our first night in Paris wasn’t very eventful. The next day we left France and our trip began. We didn’t plan on revisiting Paris until the final two days of our trip.
Four countries, 10 cities, uncountable bottles of wine, the most impeccable cuisine, and most beautiful country side later…we were back in Paris. After some crazy experiences, and few minor freak-outs, sorry Melanie, we felt like we were master travelers who could conquer anything. When we came back to the city it didn’t feel the same, it didn’t even look the same. The first thing we did was grab that cappuccino on an outside patio and watch the world go by.
Our final two days in the city of lights were beyond breathtaking. From the Louvre to the Notre Dame, to watching gypies on the lawn, to fancy Parisian restaurants, I fell in love with Paris. My favorite part was on our mission to find the Moulin Rouge. We walked for hours and saw some amazing things, but when we stumbled along a particular section of the city, with it’s narrow walkways lined with Patisseries and Boucheries, street carnivals, street vendors, and the most adorable antique shops, I felt like I was in heaven. It was getting dark and we needed to find a subway to get back across town, we had given up on our mission until we turned to our left and there it was…the Moulin Rouge. It was a perfect ending to a perfect trip, and one that I will surely never forget.
I couldn’t think of a more amazing experience then to go back to the city I love, and discover a whole new world of cooking. Unfortunately, neither myself or my husband are kin to Bill Gates and that’s a big sum of money to find lying around.
What would I cook???- Just say no to Foie Gras!! Sorry but that was some REALLY bad liver I tried in Nice, France. - I don’t know if I would actually make it…but I would surely drink a lot of amazing French Wine & eat a lot of cheese - Pommes Frites! And yes I would do as the Parisians do and load it up with mayo..YUM! - Crêpes filled with all thinks sweet and savory - I would have to cook with Truffles…I am so intrigued
And the list would go on and on. I’ve only had French food a hand-full of times and I loved every minute of it (except for the Foie BLAH). It is definitely a genre that I can’t wait to explore.
So for now I will continue to explore the culinary world around me, and who knows, you might know me as chef Sarah sooner then later.
Billie Holiday: It would definitely be most fitting to be listening to some french music right now, but I was actually listening to a little jazz while writing, and the words just flowed. Billie’s voice is unlike any other. Her smooth vibrato and raspy notes just take me to another time and place. Whether it’s Paris, The French Quarter in New Orleans, or Richardson, TX there is never a bad time to listen to Billie. Enjoy!