Monday, August 20, 2007

On Food and Cooking (according to me)... aka, Juliette gets all new-agey up in here

My current job is having a tremendous impact on my perspective on food....

I am at last coming to fully embrace the fact that food is at the very forefront of my interests. Food is the lens through which I view the entire world around me. It informs many of my decisions, just as my mood informs my taste on any given day. Food is possibly the single most important thing to me in this world, and I'm finally starting to take real pride in that, as opposed to feeling somewhat bashful and geeky. Or maybe it's that I'm learning to take pride in my geekiness. More than anything, I'm coming to realize that I'm blessed to have found my passion so very early on in life, and to have been infinitely blessed with the privelege of being able to pursue it as a career. That is a truly wonderous and wonderful luxury that proportionally few people in this world are afforded. In fact, I experience no small dose of guilt from that fact... years back, at the height of my political activism I wanted to change the whole world, in that way that only kids think they can. Misogyny, racism, heterocentrism.... you name it, I would put an end to it! And then I burnt out. These days I'm less politically hardcore, at least in action, but I feel a real moral dilemma about how to incorporate the task of improving the world into my chosen life of preparing food. I know the two are compatible, in fact wildly so. The need to be nourished, spiritually and physically, exists in every living thing, and these days I find that we as the human race are generally lacking in both regards. So how to approach this task? That's the 64,000 dollar question. The recurring question I ask myself is "do I want to cook food for rich people food the rest of my life?" as well as its follow-up question "if I cook food for rich people the rest of my life, on my deathbed will I feel as though I have helped the world to be a better place for my children and their children?" Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not down on all rich people. In fact, in the grand scheme of the planet, I'm a pretty damn rich person myself. I guess more what I mean to say is, I create art, I am an artist, I create something of aesthetic and gustatory value mainly to serve the hedonistic desires of myself and others. Can't I do more?? Can't I improve the world while practicing my craft? Can't I affect some lasting change in this world on a small or even moderate scale? Can't I help save humanity through foodsy endeavors?

I guess I'll find out. But for now I completely love my job.

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