Hey guys! Sorry for not updating for so long. I’ve cooked quite a bit of stuff lately, but they were all “experimental” projects where I wasn’t happy enough with the final result to want to share if with you guys, sorry :P.
I just really want to thank you guys for your continued support. I’m still kind of dumbfounded that I’m gaining twitter followers at between 10-20 per day, which considering that I’m pretty much irrelevant in the MasterChef discussion is pretty huge! Thanks for all of your retweeting, sharing, replying, etc. Please keep it up and keep interacting with me! I love talking to you guys (as long as you aren’t asking for something…erm..illegal), and it makes my day when you guys share a story about how my brief exposure on MasterChef has impacted your life in some way.
There are a lot of potential ideas swirling in my head about what I want to do, but it depends on you guys and what you want! Things like a pop-up restaurant I would LOVE, but I don’t want to risk spending a lot of time and money planning it and have only 3 people sign up. Same with cooking lessons; I would absolutely love to meet up with some of you guys, teach you guys how to make some of my favorite foods (dumplings anybody??), and just get to chat, but so far the best offer I’ve gotten is $25 which, though I’m not trying to take all your money, is just too low in my opinion and not fair to me (it’s not even going to cover the ingredients!).
Other things I’ve been considering are making an “It Gets Better” video, Mystery Boxes where YOU as my fans come up with the ingredients that I have to use to make a dish, and collaborations with some of your other MasterChef contestants. I’m open to many other ideas as well! As long as the cost/benefit ratio is reasonable, I’ll definitely consider it.
Here’s a brief update of what’s been going on in my life right now. I’ve still been going into Barley Swine twice a week, and started going into Uchiko twice a week starting three weeks ago. While I’ve enjoyed my times there (and hopefully they have enjoyed having me!), the response that I hear over and over again is that “we just don’t have any (appropriate) positions available.” With Uchiko, I had high hopes that I would be able to make it on the team. Chef Speer had given me a two week “trial” period to start stage before considering me for employment, and I busted ass trying to do EVERYTHING in my power to show him what I had and how much this meant to me. When I met up with him and Chef Tim this week, he asked me what I wanted from them. My response: “A paying job, anything! Dishwasher, busboy, whatever.” He gave me a sympathetic smile, and said that the only positions they had available were a highly skilled line cook, which I was still “a little green behind the ears” for, and a Sous Chef position, which I was obviously even less qualified for. At Barley Swine, the kitchen is even smaller and more nuclear, and barring somebody quitting their job or getting dismissed (highly unlikely at this point), Bryce (Chef Gilmore) basically told me that his hands were tied.
So my dream of getting a job in some of the best restaurants in Austin seem to be halted, which is a little bit frustrating but it’s something I should have expected. What do I expect, being a 19-year-old with no kitchen experience fresh off of a fancy TV show where I was eliminated early and didn’t get to blossom? That has led to a widening of my search for employment, as I’ve been living off of my savings for two months, and between splitting the cost of a new (used) car, buying knives, the oppressive price of gas, and groceries, I am literally about to become bankrupt. It’s not a pleasant situation for somebody that is desperately trying to move out of my parents’ house. Don’t get me wrong, I love them a lot, but when to be frank they are ashamed of you and the path you have chosen to take, whether it be career-wise or sexuality-wise, you can only endure it for so long before becoming depressed and angry.
Tomorrow morning I start a two-day “trial” period with a new job opportunity that just opened up for me. I’ll be trying out life in a corporate cafe. Now I know what you are thinking….corporate cafe=cafeteria food=how low are you stooping for????? But this place is apparently headed by a real chef with real credentials (he worked at Per Se for a few years), cooks everything from scratch and only does very limited small batch cooking; most stuff done to order, with fresh, local ingredients and a virtually unlimited budget, which means that they have things like in-house smokers, grilled-to-order Texas Wagyu beef burgers, etc. The hours are reasonable (7:30-3:30); good, even! The pay ($9-$10/hr) is probably better than what I could have gotten at BS or Uchiko. If I get hired and start manning my own station, I’ll be able to use some creative license along to come up with my own specials! It all looks pretty good on paper, but again, I haven’t started yet so who knows. But tomorrow and tuesday, I get to go in and find out, while getting paid to do so! The HR lady was like: “You’ll come in for a two day ‘stage’, but we do it legally and actually pay you to work those days, even if it doesn’t work out.” It will feel SO NICE to be busting your ass working those hard shifts but knowing that you’re actually getting something tangible in return. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to afford decent groceries again, and will be able to start cooking more delicious dishes which I hope to be sharing with you guys! Let’s just say I’ve been eating a lot of potatoes lately….
Just to clarify: I haven’t “left” Barley Swine or Uchiko! I just might be going in less often since obviously job takes higher priority than unpaid internship. I’ve learned so much and still have so much to learn that it would be foolish for me to “quit” so to speak.