There are certainties in the life of a cook. You will get cut, you will get burned, you will work crazy hours, and you will work the holidays that everyone else has off. Today is May Day, the laborers holiday in Italy. Everyone, with the exception of the restaurant workers, started the day with a parade through town and spent the day in the parks or by the river having grilled meat and wine. The old men are playing bocce and the old women are sitting in the shade as the children play in the empty streets. I heard all of this through the open kitchen door as I worked through the day. We are prepping for all the people who will come for dinner after spending the day celebrating not working who don't have the energy to cook for themselves. I spent the day cleaning artichokes, baking bread, butchering meat and preparing sauces. I have been cut, I have been burned, and I feel like I live in this kitchen today. There is a part of me that wishes I could have dropped my apron and joined that parade that passed the restaurant this morning. I would have loved to spend the day eating BBQ, drinking wine, playing bocce with the old men or soccer in the streets with the kids.
But, I made my choice. I am a cook. I turn ingredients into meals. I create art with food.