I am, in the truest sense of the word, a restless soul. I write these words more for myself than anyone else. This is my therapy to find my real self and help me to get to where my compass leads—a dialogue with pen and paper to find out if that compass points me to true north … or if there is still one major twist in the road for my family and me.
I realize that nothing goes as planned. That life is full of curveballs. I’d be bored if there weren’t. However, I struggle daily with the idea that I can’t seem to put down in words, or to plan for, my goal of less—less of everything that isn’t important in this life. Less 9 – 5, less house, less expenses, less wasting time and not focusing on what I’ve come to crave: the essentials. Family, faith, generosity, and self-development.
This blog is a first step, an investment in where I want to be and where I’m going.
My amazing wife Jasmine states that I am AAA, or “all or nothing”. And while that has helped with my successes in life, I know it hurts my end result because I can’t seem to find that starting point where I can flip close one door and open another. It eludes me, and life is moving too fast. Opening the door always seems to be pushed off. Two years ago, I promised myself at 40 I’d be living the dream and not tied down to any corporate job, living my life with my family as we see fit—not as the monthly mortgage tells us. Yet here I am only inches closer to my goal: cooking for a living.
I feel like I’ve been auditioning for eternity.
There have been changes, though, for the better. I have learned to argue less, listen more, and take it all in—essentials for any chef or traveler. I try not to miss much in the sense of beauty, and have had an amazing opportunity to see so much, and try so much, with the people that I love. I truly have had an amazing life … but my personality won’t leave good enough alone.
I want what I think a lot of us want, deep down. I want true freedom, and I want my family—and only my family—to write the pages in our own book, a book outlined by our faith, with footnotes from our friends. I want the characters in that book to be genuinely good people who value our time as we value theirs: true friends in some of the best places in the world. I yearn for my wife and son to live their best lives at all costs, and to find their true selves, using their talents only in the ways that matter.
Although this blog is a self-journey at heart, it’s also a record of my travels, words put down on paper offering a perspective on food and all things beautiful from a chef’s point of view. I’ve seen and experienced a lot in 40 years, and it’s my purpose—as my compass guides me—to share those recollections with you.
Even now, I can still remember my first trip. I had flown to Puerto Rico, and though I was 18 at the time, I looked several years beyond my age, so I had no issues getting a drink or two (but didn’t push three) at the airport bar to calm my nerves and get me ready for the first of what was to be hundreds of flights over the next two decades. Looking back, it felt like the start of an obsession that would only need to be fed more and more. Like the adage warns, “The world gets larger the more you travel. The more you see, the more experiences you have, the more you realize you haven’t been anywhere.”
In the coming posts, I’ll share my culinary experiences from around the world. And in turn, I hope my path to self-discovery can remind you to smell the roses, taste the fresh bread, walk around that corner, and enjoy life.
So stay tuned. Because I can’t wait to share every juicy morsel with you.