to bigger and better things

Man oh man...where to begin?

As adept as I've become at excusing myself, I think even you'll agree that I've had more reason than ever to not give you an update this week.

Since March 5, it's been a whirlwind of events, decisions, announcements and changes on this end of the screen.  Here's the SparkNotes version of what went down:

March 6: visited the International Culinary Center in Campbell, CA.
March 7: decided to attend ICC, but in Manhattan. Found a program that started in two weeks.  Arranged a last minute living situation.  Phone calls, phone calls, phone calls. 
March 8:  Applied for financial aid.  Made the deposit. Broke the news to my bosses ("...March 20? That's like, TOMORROW")
March 9: Booked a round-trip ticket to New York.  Wait, WHAT?  Is this actually happening?  Broke the news to everyone else.
March 14: Last day at work. :(
March 15: Moved out of San Diego.
Tomorrow, March 17: Leaving LA.
March 18: Arriving in NY.


Culinary school!  My head is spinning, too.  Even though I didn't accept it as fact until my flight plans were before my eyes, I'm still in disbelief.  For those of you who don't know, culinary school has been on my mind in some shape or form since my senior year of high school, but it wasn't until four years later that I seriously considered a culinary career.  To think that less than a year ago, I was sitting on the floor of my college library wailing about how my parents would "neeeever support meeee-eee-e-ee-eehh" as my best friend handed me bathroom tissues...and that now, they are my BIGGEST supporters is insane (hi Umma and Appa).  Clearly, I had so little faith.  I couldn't be more thankful.  I really couldn't.

So much noise occupies my mind as I try to prepare for what's ahead (or really, what's right in front of me - THREE DAYS. GAH).  Like, really how impractical is it to bring my stand mixer as a carryon?  And won't I miss my cast iron combo cooker?  What if I want to make macarons and the place I stay at doesn't have sheet pans or silicon mats?  Oh god, what if there's no mandolin or microplane in my tool kit?

And more importantly, these nuggets of wisdom I garnered over a sunny La Jolla brunch with a friend and ex-coworker:

1. School is only the tip of the iceberg.  The real learning will come from all of the experiences after school - the people you work for, the challenges you go through, the places you end up in, etc.
2. Teaching someone with a good attitude is nothing.  Teaching someone to have a good attitude is impossible.
3. Don't ever place limits on yourself.  When you're pushed, you'll be amazed at what you're capable of.  And even if you fail, you'll be amazed at how close you got and realize you can do it if you try a little harder.
4. It's great to start in good places, but don't be sad to leave them for better ones.

I'll be honest.  I've wanted to go to culinary school AND live in the city for so long.  But now that both dreams are unfolding in real time, and so suddenly that I barely have time to process them, little clouds of doubt threaten to rain on my parade.  You're naïve.  You know nothing except for the fact that you know that you know nothing, and even that you sometimes forget.  There will always be someone out there more talented, more knowledgeable, more creative than you.  There will be people who won't respect your career.  And the biggest of them all, you'll become disenchanted by cooking and then what a waste it'll all be (it pains me a little to even type that out).  My only working defenses against these are prayers of loved ones and my lack of time to freak myself out even if I wanted to.  But as they are pretty strong defenses, I don't think I'll have too much to worry about.

As for what this means for the blog, I'm actually planning to be more consistent despite my full-time school schedule (Mon-Fri, 9-3).  I think the free weekends, open weekday evenings, fresh lessons, inspiration from the city, access to a bajillion farmer's markets, and a new camera (!!!!!) will be fuel enough to keep this site going strong for the next six months.  I really want to share as much of my experiences at school with you here.  So definitely keep checking in because if anything, this site will only grow from here on out.

Even as I wrap up this post, I keep expecting to wake up to a reality where I'm not going to culinary school and nothing has changed. Luckily, somehow, impossibly, I'm already awake and this is actually happening.  I've definitely burst into a this-is-too-good-to-be-true laughter more than three times this week. (It would have been disturbing to witness.)  Wow.  Thank you for joining me on the ride.

Here's to leaving good places for even better ones!

(and so on, and so forth)


  1. excited for future blog updates already! :)))

  2. my heart is bursting. i'm so excited for you <3

  3. So much truth in this post. It's incredible that you're going to culinary school! Creativity as a career is NEVER going to be easy. But it also will never go out of style. It's true there will always be those who are seemingly more talented, more creative etc... but it's what you do with it that matters. Good luck!