A short story of a young cook.

I'm not a 4-star chef.  I never took cooking classes.  My mom never showed me secrets in the kitchen.  Actually I was never allowed in the kitchen when I was younger.  It was my moms domain and no one was really allowed to just stroll into there and grab what ever the wanted.  When I was 18 I left my parents house but didn't live where I had a stove or oven.  I just had a George Foreman and a microwave.  So you can guess how simple my cooking was at the time.  It wasn't till I was nearly 20 that I started actually cooking in my own place.  I always wanted to spice things up, add something unique and try something new.

There was a lot of trial and errors.  There were dishes that astounded me and who ever might have been eating it with me, and there were other dishes that I ended up having to throw away cause it tasted horrible and there was no turning it around.  I've burnt a ban with no food in it, I've charred rice and turned noodles into mush.  I've under cooked baked chicken, I've over salted chili.... Now when I say I over salted chili.  I don't mean a little bit.  This was the first time working with salt, and I didn't think at the time that salt, onion salt, garlic salt, would just turn out to be A LOT of salt!  I tried to balance it out with pepper but I had over done it to much.  I was a horrible cook.  I gave up for awhile.  But then I wanted to try again.  Cooking was just to intriguing for me.  It resembled an art and I liked that. The creative process from prep to plate.

So I started working at a small town restaurant in the valleys of south Minnesota near Winona. Since I had absolutely no kitchen skills he wanted to start me on Dishes just like any non culinary school inspired cook will start. So I did that for about three-four weeks and I begged to start cooking.  So he gave me a key and had me open the place up at 6am turn everything on get prep going, get things ready and he would be there by the time we opened to help me cook.  So breakfast was my first challenge.  I'd cooked eggs plenty of times.  But if I screw up in a pan for my own food... say I break a yolk, I just turn it into a over hard or scrambled no biggie.  You break the yolk when your trying to make a over easy/over medium in a kitchen for someone else you start over till it's correct.  Plain and simple.  I got yelled at over and over.  This was probably when I was about 22 yrs. old. I didn't work there for long.  Maybe a few months.

That was an on going problem with me.  I never liked to stay at one place for to long. I kept changing jobs, and places.  But it wasn't the last time I cooked in a restaurant.  That was my first job.  The Alba House.  small little valley restaurant in Alba, MN.  I grew up about 20 min. from there. After that I worked at a Subway, which A. wasn't really a restaurant, but I learned some new skills. Then Grandma Links Kitchen in Minong WI. After that I moved back down to Plainview, MN and started working at a Deli/Catering company. When I moved to help a buddy do DJ in Byron, MN I started working at a family restaurant called the Bears Den.  Shortly after that I moved up to Minneapolis for schooling in music.  After school i needed a secondary job and something to supplement my income so I moved to Burnsville and shortly after that started working at a huge pool hall cafe called Shooters Billiards.  That was three years ago, and I'm still here. 


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