The other night I experienced an evening that reminded me of how exciting it is to be around great food, amazing drinks and others that love the food industry. The Star Chefs Congress theme this year was Cook Your Culture. This annual 3 day conference […]
Whenever I learn of someone or something being associated with my dads home country, Antigua & Barbuda, I am instantly intrigued. A few months ago my sister told me about Barnola, a great granola company. Barnola is a love note to Aisha Thompson’s childhood. The Antiguan […]
Dorothy Cann Hamilton Founder and CEO of The International Culinary Center, what a loss. This morning I woke up like I usually do. I flipped through all of the eventful things that my social media connections did through out the night. My heart sunk when I came across a 5 day old status of one of the many chefs that I admire on Instagram. The post had the great picture of Hamilton in that “sugar sharp, smart” kelly green jacket paying respect to her memory. That photo was the first photo that introduced me to Ms. Hamilton last year, when I began my journey of discovering my passion.
March of 2015 I began the process of competing to be a student at The International Culinary Center, on The Rachael Ray Show. One of the tasks that I had to complete was write my admissions essay on why I wanted to attend culinary school, why ICC specifically, and finally what I wanted to do as a graduate of The International Culinary Institute. That essay made me really sit in this and contemplate, but also research. Part of my research to understand what ICC could offer me, brought me to the website. The ICC website was where my dreams turned into reality. I researched ICC years prior as The French Culinary Institute, but I wasn’t ready and I didn’t have the love for cooking then like I do now. I think I even attended an open house years ago. Anyway, as I was researching why I should be admitted to ICC now, I came across Chef’s Story, a podcast on the website.
Chef’s Story was a one on one interview of a successful chef interviewed by a very knowledgable, food power hustler named Dorothy Cann Hamilton. I’m not sure how I figured out that the voice was the Founder and CEO of this amazing school that I could see myself stepping into my purpose in. By listening to these interviews that Dorothy led, it allowed each chef to step listeners thru how they discovered their passion for food. The weekend that I prepared my essay I must have listened to 30 interviews as I sat on my couch trying to find the perfect words to describe how much I was sure of my desire to cook, and to learn at ICC. Listening to the interviews that Dorothy held with many chefs that I admire, and some that I hadn’t heard of but began following, allowed me, the listener to get to know that she was friendly, warm, funny, very well travelled, highly creative and didn’t let much stop her from building one of the best culinary schools in the US. I also learned that she didn’t mind a little foul language from the chefs that stopped by to tell their stories, so she was no prude.
When I was selected as a finalist, I knew that my time listening to Chef’s Story after Chef’s Story that weekend helped me to understand the possibilities and to brighten my passion to cook and attend ICC. When I didn’t win the competition, I was not really sad, because the entire process allowed me to understand my purpose. I was and am so sure that I will attend ICC that after not winning the competition on the show I connected with Dorothy Cann Hamilton on LinkedIn, just because I knew she would know me eventually.
The culinary world has certainly gained an angel, and even though I never met her or even stood in the same room as her, as an admirer of her entrepreneurial endeavor of The International Culinary Center, and her love of life and learning, I will miss hearing her voice on new episodes of Chef’s Story on Heritage Radio. And the loss of this culinary icon speaks to the need for everyone and anyone to live for today, and when you identify your purpose in this life, do everything and anything you can to live in that purpose, because Dorothy did.
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Just about once a quarter I like to refresh my nutrition with a nutritional wake up, or refocus. One of my favorite nutritional refreshes is the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse by JJ Smith. This cleanse allows me to refocus myself on simple foods, and get my water intake under control. I also use the time to reflect on a better commitment to myself, meaning my nutrition, my fitness, as well as my personal growth. You can purchase the book here. Typically I lose about 10 lbs with the cleanse, but more than that, the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse helps with my focus, and my energy, and the weight loss that it kick starts certainly doesn’t hurt.
Today is day 1 of the 10 day Green Smoothie cleanse for me and what I find is that the smoothies are easy to drink and most of them are pretty tasty. You would be surprised at how much you can mask kale, spinach and spring mix in a green smoothie. Each smoothie includes the nutrients that are needed throughout the day
Day 1 was a Berry Green smoothie with a blend of spinach, apples, frozen mangoes, frozen strawberries, grapes and water. All smoothies include flax meal and stevia. The cleanse does give you a lot of options for snacks, like raw and crunchy vegetables, and high protein snacks like nuts, and boiled eggs.
I am pairing this refresh with slowly reintroducing running to my workout regimen, y’all pray for me. Me and running broke up at the end of last year, but I a hoping that by starting a Couch to 5 K program for the next several weeks, I will begin to enjoy the run again, because I know that the results are worth it. The next few posts will cover my experience as I move thru this cleanse, and will be followed by a series of healthy meal options.
Have you ever woke up one day or just began to get clarity about your life’s purpose or better yet, your passion?
Let me back up by saying this post is not really about a particular recipe, or even a particular food experience. This post is more about ensuring that you decide early to pursue your passion.
I’ve been an engineer for 12 years working for the same company. The work has taken me to different places in the US, taught me a ton about dealing with different personalities, and problem solving. And it has also helped me find what I truly have passion for. When I moved away and out of my parents house, I was forced into a kitchen that I really hadn’t had a great deal of interest in, so I thought. Throughout high-school, I worked at a rotisserie chicken joint, and learned a ton about prepping, but at that point, I just liked making money. But when I had to begin to cook for myself I began to try different recipes, and I began to challenge myself to improve my skills.
I say all of that to say that on my journey to grow into a big time leader within the company I have worked for, for over a decade (wow, that is a long time), I had a moment of clarity, well several moments of clarity, that I have a passion that I can not ignore, for food, and everything surrounding it. I want to encourage those not sure of their passion to search for it, and once you find it, you have a couple choices.
Drop everything and follow your passion with reckless abandon… ummm that is good, and works for many, but I have never been a huge risk taker, and I think that has served me well in life thus far.
Study your passion, and commit to dedicating the time to make it a larger part of your life, all while ensuring that you learn everything that there is to learn, in your current career. Move up that corporate ladder and increase your understanding of your purpose, and your lessons in your main career. This is more my speed, while I have a total passion for food, I have a passion for challenges. Challenging myself to climb as high as I can in my corporate career provides me a certain level of excitement. And the stability that it provides in my life and to my lifestyle, certainly doesn’t hurt as well.
The important thing is that you recognize the signs and those clarifying moments that reveal your passion and purpose. Its not important to make money on your passion, but it is important that you feed it in some way that allows you to acknowledge it and not turn your back on it. There is nothing like getting so caught up with life that you turn around and regret that you didn’t dedicate the time you could have to pursue your life’s passion.
Dream Big, and Live Bigger
2 years after this original post, watch my pursuit of my passion Dream Chasing. February will begin, then next chapter. Stay tuned..
I have been having some discussions with several people about blogging, and have decided to change up the structure of my entries. Beginning in May there will be themed days. Monday – Meatless Mondays will consist of meatless recipes, or a review from a vegetarian […]