Food + Sports = Necessary Eats!

by Kisha on October 12, 2012 // 2 Comments

Food and sports

Both of which have been a constant in my life. You all know how much I love sports, I mean that’s why this blog even exists! But not very many people know where my love for food comes from, so I wanted to take this time to share my story.

As a little girl, I spent long hours in the kitchen cooking and baking with my Mom. My Mom and I’s cooking wasn’t for fun. I mean, we enjoyed it but it was more a second income for us since my Dad was doing his residency at Driscoll Children’s Hospital. It was a tough time for us financially so I wanted to help my family in any way possible, it just so happened that I LOVED cooking and food. We weren’t making glamourous food, it was basic Filipino cuisine that was time-consuming, tedious but always delicious. We did this for three years and trust me, having to make hundreds of Pandesal within two days is something I’ll never forget.

Throughout high school, I experimented here and there and was a stellar student in my home economics class. Who brings in steak fajitas with a homemade smoky garlic rub as their “final project”? Yup, this girl did. After high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do (at that point, sports wasn’t really an option) so I enrolled at The Texas Culinary Academy in Austin, Texas.

I was one of the few students with little to no profesional kitchen experience. Some of the others have been working in restaurants for over 10 years. Needless to say, I was absolutely terrified. But once I put one my white chef’s coat with my name on it, I felt unstoppable in the kitchen. I worked hard and after a battle with a consommé and hours spend perfecting a hollandaise, I graduated Magna Cum Laude with my A.S. in Culinary Arts. It should be noted that I struggled with grades in high school (I honestly don’t know how I graduated). I learned everything I know about time management, organization, studying and teamwork from my time in culinary school. Upon graduation, I worked at bistro/cafe for several months and it was quite the experience.

In the restaurant industry — just like in sports — women are the minority and I learned this at my first kitchen job.

Here’s what happened: I walked into the kitchen on my first day with my pink knife roll and was one of probably three girls working the line. My first job was the Expeditor. Simply put, I was the last person who saw a dish before it went out to the customer.

Simple enough. 

…Since I was the final checkpoint, if something was incorrect on a dish, I was also the one who sends it back and have to yell at the cooks.

People in the industry know that your kitchen crew is like a second family. There’s an established trust between everyone from the grill cook to the dishwashers. Iwas the rookie and I was expected to yell at people people who’ve known each other for years? Yikes. After a few weeks of hard work, I earned the trust of my line and it made life a lot easier. I later found out that they had a bet going to see how long I’d last in the kitchen…no one guessed longer than two weeks. Thanks a lot, guys. 🙂

I also had the opportunity to do my internship through the Disney College Program and I was a Chef 1 at Epcot during the International Food and Wine Festival. I was in Orlando for about five months and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I think if I had the opportunity to go back and work at Disney, I would. It’s hard not to be happy in a place like that.

If you’re wondering why I left the culinary industry, the answer is not simple.

While I loved cooking and creating amazing food, it wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. By the time I was done with culinary school, I was only 19! Let’s be honest, who knew what they wanted in life at 19?! Throughout school, my instructors warned me of the long hours and grueling schedule of a chef. I completely ignored their warnings. I became homesick and was so miserable.

Now I’ve come to realize that I love more than just food. I love social media, sports and writing. I’m still trying to figure things out now professionally so who knows, maybe I’ll be sharpening my knives again.

Until then, I’ll be sharing my love for food with you through a weekly feature on NRwithKisha called Necessary Eats.

So what kind of things will be categorized under “Necessary Eats”? Well, it can be any of the following things:

  • A recipe of something I’ve cooked
  • A great meal from a local restaurant (along with any Yelp review I may have written for it!)
  • Amazing snacks I’ve discovered during my weekly grocery shopping
  • Seasonal deliciousness
And to keep with the sports theme, these are all things that would be perfect for a tailgate or just watching the game with friends.

Here’s a hint for tomorrow’s first ever Necessary Eats post:

Yum….

It’s something that would be PERFECT for the Patriots and Seahawks game on Sunday.

Stay tuned!

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