Chef is a Job Description

This is Day 12 in a month-long series of posts about the work I do, owning and operating a pay-what-you-can vegan lunch café in the middle of meat-and-potatoes Midwest America. To learn more about the café, I invite you to visit the website or find us on Facebook


There are days when I look around the kitchen and wonder what I’m doing here. Making soup, roasting potatoes, stirring the onions while they caramelize. I have no formal training for this. I did not go to school to be a chef.

Yet here I am.

My friend Aimee, who writes for the local paper, says “chef” is a job description.

A couple weeks after we opened, she contacted me, wanting to do a story.

“It’s too soon,” I told her.

She called again a month later. “Ready for me now?”

She came, we talked. A few days later there was a nice little article about us in the food section of the local paper. She used long quotes. I actually sounded like me. We saw a few busy days in the aftermath, and then things settled back down.

I was in no hurry to busy them back up.

I like things when they’re not so busy. I like to look out into the dining room and see people at the tables, but not too many people. Too many people exhausts me, and then it’s not fun anymore. All that smiling.

The truth is, I’m not ambitious. I’m happy making lunch for two dozen people, cleaning up, and going home. I know that’s not how I’m supposed to feel. I’m supposed to want to grow. I’m supposed to aspire.

I think it’s okay not to.

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