So, I moved back to the city four months ago...really? No way? I know I can't believe it either.
Since I was a kid I wanted to have a restaurant, when I was in the third grade I made my first Thanksgiving turkey for Thanksgiving and before that I made my dad be the cook while I put a sign on our door that said "Ferentinos Inn" when my parent's friends came over and I would run around taking orders for tuna melts and pizza bagels. This story still makes my brother crack up but fishing with paper clips for army men still seems cool in his recollection.
Any way my food story --so yes, I went to art school for industrial design, I welded functional art, furniture, etc and dropped out and worked like crazy and thought at 22 I would open a restaurant but didn't have enough money so instead I opened an art gallery with still not enough money but it seemed easier. When I hit a streak of good fortune after a long spell of bad and I made a bunch of money at 24 I thought of opening a place again but instead bought a cute lake house in Sparta, NJ. Then at 32 when I had an "early life crisis" and wanted to live my own "Eat, Pray, Love", I thought I would open a place on the lower east side in NYC with the money I made from selling my house, but no, instead I took guitar lessons, improv lessons, glassblowing lessons, a lot of f$cking lessons. I have always cooked, I do it as therapy, an income, for friends and family when I want to say I love them, am happy, sad, you get the point. I started a small catering business 8 years ago and it has been steadily growing and two nights a week I teach cooking classes and today , yes today, I was cooking at a food show and someone offered me a head chef position. So the point, I can throw down, I am confident, curious, and I have a passion for it. So why not open a place in NJ and instead move back to NYC? I don't know why but, I did it. I realized recently why. I want my own "shop around the corner", remember from "You've got mail"? I want a place on the UWS. I want a cute, old style NYC place that smells of delicious breads baking as you walk in with square marshmallows in big old fashioned glass jars on the counter. I know but you are thinking, Vicki you should be a super star! Well, I am (to my three nephews). I found my voice again, I feel confident, have some control over my life, I tumble through with the bad and am thankful for the good. So, what next, winning the lottery? maybe. First step by November 1st, I will have a fancy new web site which shows my catering like now www.soulfullygood.com but also my mail order retail with my tasty treats with new fancy packaging which is being designed by fancy people. Not really fancy just labels that seem like me. I am going to keep saving, looking and redefining my dream. Yes, food may seem trivial to some but to me it means love, like the memory of my grandmother teaching me to make Greek bread is forever, and the smell of garlic reminds me of my father's garlic tomato sauce that was so many years ago but makes me think of my dad when he was alive, healthy and more importantly happy. I said no thanks to the head chef position today and I think this time my dream is actually going to happen, because I have grown up a bit more lately. I embrace commitment, fortitude, boring. I have had crazy, boring seems fun!!! I am being sarcastic by saying Boring, I really mean not as fun as the spot light, the applause, the fake glitter. You know what, I just got an order to make 3000 cookies for the Food Network Food and Wine Show and I will also be at the show cooking at in the main tasting area, not too shabby. So, I guess if I do what I like, have passion, a bit of talent and work hard my dreams can become a reality and I can learn, live and laugh along the way . Thank you for reading, this was not as dramatic as normal, but as I say to my cooking students---"cooking is fun, no one ever died over a cookie, so relax".
thank you for reading.