Ask any of my friends and they’ll tell you that I’m a pretty good cook. Ok, a damn good cook. And I’m self-taught. But I’ve had a little help along the way.
When I moved into my first apartment in college, it was 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and one kitchen. And that was the one room no one used. So I bought a cookbook here and there, bought quirky ingredients from World Market and the – at the time – never visited international aisles of the grocery store. And I experimented. And put a lot of meals down the disposer. And burned a lot of sauces. And over time – I got a lot better.
Fast forward to 2009. entered a cooking contest with the Houston Astros for new ballpark food. I submitted a recipe for lettuce wraps and got invited to cook at the ballpark. I had my own sous chef for a day. I placed 3rd and got an autographed Carlos Lee bat as my prize.
Later that year, I landed the perfect foodie job. I began working as a sales rep for a fantastic, well-known but small, company – Zwilling JA Henckels. Most known for knife-making, they are also the manufacturers of Staub cast iron and Demeyere stainless steel cookware. I spent my days in Sur la Table, Williams-Sonoma, Bed Bath and Beyond, and other stores sharing my knowledge and love of our product with consumers and employees alike. It wasn’t glamorous – some days it was me, a label maker, and a knife case for 2 hours, but other days I was on the sales floor, cooking, cutting, and talking about what I love with people who want to listen. Very gratifying.
I got the chance to gain some great knowledge – knife skills for one – and do some really great things in my short stint at ZJAH. I’ve cooked for Williams-Sonoma in Dallas and Houston, and been part of 2 major product launches.
But I’ve left that all behind for a full-time job in retail, and cooking has become just a hobby once again. Would I go back? Absolutely. But for now, I’m ok with cooking for relaxation. I don’t have to pay into my deductible for this kind of therapy.
In the meantime, when I’m not working, or working out, I watch a little baseball, and live a simple life with my husband and 2 dogs.