Anyone can be a chef, right?! Not everyone can be a chef, right?!
Those two statements are both correct and incorrect in their own right. Why, you ask? Well, the answer is pretty simple. Being a chef fundamentally implies “the ability to create a magical culinary experience from the conception of the recipe, to the execution, and consumption”. To be a chef, one has got to be both a perfectionist and imperfectionist. One must be devoted to the art of cooking and be as authentic as one can be. The basic ideology of being a chef is to always understand that there is more to the beautifully delicious looking dish than the mere fact; it looks and tastes good.
Never in a million years, would I have imagined my love for the art of cooking would be this intense. I have spent days daydreaming and formulating recipes, that I have been lost in countless conversations and only ending up agreeing to things I should not have. To me, every dish I create must have a story, be memorable and elicit joy and happiness. Hence, I always strive to achieve these qualities. However, that does not mean I am the best chef in the world, neither have I got all the Michelin star accolades. My style of recipe creation and cooking is simply “Go with the Flow”.
As simple as it sounds, I assure you a lot more goes into the thought process. Take my sticky and spicy BBQ ribs for example; I would typically start with deciding on the combination of the spices and herbs for the rub. This would involve quantity, texture, aroma, taste and colour of each spice or herb. Followed by deciding on the compatibility of the spices and herbs with each other. Then I decide on the delivery ingredients i.e. oil (what kind of oil), syrup (honey or maple) and/or water. And finally, the process (what goes in first or last) to combine the whole ingredients.
I know this all sounds contradictory, but my method is called “Go with the Flow” because I pay limited attention to the cooking process as I have the utmost belief that, as long one does not lose focus of the fundamentals of cooking, the results will be the same. I have seen people get stressed out whilst trying to follow a recipe verbatim. Hence why I had stated earlier about being a perfectionist and imperfectionist.
You ought to derive joy in cooking. Cooking has to be as enjoyable as possible. Anyone can be a chef so long as they can find joy whilst creating food. In fact, anyone can be anything they want to be so long as they are genuinely happy and doing it for the right reasons.
I studied Biomedical Sciences (BSc) at the University and hold an MSc degree in Marketing Management, and whilst I thoroughly enjoyed those courses, I am prouder and happier I am a chef and would not trade it for the world.
Hi, my name is Chuka Obi aka Chef Mr. Storm and I am a proud Hippie In A Suit.