Kitchen Confidential

Author: Jax Cassidy // Category: , ,
I grew up in the kitchens. Mostly, I did prep work, cash register, bussed tables or waited on people but I rarely had the need to cook. Then there were years where I managed my parent's restaurant, but that's for another time. I spent thousands of hours in the kitchen and often I'd watch the chefs work their magic during the daily rush. During lag time, we'd make fancy dishes and experiment. Whenever it was super slow, I'd create my own dishes to see if I could copy the chef or something I'd seen on tv. I never formally cooked until I was in my early twenties and everything I learned was from watching and visualizing the ingredients in my head.

In his twenties, my father was awarded certification to cook for generals and presidents, although he never chose to be a culinary chef and only enjoyed cooking at home. He had a love of entertaining and for most of my childhood years we had dinner parties at our home every weekend. My mother is also very creative. She had the natural ability to sew what she liked without use of a pattern and cook what she wanted if she liked what she tasted. I've been blessed with some of my mom's creativity and my dad's culinary skills and affinity for fine cuisine.

I guess I just stumbled across the revelation that I could cook. One day I decided I wanted to cook and I just did. It was strange, like a hidden memory that I tucked away and it was so instinctual. I think it was during busy season at our restaurant and we were short-handed so I opted to be the fried rice girl. Don't laugh...but there's really a position for a kitchen assistant to cook all the appetizers and fried rices! And boy, did we get zingers of orders for those things. So much so that I would dream about it in my sleep! I'll admit, I was a bit spoiled. Mom and dad or chef would always cook for me when I was hungry. If they weren't available, my siblings would do it. It wasn't until I went to college that I was forced to cook for myself...soon, I was cooking for my roommates. During those college years, every Friday I'd have to drive two and a half hours home to work in the restaurant and make it back to school early Monday morning in time for class. It was a haul and I had two speeding tickets and a car accident out of the weekly drives...Those were the most grueling times and I certainly didn't have a life. This went on for a few years but the more I cooked, the more I became obsessed about food and various cuisines. Food OCD, is what it was.

That leads me to here....I am an adventurous eater...I'll try anything once...and if I really love it, I re-create it. Recently, I had a craving for Olive Garden's Pasta e Fagioli in a bad way. My friends caved in and we decided to go there. I had my soup but it didn't satisfy the craving. Yesterday I had a desire to experiment. As you can see, in this picture to the left, it's simmering on my stove. This was my first attempt at ever making this soup and I was sooooo proud of myself...it turned out way delish! I made enough to feed me and Mr. Right for a few days.

Tah-dah! The final product and just seeing and tasting the results...it's made me all excited about my love of cooking all over again...

I'd like to add that my friend Louisa Edwards inspired me with her culinary skills. She's FABULOUS at it! Thanks for reminding me that cooking can be a therapeutic art form....

7 Responses to "Kitchen Confidential"

Abigail McKenley Says :
12:00 PM

Looks great! I'll bet it tasted good too.

Maria Geraci Says :
3:07 PM

Looks yummy! And I think "Fried Rice Girl" is an awesome title for a book one day:)

Katie Reus Says :
3:34 PM

Very cool! As a former server/bartender I was always impressed with the chefs in the back. (Still am!) I love cooking, but my creative side goes more to baking :)

~tivi jones Says :
3:54 PM

Yum, Jax! That looks great!

Fried rice is awesome. I'm sure my husband would love if I was a "friend rice girl"- we eat rice like it's going out of style.

Jax Cassidy Says :
4:00 PM

Thanks everyone. Maybe someday when I host a big party I'll spring out my "fried rice" skills! LOL

Kristen Painter Says :
7:23 PM

I give it my Italian seal of approval! lol

Louisa Edwards Says :
11:50 AM

Yay! Cooking is good for the soul! I'm so happy if anything I did led to your wonderful, delicious-looking efforts in the kitchen.

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