My story is a peculiar one. I've been cooking in kitchens since 2007. All the way up until 2015, I lived my life as a typical line cook. I dedicated most my time to the kitchen I was working in. On my days off I went out to eat at a interesting place with other cooks. I worked anywhere from 60-90 hours a week. I spent half of my measly paychecks on fine wine and great dinners. I didn't have to care about anything or anyone else. I stayed up late and read cookbooks. I stayed out 'til sunrise partying all night with co-workers. I lived, breathed, and ate restaurant industry. My end goal was to be a Chef at my own place, just like everyone else. I made it a point to stay late, and get to work early. I wanted to learn every station, I wanted to be the best I could.
But all that changed on 2.12.15. I had a kid! I didn't tell anyone, and worked everyday until the day I had him. Although I wasn't mentally ready for his arrival, I had to be. So long story, long, he's the coolest kid I know, and I am a different person now. I am responsible for another human being.
So that is why I'm not cooking in restaurant right now. It's hard to try and find somewhere to cook and be like "Can I work 5 days, no more than 12 hours a day, oh, and do you have benefits?" You 'other' non-industry people may think that is normal but it's not. Especially not where I would like to cook. I want to be in the nitty gritty and work in a hot ass kitchen, and bust out delicious food. But how and where is that possible to have enough dough to raise a kid as a single lady? Shoutout to my fam who is everything to me and my son. I do not know what would be in the cards for us if I didn't have you.
I've always given my all to my place of employment. But from now on, I can't.
I've tried to find other jobs in the industry, mostly corporate. But I can't catch a break. I have a BA and 8 years of line cooking under my belt. Doesn't that mean anything? Maybe I haven't had that much management experience because I've only gotten the chance from one Chef that believed in me.
I thought moving to New York and adding these places on my resume would help me. Everyone who stayed in Chicago I know is balling out with success. Should I have never left?
I don't know.
I know I'll keep trying to find something that will fit. I'm lucky I am able to take care of my son with help from my family.