A Chefs’ Untimely Journey to “Parts Unknown”

I feel compelled to post a heartfelt and personal tribute to a well known chef, distant mentor, and advocate for honesty and integrity in the world of food culture. Anthony Bourdain was an inspiration to me, like so many others. Most certainly it is true that our industry asks a lot of us. We are required to sacrifice one of the most important attributes of life. Time. We sacrifice time with our family, many hours, months,  weeks, and years giving much of ourselves to people we don’t really know. We, as passion driven cooks,  do so with woe-full abandon in the hopes to nurture the commonality of the need to eat. Many of us discover that what we are asked to do is set aside the “normalcy” of a 9-5 “job”, consistent days off, birthdays, holidays, weekends, working late nights and not really having vacation time(especially during the much anticipated summer in our beautiful region). We deal with stress, unforeseen circumstances out of our control, staffing woes and fatigue. The industry has been plagued with lower than average wages for a career, making the reality of family stability, home ownership, and general sanity a bit more challenging than it should be. When I signed up for this ride 21 years ago, I was fortunate to have many inspired mentors share their knowledge, time and patience to help me on my path to becoming the cook I thought I wanted to be. My goals have changed many times, as have the places I have lived, as well as the people I worked with and for. The only thing that has...