Tuesday, June 17, 2008

accountant to chef...

My cousin, El Jefe, is pretty amazing. He's the type of guy that exudes confidence, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't welcome any compliments. So, Primo, these next few lines are to brag about you! First off, we grew up together. I'm three months older than he is, but him being Mr. Smartypants skipped a grade or two and graduated before me. For those of you who know him are well aware of how colorful he can be. His adventures reflect his technicolored life as well. I'm so grateful that we've reconnected over this past year. It's been quite phenomenal.

Anyway, he moved here after a long stint at UTEP. He gambled with his future, attempting to break into the Dallas scene by partnering with a friend who ran her own deluxe bake shop. He enjoyed making the cakes, learning more, and applying his knowledge gained from UTEP to the business. But things still weren't rockin' and rollin' like he wanted and there was still something missing. We talked and on a whim, I suggested he go to culinary school. Because for as long as I've known him, the one thing that has remained constant is he likes to be parked in the kitchen. Growing up, I admired him because he was using the stove and fire with such ease and grace, more than I was allowed at that age. Heck, when we reconnected, and I went to visit him for his birthday, he was throwing himself his very own dinner party and let me tell you, that was hands down one of the very best meals I've ever eaten; each course tenderly prepared with delicate love and patience: chateaubriand with a blue cheese sauce, 3 cheese macaroni, haricot vert, perfectly toasted bread, and even though Mari was still Petunia, I tasted the wine that he'd selected to be paired with the food. MMmmmmmm....

Anyway, he said he'd consider it. Next thing I knew, he was enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu and starting his first class. WOWZA! That happened fast. He was knee deep in potatoes perfecting his knife skills. I didn't mind the homemade french fries! All of those special cuts of food had to to somewhere, right? No sense in wasting the food. On top of school, he got a part time job, which actually turned into a full time job. And anyone that REALLY knows him, knows the other love of his life: social drinking. Yes, let's recap. Going to school full time, working full time, and partying full time. This boy was busy. Did I mention that he's my age? Yes, he took that leap of faith to follow his dream and I know he's much happier because of it. How many of us can say that? Didn't you have dreams as a kid? Are you doing them? Me, I can honestly say I'm doing a big portion of what I dreamed about. I still have some looming aspirations, but they will come in time. I got lucky to do what I always wanted to do, but then again, I was one of those kids that wanted to be an astronaut-teacher-writer-professional rockstar manager-fashion designer.

I digress. He works hard. He's tired most days. He's tired like I'm tired most days. But he goes through life with this infectious laugh and such a wonderful outlook. It's hard to not have a good time around him. So cheers to you, cousin! Keep on keepin' on...

cracklin rosie get on board!

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