"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook—try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all, have fun."- Julia Child.
As a child, My grandma told me stories of working in restaurants. She was everything from a waitress to a supervisor and a restaurant owner. My cousin is a cook, and growing up, I s[ent summers with him and his family, trying some of his food. He currently runs three restaurants. I have been working in restaurants since I was 28 years old. Before then, I was a Preschool Assistant, a Customer service rep for two call centers, a warehouse worker, and even a substitute teacher. In my restaurant journey, I have been a Dishwasher, A line cook, and now I'm in Fast Food (shocking how I fell). But my biggest ambition in life right now is to own my restaurant.
First, people may ask, "But, Stephen, you are 31 years old. How can you have this idea now"? Well, for starters, this dream of mine has been in place since I was in kindergarten. I have always wanted to be a baker and learn to cook. I have always loved trying new foods. But I also love experimenting with new ideas. This sets the scene for my first reason.
I love inventing and making my own foods to my taste. For instance, when I worked as a line cook, I would make a burger with pineapple, thousand island dressing, pickles, french fried onions, pepper jack, Monterey jack, cheddar, and American cheeses. I would love to be able to add this to my menu, along with other things I may invent on a whim. I love having control of creating something and going to town on it. In corporate, everything is a set recipe or design, and we should never question it. I want to say Fuck it and let the customer decide how they want to eat. After all, we only live once, and variety is the spice of life.
Theming is also essential in an atmosphere of an eating place. I would love to set my theme; I have picked a couple. My favorite one is a pop culture/geeky-themed place. I know this kind of place may exist already, but I like it. It would be cool to have themed food with punny names based on Anime, Books, TV shows, and even music (Similar to how Bob's Burgers names their burgers). Also, it would be nice to have cosplay nights where the employees and customers can cosplay their favorite characters or wear geeky-themed T-shirts, like a ComicCon-style experience. I know it's a niche audience, but it would be cool to see what could come of it. The ideas for themed nights and dishes would be mind-blowing.
Most Importantly, I want to influence and give back to the community I serve. I want to be able to provide people opportunities who have not been so lucky to ever go to culinary school, people who don't necessarily fit the mold of a traditional restaurant worker, and most of all, to teach those willing to learn. I also want my workers to have fun and joke around while working, but safely. It's like the old saying, "All Work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." I also want students to visit my future place and see what goes on behind the scenes. Donating food to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, schools, and workplaces is also lovely. With my restaurant plan, I could do that.
Everyone has a dream. This is just the start of my plans. I am currently studying Business management with a concentration in Hospitality and Tourism. I'm hoping this dream will come true one day, and I can learn what to do right from my previous experiences.