The fiery ranges, hot ovens and charred grills still beacon and grasp my attention. The electrified air filled with shouts of caution and demand. The pungent scents of spices that can tear up even the strongest of us all, and yet you work through it. The life of a chef is not a place for the weak. It is a battle ground of perfection where letting your guard down is not an option. Sounds quite scary, doesn’t it? Like a dark voice-over for a medieval horror flick. It actually is nothing like that. I truly enjoyed every moment of being a chef. I loved everything, right from the brutal 14 hour days during college to the busy kitchen in restaurants, to the perfection and prestige of a five star kitchen. As a kid I liked the flames and even as a professional the glowing embers called out to the child in me.
Anyone can cook. All it takes is a little creativity and a lot of common sense. But great cooking? Now that comes with the added requirement of passion and drive. I didn’t just want to be a chef or a good chef; I wanted to go for gold, be the best of the best. Call it male ego but that is what I wanted. So why would I, after jumping my way to the top, call it all off to become a digital marketer? I had passion, drive and talent; but sadly enough I didn’t have the immune system to cope with my food allergies that cut short my dreams. Was I sad? Yes. Disappointed? Hell no! What I got out of this is another opportunity, a chance to continue being creative. Yes. I have replaced my coat, aprons, pots, pans and flames for shorts, sneakers, cool air-conditioned office and a computer. But I still bring the same skill set to the table. I haven’t left my attention to detail, my precession and timeliness back in the kitchen.
Digital marketing may seem like a step in a different direction. Not that much for me though. The culinary arts may be my first love, but the very close second has always been the digital enterprise. I may have been a hot shot chef on the exterior but on the inside I have always been a psycho tech freak. Even as a chef, I always took the time to update my Facebook status or send out a tweet. My mind, always split between my two personalities, at last got a break when I left the kitchen for what seems like a very promising career as a digital marketer. Don’t bother asking me any questions about the complexities of digital marketing. The only answer you would receive would be, “I get paid to chill on Facebook and Twitter!” However, I actually do much more than that. As a chef, you are challenged physically, but as a digital marketer, it is your mind that is challenged. It’s a new challenge everyday and never a single one that can be taken lightly. As a chef, you represent your work and your hotel. And as a digital marketer, you represent your work, your company and added to that, your credibility and most importantly, your client. And falling short on any one of them can have catastrophic effects. The upside of going digital is the fact that you are up-to-date on all that technology can offer you; from the simplest improvements on Facebook to larger spheres like augmented reality. And also you get your weekends free!
What the future brings is still a mystery. But I, for now, seem to have found my true calling and hold no regrets for my switch. My first love has and might always be the kitchen, but my love for the digital world isn’t quite far behind. And to properly conclude my bragathon I would just like to say that my quest to be the best hasn’t been called off just yet. It has only switched its path!