I Need Some Balls

One of my former culinary school-mates has a new website.  She’s going out there, knife in hand, and using her new skills without fear – or, at least, without a fear that she’s showing.  She has photos and references and even a special monthly menu listed.

I’m jealous. And hating her.

Today, I was asked how things are going with my B&B and restaurant plans.  I had to admit that I haven’t done anything. I haven’t been using my culinary degree for anything but cooking for friends and family. On a weekly basis, I’m emailed catering opportunities.  I’ve never responded to one.

I’m scared to get out there.  I feel like a fake.  I feel like I’ve learned some skills but I’m not really a chef – that I’m pretending. Why do I have such low self-confidence?

I felt like I was one of the worst students in school.  In the end, I finished second in my class, yet I still feel like it was a fluke.  At the Steakhouse, I lacked the chutzpah to every really get “on the line”, preferring instead to hide in my comfort zone of pastry and, even then, allowing the intern’s needling comments to derail me.  A fucking 20-year-old girl who still lives at home and babysits for a living making me doubt myself!  I felt like a fake even during the caterings I did for the school – always thinking the owner or the customers were going to call me out, “You call yourself a chef? I cook better at home than you can!”

I need a champion.

I want to be like my other school-mates, taking on catering assignments and opening restaurants.  I de-friended my former class-mate tonight.  It felt good.  I don’t need her successes making me feel more inferior than I already do.

A chef needs balls, and I need to grow some.

Redemption

In 2010, I’m giving myself a chance for redemption.

Last October, I had the opportunity to cater an event for 50 people – my fear of failure resulted in my canceling and allowing another chef to take the job (read post).  These past few months, I regret that I allowed my insecurities to win.  I felt this failure to be a grey spot on my culinary report card.

In January 2010, I’ll have my second chance.  I’ve agreed to cater the same event again.  While I’m still feeling highly insecure, my time at the steakhouse has helped build my confidence – and I realized that if I DON’T do it,  I will always feel I somehow failed.

January 22 is my second chance – even if it’s a disaster, I will have tried, which, for me, is one step forward.