I recently entered a national foodie contest, much to my dismay I never heard back, despite making the original deadline (they extended it twice). It was about a twelve page application and I had to turn in a three minute video as well. I thought this "major network" would've at least had an intern send me the "thanks but no thanks" on a 3x5 card. But no such luck. I wrote them a note suggesting that they were punishing the punctual and organized. I never heard back from them on that one either now that I think about it, go figure. It probably didn't help that I poked fun at one of their franchise personalities in my video.
It did however give me the opportunity to reflect on the questions they asked, which ended up being very satisfying. I came home one night and told Janet, "I got an e-mail with another invitation to enter this contest again this year" Gung-ho Janet responded with, "Do it, just go for it, do it. What's the worst that could happen? You could win or do well and we could move to NY. So what!!!" She is so great.
With the help of a Janet and a couple friends, I wrote and re-wrote, had a video recorded and edited, and had a couple stills taken. Since the network didn't want to share me with the world, I thought I would. So without quoting the actual application questions on my blog and finally getting contacted by this network, by way of their legal department, I thought I would share a couple of my answers.
-I would be honey, because honey is the real deal. Honey is strong, pure, sweet, adaptable and loved by all. Honey is organic, translucent, sustainable, medicinal, therapeutic and embraced by different cultures around the world. With its distinctive flavor, it can work alone, like me, or as an ingredient, as part of a culinary team. Honey’s flavor is influenced by the surrounding nectar of flowers, as my cooking has been influenced by those I have spent time next to over the stove in the kitchen. Honey contains complex carbohydrates, trace amounts of vitamins and minerals and antioxidants. I contain knowledge, experience and a strong personality, willing to share what I know with others. Honey is good for the individual, a powerful resource used in a variety of ways and settings, understated and valuable, as I am.
-Keep your knife sharp and clean, treat it with respect and with care, like driving a car you know you cannot afford.
-When you are working on a specific task and paying close attention to all the details in front of you, it is crucial to also keep in mind what your next task is so that your time is managed well. Nothing is more detrimental to a deadline in the kitchen than a cook who is not sure what to do next. I like to say, “Think about what you have just done, concentrate on what you are doing, and focus on what to do next.”
-When producing large amounts of food it can get particularly challenging when you are racing against the clock and trying to do a quality job. I find that more inexperienced cooks get confused easily and become messy and disorganized. This can also lead to an accident. One of the most important things you can do to keep on task is to keep your cutting board clean, dry and organized; I find that it is a reflection of what is going on in your mind.
-All ingredients should be handled with respect and care; from carrots to foie gras, they are a gift and we who posses the skills should treat them as a gift. Don’t take shortcuts that damage your ingredients and compromise your results.
-Don’t over complicate your recipes, plates or presentations. Be clean, crisp, straightforward and honest. Just because you think of something to add doesn’t mean you should; think it over carefully. You can add it, but you can’t take it out.
Take that major network.
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