2020 was a weird year; not just for me, but I was definitely included in the LONG list of people that had their lives completely changed by Covid-19.
I’ve been cooking as long as I can remember and from the perspective of my career it’s all I know. In high school I worked at a breakfast restaurant, after high school I went to culinary school, and then I moved to New York City and worked for one of the most famous chefs in the country. In fact from my junior year of high school, the only time that I wasn’t working in a restaurant was my first month of culinary school. All that goes to say is that when the “Coronavirus” rolled around in late February, leading to almost every restaurant in the country being closed by mid March, I didn’t really know what to do.
Being stuck at home gave me plenty of time to really think about the direction I was headed in and decide if that was really the way I wanted to go. I realized that even though I love cooking I didn’t have to do it as a profession. I started to host some private dinners and while doing that I realized it was something I could do on the weekends while still having amore “normal” job during the week. And I realized that as much as I love cooking, the restaurant life was starting to drag me down: long hours, low pay, working holidays, etc. What I love about cooking is the ability to create something new, and what I love about restaurants is the problem solving that comes with it.
What I realized was that one of my hobbies that I dabbled in just for fun (coding) had the same aspects to it. Coding is also creating something new, and it is also problem solving. The difference between coding and cooking, is that there were a lot more professional opportunities as a software engineer than as a chef. On top of that I realized that if I pursued a career as a software engineer I could still share my love of cooking with people at home.
I had heard of and even done some research on coding bootcamps in the past, but 2020 really gave me the time and reasoning to pursue a new career without the fear of the unknown. I was accepted to Flatiron and I have never been more excited to open up a new chapter. So here’s to the beginning of something great!