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November 10, 2011

A little while ago I told you that big changes were coming my way and now I’m ready to share my secret with you. In case you haven’t heard, I’m enrolled in culinary school! That’s right, this coming Tuesday I will begin my culinary journey at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary Arts. It’s in Manhattan, but I won’t be relocating since I’m in the part-time program which only requires me to commute two days a week.

I am beyond stoked to be spending the next 11 months learning, cooking, trying new things and really getting healthy. Plans may change, but currently my intention is to become a personal chef for people who want/need to eat healthy food, but don’t have the desire or time to cook for themselves. I also want to conduct affordable cooking classes for people who DO want to get their hands dirty and feed themselves and their families truly healthful cuisine.

As part of my application process, I had to answer a few questions about my experience with food and why I’m interested in attending NGI. I thought I’d post my essay here because I am proud of it and writing it really affirmed for me my reasons for deciding to make this major change. I hope you enjoy it! Check back for recipes, tips and stories about my experiences while becoming a Natural Foods Chef! Peace!

1- What is your experience with food?

2- Why did you choose to apply to this school?

3- When you have completed your education at Natural Gourmet Institute, what are your goals?

 My first memories of food involve my grandmother, making pretty finger sandwiches and always including a protein, starch and vegetable with every meal. Her passion for home cooked food influenced my own desire to express my creativity in the kitchen and make beautiful, delicious meals from whole foods.

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always cooked, even if it was just heating something from a frozen box at age ten. As an adult, I learned the importance of eating plant-based “real” foods after suffering from IBS for years. My doctors couldn’t heal me, so I decided to take my health into my own hands and enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) to become a health coach. I learned about the concept of bio-individuality and the myriad dietary theories that exist, along with invaluable business and life skills. My experiences at IIN drastically changed not only my digestive health, but my entire life and helped me to realize my passion for cooking and natural living. I counseled many people on how to upgrade their diets and practice self-care, but I felt limited because I really wanted to teach people how to cook well and didn’t feel I had the qualifications.

After attending IIN, I interned with Marilyn Moser-Waxman, a personal chef who also has a meal delivery business. I learned many hands-on culinary skills in her kitchen and helped to create many vegan, macrobiotic-inspired healthy meals. I witnessed just how much hard work goes into a personal chef business, but also experienced firsthand how people can bond over food, as it is so much more than just nutritional sustenance.

I first “discovered” The Natural Gourmet Institute in 2009 while attending IIN. I thought it was a fantastic program but never saw it as a possibility for me until this year. I could think of plenty of reasons why I couldn’t sign up (cost, location, job prospects, etc) but never realized until now that if I follow my passion, everything will fall into place. If I put my mind to it, I can be capable of anything, and what I want is to create healthy food. I am applying to The Natural Gourmet because I have found what I’m passionate about and I need to share it with others. I have found my place in the holistic health field and I want to become a personal chef. I also want to conduct cooking classes, workshops and parties to teach everyday people how to eat healthfully. The state of the American food system is despicable, ensuring we continue to be an obese nation dependent on pharmaceuticals and I want to show people that there is another way to live.

I am beyond ecstatic to start classes next month. I have heard nothing but positive opinions about this school, and I feel its philosophy and mission are the same as my own. I cannot wait to start this next chapter of my life and take my cooking abilities to the next level.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Celestial permalink
    November 11, 2011 9:23 am

    Congrats! It sounds very exciting. You’ve quite a journey ahead. Best luck and remember to stay on fire.

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