I’ve somehow always known that I wanted to become a chef. I’m almost sure that the kitchen is the place where I’ve spent the most time in my life until now. It’s where I grew up, alongside my amazing mom, back home in Romania. We were baking cakes and making traditional Romanian food, especially for Christmas and Easter.
My mom always makes mayonnaise from scratch, using a fork, one boiled yolk, one raw yolk, oil, lemon juice, salt, and mustard. I knew all of the details of making it and I would see her make it time after time. I don’t think I was older than 7. I wanted to make mayo from scratch myself so badly but she would never let me because she thought I wouldn’t mix fast enough and it would split. She didn’t want to waste the eggs (real, delicious, authentic backyard eggs).
But then one day, she did. She said I could make the mayo and I still remember that day vividly as one of the happiest days of my life.
As a little girl, all my friends knew me for my love of cooking and baking. I was the one who always missed out on games and play hours in front of our flat because I would be in the kitchen, helping my mom.
Early in high school, as I was trying to figure out what to do with my life, I stumbled upon an online video from a Culinary School that was abroad. I think it was Switzerland. After viewing that video, I had a firework show going on inside my soul. I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I loved it! I previously had no idea that a professional side of the kitchen existed and I was absolutely in love with it. The white uniform, the sharp knives, the precision, the beautiful plating, the adrenalin, I just loved everything.
I couldn’t sleep for days. The excitement was too big. And so I started searching for culinary schools, just to find how incredibly expensive they all were. In the end, I found the closest possible one, in Bulgaria and so I started my culinary career.
Fast forward a couple good years and I’ve been through enough restaurants to consider myself a great, experienced cook. I love my job and I’ve worked in so many places that shaped who I am as a professional. As years passed by, I worked as part of many kitchen crews, which I can remember in detail. Cooking my first lobsters happened at Hotel Villa Ruimzicht in The Netherlands, while I was still a baby cook, getting blisters from shucking hundreds of oysters every night at Cavallo Point in Sausalito. Pushing myself past all the limits during dinner service while working at the amazing Waterbar in San Francisco. All these details will forever stay with me and make me smile when I think about them. And while the food I cooked was incredible and the skills I learned are going to serve me forever, another very important detail is the people I’ve met, the friendships I’ve created and the memories that are there to last. I think that all of these is what makes a cook be who they are. Ask any of us and we could talk for hours about all the crazy stories we have gathered while advancing through our careers.
A couple years ago I had my first baby and now I am the proud mom of 2 beautiful kids: my daughter Eva who is almost 4 and my daughter Zoe who is 1 and a half. My life has shifted dramatically since having them and I wouldn’t see myself without my family. Even if I had amazing support from my husband, working kitchen hours while being a mom don’t go that well together.
I then opened a blog (www.delia-in-a-nutshell.com) where I teach moms how to start living a natural life. That has been a partial source of income and a great passion of mine. When I started working with Pared, it all came together.
I’ve had a very hard time juggling it all until I found Pared. Pared has given me the chance to go and see so many kitchens, learn so much from talented chefs, all while having a flexible schedule that allows me to nurture the most important thing of my life-my family.
I’m so grateful for finding this great tool and I know that I’m not the only thankful person.
Way to go Pared for thinking about this! We love you!