Not many people know that I went back to college after I graduated from culinary school and worked in the restaurant business for a few years. Praying to God daily that I would never go back to the hospitality industry, some how it found me, but this time I was willing to accept it. Instead of working the everyday grind of the kitchen, I decided to combine my culinary degree with my most recent degree in media and video production. Being a chef in the media can be just as brutal as running your own restaurant except you only have to manage yourself and not 10 line cooks, 2 sous chefs and 4 dishwashers. I have had some amazing publicity in the last few years and have gotten to do a ton of great things including being the first alternate on The Food Network Star Season 6 (Facebook or Tweet me if you want more details :-).
Being in the public eye can also gain some attention from food and kitchen related brands. In the past few years I have been able to try more meats, fishes, spices and oils that you can possibly imagine, not too mention some killer kitchen tools as well! With all of this stuff, which seems to come in every other week, I had to get organized, especially in the spices department. I would say I have over a 100 different spices and the picture for this post showcases around 40 of them. I decided not too long ago to take my domesticated self to the local Crate and Barrel outlet store to see how I could get some good looking, cheap spice jars. Did I say cheap? The more I bought the bigger the discount I got. I did go a bit overboard and bought some large jars that I could use to hold cornmeal, flours, sugars, etc., but I ended up spending a bit over $200 bucks and now I have enough jars for all my spices with some left over (I believe when it was all said and done I paid .75 cents for each cool airtight spice jar). Obviously I am a bit extreme when it comes to cooking, but seriously do some shopping, find some jars at a price point that makes sense for you, pick up some labels, and for Pete’s sake organize that pantry! Nothing worse than not being able to find an ingredient in the middle of trying to cook something. To have an efficient kitchen you must be organized! Now this will take a bit of time and some money, but your pantry will look that much better and your cooking will go that much more smoothly (See my blog post on Mise en Place) In the words of Bob Knight, “Do it when it needs to be done. Do it right and do it that way every single time.”