After meeting this awesome lady Kim I also had the pleasure of reading her wonderful book called: THE NO BULLSHIT GUIDE TO SUCCEEDING IN CULINARY SCHOOL.
The book was as I told Kim a breathe of fresh air, a warm hug, like coming home, resonating with every word written really. I don’t have many chef friends, most people have no clue about how extremely hard this job is. How physically and mentally draining it is, taxing on your body and mind. When I read this book I was like finally someone who truly understands how hard my job is. For that I’m grateful. It’s also full of tips, a handy glossary at the back and interviews with professionals. I really am grateful for the fact that I’ve met Kim, that I was able to contribute to her next book and that I’ve had the absolute pleasure to read and learn from her book.
“I love the craft of it, the workmanship, the physicality, the primal essence of what we do.”- Michael Jordan (page 157)
I feel exactly like that about cooking. I have been cooking for years in many different set ups and I am completely self taught. Beside the fact that my job is crazy hours and hard work it also is absolutely amazing. Every single day I get to cook my very own designed and created dishes, I always have complete freedom because my business partner knows I know my shit and has this ever ongoing trust in my knowledge and expertise, another thing I’m really grateful for (thank you Lisa!) I cook from the heart and always give my absolute everything. All I have its right there on the plate. The absolute most important thing to me is the animals. I always say I cook for the animals.
What I mean by that is that I have a bigger cause, that no matter what people might think of me and/or my food the more important thing is where it is all coming from, love. Pure, untouchable, unchangeable, love. I cook as part of a mission, like I teach yoga as part of a mission, like I write as part of a mission, sing, live, love and breathe because of a mission. Everything I do is for them. I am always the animal rights activist first, always the advocate for the animals first. Because of this mission, this bigger and better cause I want to do the absolute best job I can possibly do. I create, develop and design all of my recipes myself, for my vegan cooking and my vegan cheese making. I have studied, researched and learned an incredible amount about vegan nutrition, cooking techniques, kitchen logistics and being a professional chef. This learning is never ending. Everyday I learn. I cook, I learn, I cook, I learn, I screw up, I learn, I blow people away, I learn. It’s always the same learning.
People love my food. I always feel so overwhelmed when receiving all these compliments. And you know what I feel the most? You know what image I have in my head everytime I get a compliment? Every time someone says oh my god this is the best cheese I’ve ever had? The image of the animals hugging me. The image of a cow smiling. The gratitude I feel for the people is the gratitude I feel from the animals. And then there is the pure joy of being in a kitchen, love for the actual act of cooking. Doing 1000 things at the same time, getting order after order in, smashing it all out in minimum amount of time with maximum amount of love and precision.
“Chefs have limited time- in a cruel twist of fate, as mortals, they’re bestowed the same measly 24 hours a day- and dar more demands win those hours than most of us.” (Page 50)
Plated with style, expertise, food design. I love what I do. I love my craft. I would not want to do anything else right now but this. I would not want to be anywhere else right now then right here in Lisbon. Creating and cooking beautiful food for Foodprintz Cafe, creating and making amazing vegan cheese with my very own company Gopal Vegan Cheese. Bringing nourishment and love to the people through healthy, vegan food. I am so proud of what I’ve become, how far I’ve come in my craft and I am determined to keep striving, to keep developing, to keep creating, designing, baking and cooking the best food I can. Come try for yourself.
For the animals!
Pictures by Fred Madeira
VEGAN REVOLUTION design by Rise Clan