Goodbye Vancouver, Hello Peru!
Today, Jess and I said goodbye to Vancouver! We spent these last 5 months of spring and summer working our way back to our respective professional paths. After 7 months travelling around Asia, I felt an urge to be in a kitchen again. I spent most of my time (6 days a week) working on the opening and the daily operation of a small restoration project that consisted of a Spanish Tapas Food truck. I learn a lot by a demanding position of being both the chef and the manager at the same time. Jessica, on the other hand, used her time in Vancouver to reaffirm her position as an independent health coach. I am proud to say she has become a real digital nomad and she is finally doing what she always wanted the most: helping people. I recognise how much growth we undertook from this short experience and I am grateful for the deeper sense of clarity into our life these months brought to us. Effort, dedication and perseverance are the best words that can describe our stay in Vancouver. At the turn of this page, I understand how important it was having a place to call home that fed our genuine need of feeling stable again. It is amazing the power that a simple intimate space (it isn't necessarily physical) can do to everyone's life. A space of retreat, rest and peace where we could more easily pull meaning into our life and therefore so much more could be achieved. Vancouver was a chapter of action which touched to its end. We are leaving the stability of Vancouver behind to renew our energy and find new inspiration again. South America here we go!
I got my first call to Peru when I realised that I wanted and needed to learn with the best. After an operational work experience in Vancouver, I wanted to counterbalance my development as a chef with a super creative and high-end cooking experience. I believe that the renowned restaurant Central located in Lima was the experience I wanted the most. The chef, Virgilio Martinez, has come up with a creative concept based on Peru's diverse altitudes and ecosystems with an impressive 16 dishes menu. He has been recognised amongst the best in the world. I admire the incredible and unique connection he is laying between his guests and Peru's unique nature, ingredients and culture. I especially admire the spirituality and story behind such a sophisticated menu. Central has been on the back of my mind for a while. Soon, the Universe worked in its funny and unexpected way, and I found an open door to step in at Central for a short period of time. It was the perfect excuse to embrace Peru for the next two months and begin a new cycle in our life!
This said, I think we will miss the 2 good friends we leave behind, Margot and Gauthier. These last years I found myself wondering if it was still possible to meet people that I could genuinely say had become great friends, people that I wanted to keep in my life for the moments of pleasure and a because they provided a friendly presence. They prove that it is possible! I hope to see them again soon.
As in the beginning of any new cycle, I believe that setting intentions is a great tool to set myself for success. Intentions have the power to direct our energy towards what matters most and attract growth with a minimal effort. Intentions should be reflected in our daily actions and decisions. Therefore, they have to be chosen naturally and aligned with our own nature as a person. Despite being a young chef, I feel more than ever that it's time to structure my knowledge and redefine my routine for learning and creation. I need a space where my cooking, creativity and self-reflexion meet so that a vision for my cuisine can flourish. Therefore, I have decided to create a habit of journalling my experiences and thoughts in the optic of finding, with time, my own style and the messages behind my food. This means that inspiration and ideas need to flow in abundance so that my growth can be pursued without doubt and blockages. If creativity is the medium from which my mind transforms raw information pulled from my environment to convert into ideas, I need to find sources of energy that will recharge as well as nurture my mind. By recharging, I mean to create never-lasting space for new information to flow. Cultivating moments of presence and mediation seem to be the indispensable tools to best potentialize my environment information and therefore continuously being inspired. Therefore, I intend to start again a routine of passive as well as active meditation to recharge my mind. As per nurturing my mind, I need to expose myself regularly to new knowledge. My stage at Peru is a great opportunity to learn and absorb vital information to transform my cuisine. Moreover, I have decided to study other subjects such as fermentation, foraging and medicinal herbs with two books that I bought before leaving Vancouver. Last but not least, Jess and I are travelling and exploring Peru and Bolivia for a month before settling down. All great source of knowledge to nurture my mind. Finally, I can't forget to practice, test and create new dishes and recipes so that my ideas take form. A fundamental step so that I manifest my cuisine and assimilate what makes it unique.
In this chef's diary, I am clearly looking to gain focus and unveil the magic behind a conscious approach to food and the impact that my cooking can have in the near future. I look forward to seeing where these intentions will take me and I embrace this opportunity with my whole heart.