Lofty Goals and the Amateurs Who Love Them

I mean...not THAT lofty. Jesus, Hannibal, that's more than fava beans and a nice chianti. //NBC
I mean…not THAT lofty. Jesus, Hannibal, that’s more than fava beans and a nice chianti. //NBC

FACT: I’m not goal-oriented. I just have unrealistically ambitious goals with the intention to figure it out as I go instead of, say, planning a career trajectory.

It was the same when I first started cooking. I was picking difficult recipes with tough-to-find ingredients from the outset, hoping that I’d figure things out as I went. The truth is, you don’t learn too much that way. Sure, I can now say that I’ve made some really out-there stuff, but did I learn anything? Not really. I was so caught up in getting it right and following instructions that I never stopped to figure out why these elements work so well together or even pay attention to what I liked to do and what I didn’t.

I do, however, think it’s pretty important for a cook to make a seemingly insurmountable or totally exotic recipe every once in awhile. If you nail it, it’s a fantastic ego boost and a delicious reminder of the promise you hold if you keep working at it… just don’t be fooled. You have not transformed into an artisan chef overnight. You’re just a little closer than you were before.

That said, I’m starting a new category: the Ego Boost. These are ambitious recipes that I KILLED, even though the odds were stacked against me in terms of equipment (and, let’s be honest: interest). For new cooks who want to venture into some more serious shit, check these out! I’ve noted them on the side under Categories.


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