For the last six months, I have been putting in sixty hours a week with the back of house warriors of Bolete Restaurant in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Between that and trying to take care of myself, there simply hasn't been time for anything else.
In my hibernation last winter I decided that it was time for me to concentrate on cooking as much as possible and applied for the James Beard Foundation's Women in Culinary Leadership Grant. To my great fortune, I was placed with the endlessly talented Chef Lee Chizmar.
Chef Lee is an inspiring mentor with an amazing palate and a wealth of information when it comes to the kitchen (and feminism, I happily learned). He has a way of effortlessly bestowing his knowledge on those around him and leads his kitchen with grace. I am forever grateful for my time at Bolete and their sister restaurant, Mister Lee's Noodles. The wealth of knowledge I gained in my short time in these kitchens has forever changed me as a cook and my perspective on the culture of brick and mortar restaurants.
In my time in those kitchens, I was often left to ponder my original intention with Eclectik Domestic. I know that I am passionate about food, music, community, farming, and photography. I want to help inspire our culture to reconnect with the importance of long-term sustainable food producing ecosystems and distribution models. It is my hope to facilitate connections within our evolving community by bringing people together at events to celebrate the bounty of this magnificent world.
Over the last few years, I've been attempting to build a life around these passions. I've devoted myself to hospitality in any way I could find, and it has been quite a journey. I have followed my hunger, and it has taken to places I could have never dreamed.
I now have been grappling with a major divide in my passion for hospitality. I want to be two places at once. I want to cook the food and serve it. And if you really want to get complicated, I'd also like to grow it, oh and travel the world at the same time if possible. My dreams have always been eclectic, hence my moniker.
So what does this mean for Eclectik Domestic, dear reader?
I'm too exhausted to know. Long hours in a windowless kitchen have fried my brain, and I need some rest.
In the next few weeks, I will come back to myself and reevaluate. I am returning to events with more intention for what I'd like to share with my community and what my values are. I hope to catch you at one of them this winter and to fill your belly with honest and delicious food.
Thank you for following the journey, it means more to me than you will ever know.
The Eclectik Domestic