We all know the story, man or woman came from nothing and made everything for themselves. They all share a common motto, “never take no for an answer.” Funny that as employers they become the ones who GIVE no for an answer as opposed to TAKING it. And they do it with little to no hesitation. But what happens when we don’t take THEIR no’s? The next round of dreamers who wish to try their hand at “never take no for an answer.” We are told that we need to be reined in and our job begins to sit on a shaky foundation. What is one to do in such a dilemma? Live the American dream: make something for ourselves by behaving like communist spies who must keep our heads down and absorb all the we can from the market in which we wish to excel in.
Roy Choi has one of my favorite inspirational something-from-nothing stories. I use the word favorite because beyond being talented, he has yet to lose vision of himself in his cuisine. He was raised in a Korean household with the streets of L.A. calling the shots. A respectable culinary gangster, the Dr. Dre of modern cuisine. Every time I am told to reign it in, Roy is the doctor they tell me to go see. A kimichi quesadilla? Come on that only makes sense to…everyone?
He is the first celebrity chef that I have been able to identify my own style with, and on more than one occasion I have found myself caught between sitting in silence as I am taken on his culinary adventure, and cursing at why I didn’t come up with a certain flavor profile. It is quite the emotional roller coaster.
Going into a kitchen to come out with a piece of work that you are asking an audience to ingest is a daunting task. Your mission is broken down into:
1.) don’t kill guest
2.) make them smile and yearn for more.
In my own creative ventures I have yet to let down a panel of eager taste buds, but have always had trouble finding an identity in my cuisine and my place in the culinary world. I am an East Indian woman who was born in Chicago, raised in Los Angeles, and I’m the only creative creature in my entire family. I went to school to be a teacher and now am the catering director for one of the leading business women in the Downtown Financial District of L.A. And every evening I take the train home to my home kitchen to work on my creative calling. It is when my day truly begins.
So how to I make the jump from employee to employer? I don’t take no for an answer but I also have to make sure I keep it reined in at the job. Basically, I behave like a Bond girl. Distracting the employer (007) with her good looks and charm. As he utilizes her to deceive rival intelligence agents and infiltrate enemy compounds, he realizes too late that she’s been a double agent in her own right, a spy self-employed by her heart’s desires. By then, 007 is on the wrong side of “NO.”