For my beloved Brother who introduced me to the art of cooking, who taught me how to taste and truly love food. Without him I'd never be able to be where I am today.

July 31, 2013

Dressed in White

It’s the day before the big day. All kinds of thoughts are running through my mind. Have I thought of everything? Is everything ready? Am I ready for this? I find it hard to keep my head straight and every now and then a feeling of exhilarating excitement blends with total panic. Whether it’ll last only a short while or an entire lifetime it’ll change me forever; nothing will be the same again. I guess a slight feeling of nausea is justified – after all it’s not something that happens every day.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Must-keep-cool-head.

I took the decision already a while ago, but it hit me only when I first tried on my outfit. Like many others, I’ve been dreaming about this day ever since I was a little girl! I guess I never thought I had it in me though. But it’s happening all right: There I was, standing in front of the mirror doing the fitting. White has never really done me justice, but it sure looked good on me now. My brother’s approving look sealed the moment. Of course he had to be there for this special occasion. After all, it’s thanks to him that I found this love that has been growing for years now.

The circle is complete.

I woke up early today. I hardly got any sleep last night. Today is my last day as a virgin. Tomorrow at 10 AM I’m stepping into a three-month long adventure: I’ll start working as a trainee at one of Helsinki’s finest and most vibrant restaurants. Yes, that’s correct. In less than 24 hours I’ll find myself sweating in a professional kitchen just like onions that I’ll most certainly get very intimate with. I can't wait to learn!

* * *

I have to say there’s something extremely solemn, almost heroic about wearing a cook’s coat. I’ve never worn any type of uniform before and its lure seduced me at once. Wearing it I stand straighter; I’m stronger somehow, yet nothing has changed. It’s just a white coat. And I’m just a newbie about to be thrown into a world I’ve only visited my imagination. Will the coat present me with hidden talents and skills? Remains to be seen. The idea of a Clark Kent/Superman -transformation amuses me thoroughly. Here goes hoping.

Every time I take a seat at a restaurant I try to get a glance at the people working in the kitchen. Often though, the magic happens behind closed doors and you never see the faces of the cooks and chefs working hard to serve you a delicious experience. Luckily, open kitchens are pretty common nowadays, even in Finland. When that’s the case I’m probably the worst dinner date as I end up neglecting the person sitting opposite to me – what goes on in the kitchen triggers my curiosity far more.

From tomorrow on the roles will be switched and I’ll no longer have to stay put at the table, waiting for the kitchen door to open to get a quick peek to the other side. I’m ready all right. Tomorrow morning, as some sort of giving away ritual, I’ll have coffee with my Mother before I hop on my bike and speed down Mannerheinmintie – the main road of Helsinki/my aisle. It'll be a once in a lifetime experience no doubt. I'm very honored to have been given this opportunity.

My love it strong, and this love will last. I’m certain. I might, however, throw up my morning cereals just before I say: “I do”.