I just spent an hour briskly walking along Torrance and Redondo Beach. It felt good being out on such a gorgeous day, breathing in fresh ocean air, and feeling the sunlight on my skin, not bothered by passersby. During my moments of peace, I thought about my life and how I want to live, this day forward. I’ve always believed that Love is for Life and that good, positive relationships are necessary to live a happy life.
Since my last entry, much has happened in my life. I now work a regular schedule at Tavern, in pastry – working during the day on weekdays and working the line (plating dessert) on weekends; I have been star struck at work many times, at the restaurant, and especially catering an Oscar party at the CAA president’s house; I have a much more modest yet powerful car; and I recently relocated near the ocean – for how long, I’m not sure.
Ever since I relocated, I’ve been trying to figure myself out. I want to love who I am more and live a happy and balanced life, so I can affect those around me more positively. Today, on my walk, I was thinking about what makes me happy. I’m most happy when I do things I enjoy most. I was thinking, if I could have, on occasion, my alone time to reflect and enjoy beautiful scenery, be surrounded by and/or in touch with those I love most in the world, cook and eat deliciously, work where I work today, write, stay physically active and fit, and make money at the same time, I would be a very happy person. Today, I have most of these things except for the money part.
Going into culinary school, I didn’t realize how much money I’d actually make starting off in the industry. My ultimate goal in the industry has been to open up my own shop, hopefully franchise it so I can eventually sell it. Some of my family members would be my partners/investors in the business. They’ve been watching me struggle financially, but they understand that working at the Tavern is a sacrifice I’m making for our future business – it truly is a great training ground. I’m working with and learning from the best and that’s what makes me happy about staying there. I am not going to start a business without the necessary skill and expertise. In February, Suzanne Goin asked me to stay at least a year, if given a position to work for one of her restaurants. I gave her my word and I don’t regret it. I’m reaping the benefits – I learned a ton from the Lucques staff in catering and in the savory side and I learn new things everyday at Tavern in pastry.
The only thing is, I had been relying on others to help me keep afloat, financially, and it’s taken its toll on my relationships. I need to be self-sufficient again. I need to make this work, stay with this job and be financially independent. I’ve been looking for a second job, waitressing at a restaurant or a bar, but I don’t really want to do that type of work – I’m afraid it will tire me out…plus, the last time I waitressed, in 2002, I got hit on by men all the time- I don’t need that right now. Ok, maybe I’m just making excuses.
Ideally, I’d want to have the morning shift at Tavern so I can do more Lucques Catering gigs, which happen on weekends in the evening. That would help me out a lot, since catering jobs pay much more and I could probably sell real estate (build capital) with such a schedule. Since the early morning shift is not available at this time, I need to do something today. But I want to do something I love and enjoy.
Breanne, our pastry chef, once asked me, “what do you like making most in pastry?..at home?”. I told her I love making tarts, not just any kind of tarts, fruit tarts. I think they are delightful, delicious, and fun to make – plus, my oldest sister told me those were the best fruit tarts she’s ever had. I believe her because she’s had a lot of experience eating pastries. But seriously, I have been told that I make a good fruit tart by those with the most discriminating taste.
If anything, one thing I have mastered is the mini fruit tart (which we served at my sister, Riva’s, Baby Shower tea party). Now, I am working on mastering the regular-sized fruit tart. I’m just about there.
During college, my best friend, Susan, introduced me to the best fruit tart ever. From Santa Cruz, she’d drive to a farm in Watsonville, where she’d pick up this masterpiece. I think I have the crust and filling down… I just need the ollalie (sp?) berries. I’m making a fruit tart this week for Susan and hopefully we’ll recreate what we loved best about the fruit tart we had up north.
So, where am I going with all this fruit tart talk? I have decided to specialize in fruit tarts in the Los Angeles area. Maybe I’ll get somewhere with this, maybe Wholefoods will pick up my fruit tart line. Maybe I’ll make tarts other than fruit tarts. But for now, as a side gig, I want to make fruit tarts, large and small. If interested, and if you’re in the Los Angeles area, I’m taking fruit tart orders today. Mini, bulk, 6-inch, 9-inch, 12-inch mixed fruit tarts. Please order 48 hours in advance. Email me if interested for pricing and delivery.
I’m going to get ready for another night at work. I’ll keep you updated with my fruit tart business and other food news.
I hope you enjoy your day! Bon Appetite!
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