The Art of Food

One day on the bus after a dragging 8 hours of school I couldn’t wait to get home, lie in bed and watch some TV, which was my usual routine after school. When I got home that day I remember stuffing my coat and book bag in the closet and putting on some comfortable clothes for my nap. When I laid in bed I heard a knock on my door.
“Ugh great what does my grandpa want now” I grunted.
I screamed “come in!” and a head popped in the crack of my door. He then asked me if I wanted to help him with dinner that he had a headache and he didn’t feel good. Of course like any other teenager I contended no, gave him attitude and said I was tired and wanted to sleep.
He calmly said “ OK that’s fine.”
After five minutes or so I was feeling guilty and finally got the energy to get up and help him prepare dinner. He was making rice, chicken, and beans like he always was but I never really paid attention to how much work it really took to make dinner every day for about 5 people. He taught me how to cook rice and chop veggies and how to grill chicken. Everything was pretty amusing to me and I was kind of having fun doing it.
He then talked to me about working in a kitchen in Cuba working from 7 am to 10 pm everyday in order to support my grandma and their 5 kids. He told me about the lady who taught him everything he knew about cooking, Angelita Arias. She taught him how to really appreciate food and essentially he grew a love for food and that’s what he was passing on to me.
Since that day I always come home from school eager to help my grandpa in the kitchen and see what we were sauteing, frying, barbecuing, fricasseeing that day. My grandpa introduced me to a life I didn’t know existed, something humans don’t really pay attention to which is the art of food, the art of turning nothing into something magical and delicious. Ever since that day I realized what I wanted to do with my life, to become a chef and share my love of food with the world and I can only thank my grandpa for that.

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