I've always wanted to be a chef. I'll be honest, I'm not a desk person and I can't seeing doing any job that requires me sitting behind one for 40 hours a week. I knew this was for me the minute I had my first job in the kitchen, the adrenaline and the work atmosphere hooked me. I've never looked back.
I currently work in HR and I am still a chef part time. What inspired me was seeing how much my family would get together over food, in addition to growing up in New York. There were so many authentic foods all around so going to a new country was as simple as visiting a new restaurant. Lastly, I enjoyed recreating authentic dishes at home. It is such a cool thing to experience one's culture via food. What is inspiring you?
I love the science behind cooking. If you understand the "Why" the recipe works, it is easier to make changes to the recipe to make something new or even make the recipe better.
Also, I love to understand the flavor profiles from the ingredients used in the recipe. For instance, Tamarind paste. The flavor notes from this ingredient is dried apricot or dried fig with a hint of acid or citrus flavor in the back of the throat. Understanding the flavor notes from this ingredient will allow you to use it in different recipes and how to substitute it if you do not have it to work with in a recipe like Pad Thai.
There were a lot of factors that brought me into the culinary field. I grew up around some great food and I saw the joy that it brings to people and a chance to share some of yourself through food. Restaurants and other eating establishments things happen that do not happen in other work environment, couples on their first date, people get engaged, couples break up and people just trying to get away from it all. When someone walks through the door of your establishment a lot of times this is the first time they have had the chance to let their guard down all day and we can assist in that with a perfectly cooked dish. The meal doesn't have to phenomenal with caviar, lobster or fillet mignon, a grilled cheese can be a memorable experience when cooked right.
I was never good in school, my ADD kept me preoccupied. However, in a culinary setting, my ADD, is an asset. I am able to focus on several things at once to make sure everything is happening as planned. I also found out that I am able to function under a lot of pressure. All of these are keys to your success: A passion for the industry and food, the ability to stay focused on several things at once and not folding under pressure. This job never gets easier, but it does get better.
I hope I have answered your question.