Studying to become a Natural Foods Chef in New York CityJason Firmager
Newly trained Natural Foods Chef Danielle Shine shares what it is like for an Aussie girl living in London to study in New York City…
“I’m moving to New York to become a Natural Foods Chef at the Natural Gourmet Institute”
Saying those words out loud for the very first time felt so good, but at the time I had no idea just how much it work it would take to make it all happen. Looking back on it now, I can honestly say it was all worth it – I am now a skilled health-supportive chef who wakes up every day to play with real food and help others clean up their diets and improve their health.
So how much work did it take to get to where I am now? Aside from having enough money to relocate my entire life to a completely different country for 6 months, I had to submit a considerable amount of paperwork and attend an interview with the US consulate to receive the all-important visa in my passport. Luckily, the Natural Gourmet Institute assisted me with this process, saving me a LOT of time and confusion. Once my visa was approved, I had to secure somewhere to live and prepare myself for the journey ahead!
Needless to say, I learnt an incredible amount during my 6 months in New York. Aside from the skills and expertise I now possess, I learnt new, very empowering things about myself. I won’t lie to you, becoming a chef is tough. Aside from the obvious aspects involved with becoming a chef – the observing, learning and doing part, there’s a whole other aspect I (and my chef-mates) didn’t even think about…the it takes on your body. Standing all day long, most days really teaches you about the importance of self care during your down time, of which we had very little. School ran all day and sometimes into the night on nights when I had to assist my Chef instructors in the kitchen – all mandatory requirements in order to graduate. I also had to lift really heavy things for the first time in my life, as well as learn how to work with a team of people of varying ages and personalities – it really was like going back to school only with super sharp knives a LOT of cooking involved!
If you’re thinking of taking the plunge and going back to school to study something new, I say go for it! Aside from the new skills and experiences you’ll encounter, it’s highly likely you’ll meet people who become good friends for life – I have certainly made some and am already planning to be back in New York later this year! Studying in a different country will open your eyes (and heart) to a new side of you because when you’re in a different place with new people it can feel like a re-birth of some sort. I know if I had studied to become a chef in my home country it wouldn’t have been as magical, nowhere near the same!
Whatever you choose to do, I wish you well on your journey. Just remember “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step” so keep putting one foot in front of the other – make an appointment to talk to someone about your chosen area of study, send some emails, do some research and soon enough you’ll be on your way.