- Steve. (Cockney Buddha)
From Cheffing to Therapy
My therapist Judith actually came up with the idea for this blog while I was in session with her a few weeks ago. I was telling her how things progressed from being a Chef to Cutting grass to Pest "Control" and then the journey I am on now of helping others and being a nonlicensed therapist/Counselor/life coach. This will be explained later.
I want to talk about how I can use the passion I had/have for Cheffing and some of the rebel Chefs that came in on the scene like Marco Pierre White who changed the way Chefs were looked at and the style of food, and how I want to be that guy and change the way counseling is done.
I am on a path. A journey of finding myself. A seeker of who I am and what matters in life. I am a fully qualified Chef. Even though I don't practice the trade anymore, I studied for 4 years and took exams to make it. Once a Chef always a Chef. I started out when Cheffing was in the types of Nouvelle Cuisine stage. Heavy creams and little bits on a plate. It seemed very stiff. But it was the style at the time and we followed it. Then, I think I was around 21 or 22 years old when this "new" Chef came into the spotlight. A different style, look, and attitude of a Chef. A Chef that didn't give a shit what ya thought. It was like a new artist who hit the scene with a different approach or something. I know one thing, it spoke to me. Just like heavy metal music did back then to me too. There was this guy with a ton of energy. A style that was different and an attitude that spoke the rock and metal sounds but in a kitchen environment. I `bought his book when it came out and followed Marco, whatever he did. Sometimes doing some of the things that I would see him do. I always remember him making this sugar basket that he placed over the top of an ice cream ball and I wanted to make one and did. He would tell T.V crews to F off. It changed the way I looked at the kitchen and Cheffing. Anybody that knows Gordon Ramsey back a long time ago knows he worked under Marco in his kitchen.
So I move to the U.S in 1994. My anxiety was already there while I was living in London but I wasn't getting any help for it. I tried once. Went to somebody at the Greenwich District Hospital (Not there now), and they did nothing for me. Telling me to put an elastic band on my wrist and ping it every time I felt anxious. It did not work in the kitchens. Had fun made of me and the elastic band went in the bin. I was taking a pill and wasn't even explained what I was taking. Or what it was for. I know one thing, none of it was working. So time went on and I got a Cheffing job at a place called Chevy Chase Country Club. I woke early morning around 3am and was in a full-blown panic. Did not know it was panic at the time. Didn't even know I had anxiety, cause of the little therapy I had in London nothing was ever said. I was a complete mess. My wife jumped on the phone to talk to somebody and they said, "He has anxiety and panic".
So, therapy began. Many many therapists in fact. Many many Psychiatrists also. Many different medications and nothing was working. Not saying it doesn't for others. It just did not for me. It wasn't until many years later that Judith came along and I started to see a different type of therapy. I started to trust more and open up more. I started to look forward to seeing her. Then after a while, with the client's permission, started to come in and help. First with Energy Healing, then sitting in on sessions. Again all with clients' permission.
Then came the day when Judith asked me if I would like to take it a step further and start seeing clients. She said I had a natural talent for doing the work. I said I ain't degreed. But, as long as I let people know that I work with that I am not licensed and they agree then I'm good.
So I want to take how Judith works. How she works with Clients. The Marco Pierre White style approach to therapy as he did with Cheffing and bring that to my own way of helping people. After seeing a different way I now know that the stiff environments that I would walk into with the therapist I had seen over the years did not work for me. It was like they weren't human. Or should I say I did not see a human side to them? Nobody but Judith showed empathy, compassion, and a love that I felt. The vulnerability too that I show my clients. I'm not bulletproof and don't pretend to me. The people I work with like the fact that I have a human side. I will be serious when I need to be serious but also keep it light at times too. I will crack a joke here and there and make them laugh. I don't want people I work with to feel uncomfortable. I don't want them to feel like me and them like I felt with a lot of the therapist I see through the years. Therapy is a relationship between me and the other person. It helps that I am an empath too. I said earlier "life coach" too. I check in with clients. I give tasks at times and work to do what's best for them. Helping work towards goals.
So that's what I am doing. I take the love and compassion I have for cheffing and throw in a little Marco rebellion to modernize how things are done going forward. People like it! It shows in what I do to help them. I'm getting great feedback from who I help and my therapist.
Many see a therapist and then give up because they are not getting anywhere. I did the same. But trust me, there is somebody out there that you will click with. Don't give up on the idea. Learn about you. Who you are. Never stop the search. I am still seeking who I am and helping seek themselves along the way.