February 3rd of this month marked my 40th year of cooking professionally. Yes, I remember the day I fell in love with this business.
If I can pass anything along for anyone who plans to make it a life long career it's "take care of yourself". Both mentally and physically.
Eat well, sleep well, keep the drinking and drugs in control, wear good shoes, keep your knives sharp and remember you cook to live. Not the other way around.
I know the conditions we work in can be a source of pride but they will eventually catch up to you if ignored.
I don't think I need to make a list. You probably know what I'm talking about.
Below is something you may not have thought of. The result of 40 years of having a knife in your right hand. (I admit it's a source of pride.)