life advice needed, want to exist in an african caribbean space and do my own thing, somehow, or at

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by chalkdust, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. chalkdust

    chalkdust

    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    I used to have a best friend from guyana in highschool and undergraduate years.  We cooked together guyanese and caribbean food.  Guyana is a south american country but part of the caribbean culturaly, at least on the coast.  I am now 33 years old and something of an african and caribbean literature, religious scholarship, polemic, history, critical theory (post colonial studies) and anthropology buff.  I am in school for anthropology and hope to get into grad school, learn haitian creole along the way and study afro caribbean religions in trinidad and haiti. its a very long shot,

    other ideas are studying african and caribbean literature at the university of the west indies in st augustine trinidad, mona jamaica or cave hill barbados.  i have seen some of their curriculum and it looks like they have good programs.  I also own several books published by their university and am aware of several professors who are well renowned and teach there on and off, it is very daunting...The thing is im not the best writer, i procrastinate, school is hard and grad school isnt for everyone.  They dont just pass the golden keys out to everyone, not everyone makes the cut. my gpa is low.  I suffer from a severe mental illness.  I screwed up in the past.  I had problems in school due to mental illness, i made bad grades, i dropped in and out of school and work. etc.

    I can list probably fifty caribbean and african authors that i like, so regardless of whether or not i get into gradschool, theoretically i could still pursue those interests in my free time.

    Cooking makes me delirious, but im not really a professional.  I read marx, i hate this world etc, i think stupid people run the planet,. i think.  i think its attrocious how people can slip through the cracks, to say nothing of the tragic suffering in the third world, and the exploitation and imperialism and neoliberalism thati  slowly learn about. im not a professional. im not the smartest. i want to learn more, but i think. it slows me down in a kitchen. like nietzsche said, the spirit of gravity overtakes me. i dont dance throw life, i drag my heels. im sad. deep dark, depressed, sad, angry, hurt. and not a good man in that i am irresponsible, a bad worker, in disagreement with the majority. hell im not even an american, im a first generation euroipean immigrant cut off from my family in austria, and having difficulty making new west indian friends, although i obsess over the high quality of their literary offerings, their beautiful music, and their women of course... the first temptation (the second temptation being knowledge and the burden of truth)

    my other interests include marx, nietzchse, carl jung, jacques lacan... western philosophy, teachings of sai baba, buddhist and hindu mythology etc....

    onward to what may actually make me happy in life, the mind blowing recipes of africa, parts of south america, and the wide caribbean.

    http://dooneyskitchen.com/ofe-okazi-na-akpuruakpu-mgbam/

    http://dooneyskitchen.com/nkwobi/

    http://dooneyskitchen.com/puff-puff-and-cocktails-a-new-era-for-our-national-favourite-chops/

    http://dooneyskitchen.com/asun-spicy-goat-meat/

    http://www.eatingnigerian.com/native-jollof-rice/

    http://www.kitchenbutterfly.com/2011/03/01/how-to-make-nigerian-pepper-soup/

    http://www.allnigerianrecipes.com/soups/egusi-soup.html

    http://funke-koleosho.blogspot.com/2013/08/jollof-rice-ultimate-guide-b.html

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Senegal-Modern-Senegalese-Recipes-Source/dp/1891105558/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488817136&sr=1-1

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Yolele-Recipes-Heart-Senegal-Pierre-Thiam/1891105388/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488817136&sr=1-2

    http://www.jehancancook.com/2009/07/948/

    http://www.jehancancook.com/2009/06/paratha-roti-demystified/

    http://www.inner-gourmet.com/2010/10/guyanese-pholourie.html?m=0

    http://www.jehancancook.com/2009/04/207/

    i forgot to mention these, another deep fried snack. just about the best thing you can do with a cassava. i will stuff mine with either eggs or minced beef seasoned with a brown sauce (browned onions and browned flour) along with some minced celery onion and thyme

    http://www.jehancancook.com/2014/02/cassava-pone/

    http://chennette.net/2007/02/04/gulab-jamoon-recipe/

    http://www.jehancancook.com/2016/07/trinidadian-aloo-pie/

    http://www.jehancancook.com/2009/05/test-kitchen-tuesday-coconut-salara/

    http://www.simplytrinicooking.com/doubles/

    http://www.simplytrinicooking.com/coconut-chutney/?showComment=1243604135582

    http://www.simplytrinicooking.com/tambran-tamarind-sauce

    i CAN POST MORE MIND BLOWING RECIPES AS THE THREAD DEVELOPS. I AM LOOKING FOR SERIOUS LIFE ADVICE HERE. whoops. i am very depressed. struggling in my classes. on meds. lost. dont want to end up in group home for mentally ill, on the streets or institutionalized. i want to have time to read. i want to exist with this food somehow and learn more about it. i know it is hard for man to admit and discover his yearning.i am having a bad time at it. i dont know wahat i want. that is the very thing. and time is running out

     http://dooneyskitchen.com/akara-osu/

    http://flavorsofbrazil.blogspot.com/2011/09/recipe-shrimp-bobo-bobo-de-camarao.html

    http://www.guyanaoutpost.com/recipes/recipes.shtml

    I have checked out about sixty books from the university library on africa, haiti, nietzchse, marx, and novels and poems from africa, and the caribbean and a few from south america (guatemala, colombia, brazil, peru), all i do is struggle through reading. i want to read. i love the life of books, but i never know what to write about. i have not been trained professionally as a writer, not that this is requisite, but it can help in the real world, i suppose. i keep on thinking of taking out loans and doing something drastic like a top tier cooking school. i have been obsessed with food all my life and i wonder if this intellectual thing is a graft, a false ideology, like i want to save the world. or become smart because i feel uneducated. i do not know of course. or maybe i do know but chose not to say what I REALLY think because it is stupid, simpleminded, banal and discouraging. but i toy with the idea of cooking school ,its just that i am after the authentic third world culinary experience. the secret stuff, the herbs, the ground up brazil nuts, the larva that are roasted, the sun dried crickets and palm oil, the tree barks, the special veggies, the ground crayfish, the garri, etc etc. does cooking school provide a way into this realm? am i simply a dreamer?

    http://www.congocookbook.com/
     
  2. chefbuba

    chefbuba

    Messages:
    2,238
    Likes Received:
    516
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    WoW?
     
  3. chalkdust

    chalkdust

    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    well i hope someone finds these recipes as interesting as i did. the good news is the anthropology dept hired a cultural anthropologist who specializes in haiti. he may end up teaching haitian creole. so that is one mystery solved. i also connected with an old caribbean literature professor of mine. he says he remembers me, he knows all the authors i am into, we clicked rather well, he was very friendly and he said he remembered i was intelligent and said to keep in touch. i was elated after our encounter. i think i know what i have to do. i think i will leave cooking as a passion for now. although i cant say i am exaclty optimistic about third world studies and non capitalist currents, we all must be capitalists anyway. but i digress. one must adapt before one can change the world right. or who knows maybe these recipes will reach the masses now and food network will start an africana show
     
  4. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

    Messages:
    4,470
    Likes Received:
    416
    Exp:
    Retired Hospitality
    Long post so I may have missed it ...... is there anything in there about a JOB?

    Yes I see you are a line cook but all the rest is more of angst re education in sociology and socialism.

    mimi
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  5. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

    Messages:
    453
    Likes Received:
    259
    Exp:
    Retired Owner/Operator
    Im not sure I understand the relevance of all that political stuff and cooking.  Im not ridiculing your political knowledge, which seems rather extensive.  But, I am wondering what bearing it has on the sort of cuisine that you would like to offer?

    Here is the deal.  To open your own place, which I think is what you want to do, that will take money (obviously).  You can get that money in one of three ways:  Use your own, borrow from a bank or try and line up investors.  With all due respect to your considerable political knowledge, if you feature it as part of your presentation to any bank or groups of investors, you are likely not going to get very far.  I am sure that you understand this.  

    However, in terms of the merit of your idea, it is a good one.  However, you are talking about making your very first solo venture all about a very unique and specialized style of food that most people are not aware of and if they are, they probably would not understand it.  One of the biggest divides that exists between the people we serve and ourselves is that we sometimes forget that the people we serve as a whole do not share our educated and experienced understanding of food.  We must be cautious not to include that difference in our business models, especially in an industry where 3 out of 4 new restaurants fail.

    Having said all this, I would encourage you to consider something more "mainstream" as you first solo venture.  That way, you can establish yourself and your talents in the community which, in turn, could prove very useful when it comes time to launch your African-Caribbean venture.  You will have a following and a customer base that would likely be willing to try it out rather than trying to make a cold bore attempt.

    Just a suggestion.  Good luck. 
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  6. chalkdust

    chalkdust

    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    Thank you for the advice.
     
  7. colin

    colin

    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    19
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Hi Chalkdust:

    The cooking school part I can't help with, but academia I kinda know.  First, the depression and procrastination is totally normal!  Writing is hard for everyone.  You have interests, there's lots to read, then you pick research projects that you care about, then they take a lot of time and lead in different directions.  Anyway, It sounds like you're finishing up an undergrad degree.  Aim to get through that, one class at a time, turn in work that is good enough, and get the damn degree.  You can keep reading your whole life.

    If you're bitten by the Caribbean bug, finish the undergrad degree and just go -- backpack around for a while.  That will either get the bug out of your system, or you'll find a place where you really want to work.  If you're willing to work for cheap (and maybe to volunteer to get a foot in the door) and you don't have a family to support, it's not that hard to find gigs with aid agencies.  It's also easier to pick up languages when you're immersed.  The Peace Corps (problematic though it may be...) is another way to get yourself out there for a while.  Your college/university probably has an office devoted to international opportunities - pay them a visit.

    I would not recommend anthro grad school right now.  Grad school in general is harder on one's mental health than undergrad; anthro is probably worst of all -- most of my friends who started anthro grad programs, even the sanest, washed out.  If you do eventually decide you want an anthro Ph.D., you'll be a more interesting applicant after you have, say, five years of experience in Guyana.  Plus at that point they won't care much about your undergrad grades.  

    (Oh, and don't get suckered into any academic grad program that you have to pay for -- unless they offer you an assistantship with a stipend and tuition waiver, don't even think about it.)
     
    chalkdust likes this.
  8. chalkdust

    chalkdust

    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    thanks Colin that is great advice. and what do you know, peace corps goes to guyana. but i have no leadership skills. i spend my free time reading and playing the congas and african drums (djembe). i will have to look into the volunteer stuff
     
  9. chalkdust

    chalkdust

    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    well im going with the cook thing, i will finish my anthropology degree and do some directed independent studies with my favorite professors, just to see how it goes, in the meantime i will b e training my knife and wok skills with the chinese folks i used to work with, they are in agreement that they can provide me training do u think thats a good idea. i hate to feel like im giving up on a phd in religious or philosophical/psychological studies

     


     

    i have never proved myself but have amassed a bit of skills in that realm, i dont think school is for me, but i know alllll about whats out there in african and caribbean anthropology, lit, literary criticism, german and greek philosophy, carl jung, marx and other favorites of mine. do u think i could still follow that stuff even if i worked in the food industry, maybe went to cooking school down the line or something?
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  10. chalkdust

    chalkdust

    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    oh and im no longer gung ho about living in the third world, but maybe one day
     
  11. chalkdust

    chalkdust

    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    ok so at least tell me if anyone gets a kick out of these recipes lol
     
  12. chalkdust

    chalkdust

    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    thanks man, and i dont have that much ppolitical knowledge, i am a young tree for that, but learning.