My Public Apology for Not Being Sorry

Facebook……Instagram…..Twitter….wait, fuck twitter. That’s been dying a slow death for a couple years now. The great social media surge. Where likes and follows mean more to people these days than actual life. Where chef pages of redundancy are born overnight. People from all over the world suddenly have a place to showcase their passion and build friendships. I post. Some say I post a lot. Some people mutter behind my back about it as well. I think it’s awesome, and I’d like to tell you why I post so much.

Langdon

I moved back to my hometown eight or so years ago for circumstances beyond my control. I was working in Philadelphia at some hot shit restaurant. Grinding out long hours. Ruining a relationship. Withering away; and I loved it. The pressure and anxiety. The stress and brutality. It was a job that changed my life forever, culinarily speaking. I learned what food really was. Seasonality.Techniques. I was made Sous, got murdered some more until I broke down. Stepped down from my position. Stayed. Went back to the line. Got promoted again. It was like being one of the starting pitchers for a championship team…..then suddenly it all went away. Figuratively speaking, I blew my knee out while I was in my prime. One day, I stopped getting along with my superiors. I was under the microscope. Things escalated, there was an explosion, and I was asked to leave. It was over. That famous temper of mine prevailed.  Again. I weighed my options and decided I didn’t want to live two hours from my son, because “the passion for the biz” ruined that relationship, so I decided to put my tail between my legs and move back home. My days in the big leagues were now over. Infinitely.

Back in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Home. I do love it here. The rolling mountains. The changing of the seasons. It’s really quite beautiful. I find out I’ve made it onto a show called Hell’s Kitchen….yeah…that one…meh…I need a chef page now. I don’t want all these people finding my personal page. Photos of my children. People are fucked up in this world, so I create one. Boom. Chef page. Hey, Instagram. Hello, Twitter (you suck). Now I’m a slave to it all. Ping. Ping. Ping. PING. Every 30 fucking seconds. Hate it. But whatever. I’ll keep going. Oh, what’s this UK based Chef Page? Maybe they will let me join. Joined. Make some friends. Make some more. Network. Meet some more. Act like an egotistic prick, get booted. 40 times. Become an admin. 40k people. Great. Another fucking job. (Love it) This is cool. Ok, let’s start a page. And another. And a fuckin nother’….wait. What’s going on here?

So, my dreams of traveling overseas and working in Europe are gone. My dream of working in a Michelin restaurant is dead. My dreams of traveling Frances countryside are a thing of the past. I’ve still not come to terms with this. It infuriates me. I want to learn. I want to be taught. I want a great Chef to see something special in me.  My drive. My passion. I want to be accepted. I need that for my lack of self esteem. But here I am.  Home. So what should I do? I start to follow Chef’s on Instagram. I look each night like a miser to see what other Chef’s are doing. I look at what they cook. How they cook it. I look to see what the trends are. How people plate food. Suddenly I’m staging all over the world. I’m learning new techniques. I’m learning new plating styles. I’m meeting awesome chefs. They are introducing me to more chefs I’ve never heard of. Sweet. Let’s feed the obsession. Fill that void. Oh, a specialty company out of Washington State. Let’s get the first of everything and cook the fuck out of it and post it so we can show everyone how hard we work to stay on the cutting edge and get items in before everyone else. Now it’s a game. A frenzy……

Breathe……..I cooked at the James Beard House. Would you like to know how? I write for a magazine and have been featured in several others. Want to know how? I was asked to be a food stylist for a photo shoot (THE COVER), of an International plate ware company. Want to know how? Social media. I cannot travel and chase my dreams anymore, so I study. There is absolutely no way I would ever leave my children for a job opportunity in another country. So I visit these countries daily. Pretty cool. I visit a Michelin restaurant every single night. I speak with these chefs through their images. I utilize the tools provided. I hold them in my hand when I log in every night. My phone. My connection to so many amazing people. So many talented chefs. My virtual friends who’d I’d give the shirt off my back to for the countless conversations and infinite inspiration. All these amazing opportunities have come into my life.

James Beard House 2

James Beard House

So that’s why I post so much. It’s my passion. I’m not making drunken rants about why everything sucks anymore. I post food. It’s what I do. An artist might want his work shown in a gallery. A photographer- the same. In the end, expressing yourself and your passion is a beautiful thing. Now, in this day and age, we have a virtual gallery. A means of documentation. A way to visually store ideas forever. I rather enjoy it. It’s taken me to places I could never travel to and have helped shaped my creativity. In the end, that’s why I post so much. Because I’m infinitely passionate. That’s never going to change. So if I clog up your precious little feed and you don’t like it, delete me. I couldn’t care less. Just be sure to follow me on Instagram first.

And that, is my public apology for not being sorry.

By Chef Michael Langdon

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