Blog will be Deleted
If you need to keep a recipe from the blog save it now because this blog will be deleted.
This is a note I wrote to the facebook followers because everyone seems to be on there now soo…it was fitting….this is just a rough collection of my thoughts to why I am closing down there for good.
Happy New Year to everyone! This has been long overdue and I kept pushing back this day in my mind but now I am ready.
Today I officially ended my career in culinary arts. I will not be blogging again or posting here anymore for many reasons that I would touch on in this note. This blog will remain open for the next two months and then it would be closed forever. In short this page will be closed.
I got to know many of you for the past four years and this space felt like family. Some of you reached out to me outside of this place and I am friends with some of you. Last year I made a decision to write my second book just because I didn’t want to be a one book wonder and I knew that I had matured as a self taught chef and I wanted to share that with the work with the world. A lot had changed since I published Caribbean Vegan. I now had to look for a literary agent; I had to show I had a following of x numbers of facebook followers. While I couldn’t knock what now became the norm I was a bit hesitant to continue. Writing had become a popularity contest to the point that I wondered if, people just loved me and my food tasted like cardboard with salt, would a publisher publish my shit in a heartbeat. I am not sure I am ready to write a book on those terms. I would like to be published for my work not for my social networking skills. I think this new way of gauging success can prevent a lot of great works from being published.
After I wrote Caribbean Vegan I immediately penned Vegan Française which was a salute to French food but made vegan. I am French by marriage and Barbadian by birth. I spent a lot of time in France and I live in a French colony. I am surrounded by high end French restaurants and expats. Everyday my partner came home to taste his favourite French treats before he went vegan and sometimes I would fail at it, and it would take many tries to get it right because my partner at that time would have not let me put something out there that wasn’t a match to the authentic recipes of France. When I presented this work to be published I was told that it was written in the same style as Caribbean Vegan, maybe it would be best that my French partner ( a non cook) write the book with me, and I was not the right person to write this book and that the public wouldn’t understand. Understand what a black person from the Caribbean writing about French food? I do not know…maybe I am reaching. Stupidly I took this news personally and I buried the book away forever never to see the light again because it was shameful and it mocked me a bit every time I looked at the galettes, the poire belle Hélène and the vegan boudin blanc food stained recipes on my work table. I was too weak at that time to deal with disappointment after coming off of that high from Caribbean Vegan. I regret not trying elsewhere to be published but remember I was afraid of that judgment. I did not want another white person speak to me like if I was delirious for wanting to write about French food. I could not go through that again…sorry. This was one of the first times that I didn’t see something through and I resented myself for it.
My third book I started last year was really promising…it was a food journey but I did not have that same passion that I had for Caribbean Vegan even if the recipes were better. Currently, like Vegan Française this project was put on ice……what was wrong with me? Some people said it was what was happening in my personal life, some said I was lazy and some said I was inconsistent. People say a lot of things. When I wrote Caribbean Vegan it was a book in my head before and all I was did was regurgitate it on paper. The creative process a long winding road. I will not promise that this book will see the light of day but I am cautiously optimistic that I will be motivated to complete this work sometime in the future when the time is right.
I never thought I would have met such a bunch of supportive people when I went vegan, started a blog and wrote a book. Your comments, emails and likes did not go un noticed. I met some of your in real life and I remember each and every conversation I had with you. I didn’t expect this. I want to take this time to thank the Toronto Vegetarian Festival for inviting me two years in a row for the mere fact it brought some of you closer to me and got to see ‘the support.’ I will not forget your faces in the audience smiling at me and cheering me on when the nerves caught me because I was so overwhelmed by the crowd. I will not forget the natural hair ladies that asked me about my hair more than anything. I enjoyed it but it is time to stop because it is not fun anymore. I grumble when I cook, it has become a chore and while it has attracted all of you supportive people it attracted some not so nice ones as well.
Things for me got so bad to the point that I bit my lip when I saw a copy of my book and all I could see were those negative things that came out of it and the toxic people and severed friendships. So much has happened over one little pink book. Things I will not share but it seems to be a tissue box of events that I just want to stop.
I do not consider myself a successful vegan cookbook author like the others but regardless of big or small success there will be people who want to get what little they can out of you. One is never too old to be exploited or tricked. I found myself consenting to things blindly (in the name of my book and a few fake smiles) and jumping into silly situations that by the time I was able to think and ask the questions I was too far in. This caused conflict in these situations and caused me a lot of pain. It also attracted a lot of uncomfortable friendships. I attracted this preachy vegan whose constant monologues I couldn’t take anymore. It was an uncomfortable friendship to start with but I ended up tolerating that person because they were vegan! I got tired asking restaurants if they used ghee, if there was Worcestershire sauce in their gravy….to be honest with everyone I do not check anymore. I just don’t want my meal to have meat in it! I got tired being that person in the restaurant quizzing the waiter on the molecular make up of the dish…I couldn’t go out anymore and be that person and ate lots of contaminated food in the last four years due to life due to lies. The waiter said yes but my palette said “you are lying”. If you do not want to eat contaminated food I think you should not go out in non vegan restaurants. There is meat all in the kitchen like….there is meat right next to that stirfry…there was meat in that pot…there may be meat in the stir fry.
I found that my book overshadowed everything about me, my professional degree and my other talents. I found that I wasn’t seen to do anything but cook to the point that when I was speaking about looking for jobs with friends they told me to look at restaurants! People assumed that was what I wanted because I posted pretty pictures of food online. My goodness I am microbiologist and a food technologist. I write other things than recipes and I paint…but no one even if they knew saw that, it was “cook this cook that recipe this recipe that”. By the way I do not have the recipe bank that I do not want to share. I just don’t keep recipes in my computer like that or even write down stuff when I cook. Let me get that out there so if you want a recipe for a good stew…chances are I can only point you to the document source of recipes from me, my book. See how it became a chore? Taymer= cook. Hmm ….and while that was okay I felt restless after four years doing something that basically reaped little profit. Doing something and you are paid pennies to the point that you feel like punching a wall because your back aches you feet hurt and your efforts are reduced to bus fare. I couldn’t make a career out of this; I didn’t have the skill to and the will to. After four years of trying, and four years of not seeing anything come to light I am ready to move on to better things. Maybe I will retrain, maybe I will continue writing, maybe I will find a job as a microbiologist somewhere…. I am at a beautiful crossroads with the world at my fingertips and I hope that one day I enjoy cooking again.
In short I felt that every time I started to do things outside of cooking something came up and kept distracting me from developing my other talents and sadly none of these ventures brought any money. Everyone wanted something done and it was in the name of exposure. The only time I really made any money was when I ran my own catering company. At the ripe age of 30 I would admit publicly that if I didn’t have a safety net I would have ended my romanticized unprofitable career a long time ago.
While my book took me places I would not have imagined I think it is time to stop piggy backing on a book and get back to reality and do new things with my life and take on new adventures. I see my book as a classic cook book that whenever you want Caribbean food vegan you would go back to over and over and I am so thankful for the support from all of you. My book will always be a part of me. My new journey will be solitary and while I may be in the media again with other ventures I will still be me. Thank you a million times.
This blog will be no longer available in two months.