As Easter approaches each year I cannot help but think of the idea of resurrection. I am not a religious person, so don’t really worry too much about the details of the story that lead to this holiday. But I do love the underlying concept – resurrection, or what we in modern day language might even call re-invention. Spring is all about new beginnings, so I don’t suppose it is any coincidence that Jesus was re-born (so some say) or rose from the dead in the spring. However, in doing a little research for this blog I found that Easter is considered by Christians to be a moveable feast – or, in other words, a feast or fast day (I don’t really like the idea of fasting, so we will use ‘feast’ here) that doesn’t have an exact date on the calendar. So isn’t it appropriate that Easter and resurrection and re-invention are the theme of this blog? A feast that moves can be a feast that is based on moving diners around the world while seated in the same chair but by infusing them with the cuisine of different cultures is the objective of the Nomad Chef Secret Restaurant.
Back to the topic. Winter represents death. All the leaves have fallen from the trees. The garden is pretty bare. And many of us become dark and brooding, especially here in the UK. The days are at their shortest and life can seem cold and hard. And then at our lowest moment, spring arrives to give us new hope. In our darkest hour, this is exactly what we really need. We need to rekindle our spirit and enthusiasm. There are many kinds of death. When we lose someone that we love to death it is not simply a metaphor; it is a black reality, an infinite night for the one who we have lost and the beginning of a very long night for the one left behind. But there are many other kinds of death – the death of a business, the death of our dreams, the death of a relationship. And all of these deaths, literal or symbolic, are painful. So why not look to the idea of being born again, or coming back from the dead, a new beginning? It doesn’t have to be part of our spiritual or religious belief system to find comfort in this idea. We have all re-invented ourselves in one way or another. When we went from our parents’ home to our first apartment or to university, we threw away much of what we had been. And each decade we get a chance to change our look according to a new skirt or hair length. Our changes can be banal or brilliant, a break away from everything that was familiar.
I’ve had to re-invent myself a lot lately. My old identity was shattered into such tiny little pieces that I didn’t really know who I was anymore. Slowly I began looking at the tiny pieces and realized that in each small grain of sand that I am, there is a blueprint of the full universe of who I have been and will be, but each provides a slightly different angle on me. Like fractals. There I was staring back at myself, the little piece of me, different yet familiar. For instance, I have always cooked, but never cooked professionally. I helped my son a few times in his restaurant in Deia, as his sous chef and dish washer. And in my earlier life, it was he who was the sous chef in our house where we often had huge dinner parties. But now that he is gone I am both the sous chef and the chef at my little secret restaurant. And that is a new beginning, one I could never have imagined for myself. And the newness of it is what is giving me energy to explore the other little pieces of sand that I have become, or maybe always was but didn’t notice.
Having had the need for re-invention forced upon me recently and having chosen this path voluntarily many other times, I thought I would share whatever wisdom I have gained. When you are down in the dumps and need a new beginning there is a great opportunity to resurrect yourself, come up with a new you, a you that you don’t know very well but that has its seeds somewhere hidden in your life experience DNA. Everything may be going great, but you may still be ready for a change, some spring cleaning of your neuro-pathways. There are so many reasons to give yourself another chance, a new chance. Learning a new thing is the perfect vehicle for your new self expression.
We’re here, the Nomad Chef, to help you travel around the world while sitting with others right here in London. But you can take it a step further. Learning any new thing, concentrating on the new vocabulary and doing-it-ness can be a resurrection or re-invention in itself. Come join us tomorrow (or some other evening where you can make a mess in our kitchen) for cooking lessons with the Nomad Chef. You too can have your own internal spring, your re-invention. your resurrection, your return from the dead. Spring is here, or very nearly, and we are ready to celebrate! And we don’t have a single fixed date for our feast; we are open often for our moveable feast. Check out the Dinner Dates tab here on our blog.