October 12, 2014
I chose to interview a neighbor that is also a good friend, Mr. Javier Gonzales. Javier is well known in our community for his compassionate heart and famous food. He works two separate jobs within the food industry. During the week, he works as the main cook for a hotel and on the weekends, he works as the head cook for a senior living community. Javier is 54 years old, he grew up in Juarez, Mexico and he is the sole provider for his household. His face lights up when I ask him what drew him to cooking in the first place. He responds, “I have a passion for food and making other’s happy. I feel I can do that through my love of food, by providing them with something good to eat.” I was intrigued that someone would choose a job based on determining other’s happiness. Javier went on to tell me he was the youngest of seven siblings. He started working on a farm in Juarez when he was seven years old. “Seven!” I exclaimed. I was shocked to discover he started work so young. He explained he had to work to help provide for his family, that he grew up very poor. One of his fondest memories was helping his mother make tamale’s in the kitchen. “Every Christmas, my mother would spend extra money to make tamales. This was one of my favorite times of year. The family I have left, we still get together and make tamales every year for Christmas.” He stated with a smile. When Javier was eighteen, he came to the United States in search of a better life and career to help his family back home. He was able to get citizenship in the U.S. and he started culinary school when he was nineteen. He graduated from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute two years later and worked in several well-known kitchens. As he got older, he realized he wanted to go back what drew him to cooking in the first place, making people happy. “In a restaurant setting, you rarely get to see the expression of people eating your food. People stop...
References: Manning, George, and Kent Curtis. The art of leadership. Boston, Mass.: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2003. Print.
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