Working in the kitchen can be fun, entertaining, challenging, rewarding, and exciting. An adventure always waits in the kitchen and sometimes that adventure is even better when shared. At the cooking school I get to live a life of sharing every weekend. And though I reap the rewards of satisfaction and joy with each class, one class recently drove home for me the joy and satisfaction of community and accomplishment through working together with others.
As a chef I thrive on the challenge of creating new dishes; as a person I simply thrive on creativity. I am quick to celebrate my creations and the creations of others. For me no thing is as satisfying as seeing an idea become a functioning, tangible thing to be experienced and enjoyed. And that is exactly the satisfaction I got this past weekend as I watched a class of adults work together under the creative and attentive eye of pastry chef Victoria McLure.
The class was on building gingerbread houses – well, a gingerbread Vereins Kirche to be specific. And how suitable, since the Vereins Kirche has long been a symbol of community in the city of Fredericksburg, having served as a school house, a town hall, a fort and a church for all denominations, since being built in the mid-1800s and subsequently rebuilt in the 1930s.
I moved to Fredericksburg in the spring of 2010 and have been continually amazed at what this community can do when it comes together. This class was no different. I watched as fifteen adults, many strangers to each other and each with his or her own skill level, came together in fellowship eating a warm lunch and then building together a beautiful tribute to our community.
What started as an idea between two chefs became an object in the world when a group of individuals worked together to make it happen. For me food has always been only as good as the company I share it with; as a chef that food has only come together with the effort of many. I give thanks for this Texas Hill Country community I call home. I thank you for showing me the warming joy of community, friendship and a sense of belonging. And I give thanks to those who participated in our class, I thank you for affirming my belief that when we work together, we can accomplish great things.– Executive Chef Steve Sommers