A few months ago, my wife, Laura, and I had a conversation that ended like this:
“You’ve always loved cooking, Ian. Why haven’t you ever gone to culinary school?”
“I don’t know. It never seemed to…” [Silence.] “I don’t know.”
At that moment it seemed to click. Certainly, I still had passion for psychology (the area in which I was studying for graduate school), but damn, getting a PhD. was a long way away. I still had another year before I would feel ready to apply and I needed to do better on my GRE. Plus, with lack of federal funding for education, psychologists weren’t readily accepting graduate students, so regardless of how well I looked I still may not get in anywhere. And then I’d have to move, and it’d take another 4-6 years of my life. For some reason this made sense up to this point.
But it occurred to me: Hell, I may have had passion for psychology, but I FREAKING LOVE cooking. Especially vegan cooking. I should have probably realized it a few years ago- When birthday presents started transitioning from video games and Cubs gear to knife-sets and cook books. When I started having more fun grocery shopping than hanging out in bars, I should have figured it out. At this point, I’ve been vegan for 15 years. I cook for my family every night. I cook for everyone who comes over. I routinely am hanging out farmers’ markets. I know everyone who works at my local Whole Foods by name. It dawned on me: maybe I should look into this whole “cooking vegan food for people” thing.
So, I did what everyone does when they have a dramatic change in life plans: I posted about it on Facebook.
Hey Indy friends: Do you want a killer vegan/vegetarian meal? I’m trying to refine my cooking skills and need some more practice. So, if you get ahold of me, tell me what kind of food you like, and pay for the ingredients I will come over and cook you dinner. There probably will be plenty for several people (at least 4) and probably leftovers. Just send me a PM.
A few weeks later, I was propositioned a dinner for my friend Eleni and eight of her coworkers. We served a three course meal using locally grown ingredients, and, well- let’s just say that it went over pretty well. Pretty well enough that I was scolded by the diners for not having business cards and not trying to actually do this for real. Driving home that night, elated from the response and the absolute rush of having an entire party love my food, I decided to follow their advice. The next day Killer Tofu was born.