Jose Hernandez
Amateur Chef, Blogger, Student of Life

I’m not really a chef.

I guess you could say that I like pretending to be one. Not because I feel that I could compete with the great culinary masters that inspire amateurs like me, but because I like what happens to me when I cook. It’s hard to explain it unless you’ve experienced this for yourself. After all, life experiences are so incredibly personal and unique that I doubt they could truly be explained.

Cooking, for me, is not about assembling ingredients together or following a recipe. It’s much deeper than that. It’s an opportunity to step out of the rush of day-to-day life; to slow down; to immerse myself under my own skin; and to go to a place that brings me incredible peace and fulfillment.


No. I’m not crazy. I guess I’m just having an awareness that there are some moments in life that are more memorable than others. They are rare. But they seem to happen when I allow them to happen. It’s only taken me 40-some years to learn this, but I sure am glad I got “here.” Hey- Thoreau went to the woods for this insight. I go to the kitchen.

As I reflect on this epiphany-like moment, I realize that some of my fondest memories revolve around a meal. I can easily recount dozens and dozens of those memorable moments in my life. I can tell you what I cooked; who I shared it with; what it tasted like; what it smelled like; and in many cases, what the table setting looked like. I can picture the scenes in my mind, like an old 8mm movie:  the laughs, smiles and conversations. I can also recall meals filled with loss and deep sorrow.

It hit me that the entire cooking experience, from beginning to end, is like pressing the pause button on life’s remote. And while life is “on pause,” I find that I live more fully – more awakened. Yes, a bit too metaphysical, I know, but… it really is an opportunity to stop the busyness. It’s more about ‘being’ than ‘doing.’

And that’s the awakening I find myself in.

What can I say – I love to cook. It’s my thing.  So this blog is a personal hobby; an exercise to help me keep my memories archived through the array of dishes I’ve prepared over the years. If you are one of those awakened chefs that share this passion, then I hope this inspires you and I hope to be inspired by you.


a.k.a. The Awakened Chef