Natalia's Reflection: Life Update in New York


Today marks three months of been back in New York. They have been hard and busy days, but now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I am almost reaching the goal. During this time, in addition to learning at school, I am learning many things about life. I am in a process of personal encounter, in which I have learned to be patient, to take care of myself and to love myself.

Without a doubt, having left my country causes me nostalgia, it is for this reason that I decided to focus on myself to keep a positive mind during my stay in New York. In relation to school, I am in level three of the program, which works with meals in large quantities. We cook for the whole school. This part of the program has allowed me to get to know the cultures of each one of my colleagues, just as they have known mine. We have prepared Puerto Rican, Mexican, Jamaican, American, French food, among others. It has been a level of great responsibility because my colleague Hector and I are always more involved than our colleagues in the food preparation, and that has given us the advantage of gaining more knowledge every day. On October 19, I will finish this level, and we will move on to level four which consists of refinement and consistency in the kitchen.

Regarding my culinary learning process outside of school, on September 22, Hector and I were spending time with Zarela at her house all day and night. That has been, without a doubt, one of the best experiences we have had during our stay here. Zarela made me feel like I was at home, that feeling that I have not had since I left my island on July 14. Zarela also gave us the opportunity to recreate some of her wonderful recipes. Being able to get to know what traditional Mexican food is by such a talented person is very gratifying, we learned that with just one recipe or basic ingredient we can make countless dishes. This time we used “Chipotle Paste” and “Pico de Gallo Norteño” to create various dishes. In the afternoon, some friends from Zarela arrived to try all those foods that we created and learned that day. One of the acts that made us feel valued and happy was that they invited us to the table with them, once again we felt that human warmth and we were able to enjoy a beautiful evening.

Regarding my personal life, I have been super busy because I have been working on myself. During my time in New York I have already lost 22 pounds, I am doing a physical transformation with diet and exercise. Also, studying for school, I am studying to take the personal training certification exam, which I will take when I return to Puerto Rico in December. In addition to all that, I have been given a small opportunity, which we are still considering, and that is to open a restaurant in my town Orocovis. We are working on a business plan with my friend Sojerly to see if it is feasible or not to take this challenge. I feel very excited about everything I have achieved so far, and I hope on God that everything is as I have plan in my mind.

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kate@chefaaronsanchez.com

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