Exactly one month ago today, I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Nancy Waldeck for the first time. The interview was arranged by a friend I had met in culinary school, named Sue Snape. I will be forever grateful to her for setting up my meeting with Nancy and helping me to realize a long held dream of working in the food industry.

I survived my first day in the beautiful kitchen at the Piedmont West, Cancer Wellness Center and was thrilled to be asked back later in the week. Immediately, I knew that I was in a special place. The friendly smiles and kind nature of the staff and patients there made me feel comfortable from the get go. What an amazing feeling to have the opportunity to make delicious and healthy food for a group of people who truly appreciate your efforts. Not to be melodramatic, but that first week of work was truly life changing. Everything is put into perspective when you are surrounded by people who’s day to day struggles are so much greater than your own. Being stuck in traffic or setting the shrimp on fire (Yes, I’m guilty of setting the shrimp aflame, in front of the Director of the Cancer Wellness Center, no less) seem like petty grievances to me now.

Whether it be karma, or fate or an unusual stroke of good luck, that landed me in the kitchen of Cancer Wellness and under the patient, creative and nurturing being that is Chef Nancy, I am truly grateful. I have learned a life time of lessons in the past month and look forward to what the future holds.

Always remember to take the time to Taste and Savor!

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