It was in the autumn of 2009 when I found out I hadn't won the Kopf Scholarship. Winning would have meant a fully paid six-week trip across France, Italy, and Spain with organized visits to wineries and meetings with chefs and local farmers. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I was devastated to have missed out on it. Nevertheless, I vowed to myself that very same day that I would make it a realization.
Each of our lives constitutes certain events that we realize are life-changing only in retrospect.
At the age of thirteen, after enduring several
years of misery in a school I felt offered me nothing substantial, I
successfully persuaded my parents to transfer me. I'm glad I did because I
would probably have remained a shy, introverted, dispassionate fellow otherwise.
In high school, when I decided to I wanted to become a chef, several people including some from within the restaurant industry advised me against it. They warned me about the long hours, the high levels of stress and the fact that I would be giving up any chance of a normal life. I remained persistent.