To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this episode. I had such an incredible experience in Santa Ynez, but much like the rest of the episode, I feel the trip was overshadowed by constant cattiness and fighting between the girls. There were only a few nice things said to one another, and not many nice things appreciated about anything or anybody. Unfortunately, I too am guilty of this.
Though, there were bright spots. It was nice to see Brenda offer Jessica some good advice and support after losing her job. As I’ve said before, if there is one thing certain about Brenda, she will say what is on her mind, good or bad, and you will never get anything sugar-coated. She is a bulldog, and the one you want representing you and going to bat for you in this industry.
It breaks my heart to hear Jessica talk about losing her identity when she gets fired and her fears about moving back to Missouri, a place she is so desperately trying to escape. I hate to see anybody run from their past, and try to deny or hide where they came from. I say, embrace every part of your past, for it has helped shape who you are today.
My take, it is a blessing in disguise that Jessica lost her job. Mistakes and hardships in our life teach us the most valuable lessons, make us stronger, more mature, more experienced, wise, and truly teach us about ourselves, what we are capable of, how much we can handle, how quickly we can bounce back. It is in the moments of despair, and being forced to sit with yourself instead of hiding behind a job, that you really are forced to give yourself the advantage of thinking about what you want and who you are. We are not our jobs, and to live and die by that is a way to always ensure that you will be let down and without identity. I am constantly reminded of this everyday.
Next, to watch Brenda worry about her job and the insane fight that goes on between her and Lindsay leaves me almost speechless. I feel for her and know what a scary position that can be. I don’t know the backstory between those ladies and the extent of the friendship between Lindsay and Brenda’s boss. So, I am staying out of it, however, I just wish that the two of them could have reasonably discussed the issue, instead of talking behind peoples’ backs, growing a resentment which will inevitably lead to an explosion, and being so blinded by anger that you can't possibly see or listen to the other person’s side of the story. Neither of them want to talk and are convinced of what they think, so it seems pointless and without resolve. Though, I must say I can see how easy it can be to defend your job and "identity" with such passion and anger. We all know how upset I got when someone threatened the facts about my job and my business. Though, we did also see how I chose to deal with it. To each his own I guess.
Excuse my rant, but that is my experience, and those the lessons I have learned when I got stabbed in the back and as I went through different careers before I found my passion. S--- happens, every day for no good reason, so it is what you do with, what you take from it, and how you deal with it that counts.Outside of our trip, I was overjoyed to see Chef Josiah Citrin when he worked in the kitchen showing Nina and Lindsay some fun techniques. He is an incredibly talented chef whom I respect immensely. I have had the honor to cook with him, and he has become a friend and one of the people in the industry I hold in a very high regard.
It is unfortunate that so much exploded when in Santa Ynez since it seemed like such perfect timing for us all to get away. Though I guess why we needed it the most was because, in our own ways, we were all about to snap.
For me, it still to this day was one of the most memorable experiences to walk through a farm and pick our own food. I shed some tears walking around as I realized the simple and pure joy that comes from growing your own food, harvesting it, and then with those same hands cooking it. How often we take for granted what we have available to us. We walk through markets lined floor to ceiling with fruits and vegetables. We walk into restaurants and get served up tasty dishes, all the while never really taking into consideration the work that went into just farming the ingredients, not to mention to prepare the meal.
I have such a newfound respect for farmers, ranchers, and everyone of the like. It is just as much an art to grow produce and to raise cattle as it is to cook them. Without these farms and cattle ranches, there would be no food, so then there would be no chefs and no restaurants to work at, work for, represent, and write about. So I would like to say thank you to Classic Organic Farms, Zaca Cattle Ranch, and Sunstone winery for your hospitality, welcoming us, your endless hard work, passion for what you do, and to all of those who do what you do.