These were among the many questions I received when I shared that after my almost 20-year career in the fundraising and nonprofit management sector, I would be taking a hiatus from full-time employment.
Despite great success as a senior executive raising hundreds of millions of dollars, managing teams of fundraisers and cultivating future leaders, the reasons for my decision were actually quite simple.
I found myself craving something new – a challenge, an opportunity to learn and most importantly, an outlet for creativity.
My lifelong interest in food had developed into a true hobby that I had cultivated for years by seeking out the best food around the world (local markets being my favorite playgrounds) and testing recipes on my husband, family and friends.
Hosting a dinner party provided me with the most exciting challenge and I found myself joyfully obsessed with my work plan – conceiving my menu, shopping for ingredients and timing my execution.
When my wonderful husband reminded me that I had told him I had dreamt of going to culinary school, I couldn’t deny it. In fact, for years I had been taking vacation days at work to attend recreational classes at the Institute for Culinary Education. He asked “why not do it now?” to which my response was “if not now, when?”
And so, I took the leap and enrolled in culinary school!
Throughout my intensive and sometimes grueling training, I frequently encountered friends who shared that they were so jealous that I had the opportunity to pursue my culinary degree – they only wished they could learn what I learned. And, of course, “do you have any good recipes to share with me?”
Well now that I have completed my degree, this website is my present to them and anyone else who might have dreamt of going to culinary school.
Through this site, I have attempted to consolidate my learning into a format that others may use as a tutorial and culinary reference. My focus is on ingredients and techniques – the what, why and how of preparing great food.
In response to my friends’ request for recipes, I share recipes via my blog posts. However, my guiding principle for putting together this site is that if I just give you a recipe, you’ll cook that one meal. Yet if I teach you about ingredients and techniques, you’ll make your own recipes and cook infinite meals for the rest of your life.
My hope is that once you’ve become familiar with the site, and better understand ingredients and techniques, my recipe for something like Beef Bourguignon will merely serve as inspiration. You will have the ability to vary your choice of meat, play with different spices and create any kind of stew you desire. The only thing holding you back will be your imagination!
I’m excited to share this acquired knowledge with you and spread “My Culinary Joy”. I thank Le Cordon Bleu for my education. Enjoy the site and please contact me with feedback and ideas for other aspects you’d like to explore.
Food aficionado and graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, my name is Joy Dawn Prevor. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, I moved to the mainland to pursue my undergraduate degree (University of Pennsylvania) and two graduate degrees (Columbia University and The Jewish Theological Seminary of America). After braving New York winters for almost 20 years, I recently moved to Miami with my husband where we are enjoying the year-round tropical weather. In addition to occasional fundraising consulting, my culinary repertoire includes Cooking Classes, Freelance Writing, Specialty Catering, Recipe Development, Culinary Demos and National Food & Wine Events.
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