By Casey Rebecca Nunes | Illustration via iStock

 

Some of the most generous, selfless people I’ve ever met are in this business.  


Of course, like most loves, the road to that love feast can be long and arduous, fraught with potholes and dead-ends. People will disappoint and hurt you—there’s no escaping that. And I’m not just talking about relationships; self-love ain't easy, either.

The job of cooking is an immense emotional exercise, and even amidst all that, chances to look people in the eyeballs and tell them you love them are few. The reality is, I couldn’t do any of this—the cooking, the late nights, the creative satisfaction—without so many people, places, and things. I owe you all tacos, flowers, and phone calls, but with my schedule, they’ll get eaten, they’ll wilt, and I’ll fall asleep with the phone in my hand before distribution.  

With that said, this one goes out:  

To my bosses, who deal with my slight meltdowns from time to time, due to Type A Realness + exhaustion.  

To my roommates, who are regularly woken up by my alarm because of early start times or that idiot, Drunk Casey, at 3:00 am.  

To my mother, with whom I bicker constantly, mostly because of my lack of flexibility in my schedule.  

To my comfy AF bed. You the best, bed.    

To the family, plants, and pets out there that I don’t (but would love to) have, but can’t right now because they’d perish in my absence.  

To the Holy Trinity: late-night snacking, all video-streaming services, and my medical card.  

To old friends, who’ve stuck with me through my former life into this one and can pick right back up right where we left off, even if it’s months later.  

To new friends, who may not fully understand the scope of this friendship quite yet, but are taking a crack at it anyway.  

To future relationships that keep me hopeful that I won’t die alone, simply because of my job’s demands.  

To my colleagues, who tread this emotional path with me and thousands of others, daily.  

To my mentors, who’ve shone a light on my potential, showed me what’s possible, and taught me way more than just how to run a kitchen.  

To the Bay Area, for being the place I call home.  

To The Work Itself: dishes I’ve yet to attempt, old favorites, staying hungrier than the next day, and every blessed ingredient in between.

And lastly, to Me: plain ol’ Casey, who doubts herself more than she should, but gets up and tries her best every day, even when I’m being a stubborn, cranky jerk. Thank you for loving and believing in me anyway.  



You’re all lifelines—not valentines—and you should be celebrated year-round. (With chocolate is cool, too).


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