Food quote of note

"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience"…Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Coming Out of the Culinary Closet

Well - I did it - I took the plunge!  Two weeks ago I gave my notice at Kimberly-Clark - telling my boss that I was leaving the corporate world to pursue my culinary dreams.  WOW - what a mix of emotions. 

Although I had been planning it, talking about it with my friends and family, and dreaming about this day for over two years, it was quite surreal to actually say the words out loud "I'm leaving my job to do something in the culinary world".  I would be lying if I didn't tell you there was a little bit of stammering, sweating and even some hyperventilation that accompanied that statement.  Of course, because he's a great guy, my boss took it well.  After asking if there was anything he could do to change my mind, to which I responded "no", he gave me a big hug, wished me all the best, and asked me how I would like to announce it more broadly and handle my transition. 

While it seemed like a big step, telling him was really only dipping my toe in the water  - the real belly flop into the deep end came last week - when he actually published my annoucement to a few thousand of my closest friends and colleages at KC.  There it was in black and white, flung out via email to computers and iphones across the globe...

CRYSTAL LEACH, KCP R&E Director for Global Safety and Productivity, has announced her decision to leave K-C effective mid-May 2012.  Crystal is leaving to pursue her longtime dream of attending culinary school.

YIKES - no going back now!!  I feel relieved, excited, scared, exhilarated, nervous - all at the same time - there is no other way to describe it than "surreal".

So - what happens now, you might be asking?  After I finish at KC, I will spend most of the month of June on vacation in France - a great itinerary that includes a week in the French countryside and a week-long bike trip on the Canal du Midi with Guy, an amazing wine trip in Provence and the Rhone Valley, and a week relaxing with friends (I know - rough gig, huh?).  Culinary school then starts in July. 

There is still much to decide and much to do - but I am taking it one day at a time.  Of course, I'll take you all along with me on the blog as I try to finalize my decision on which culinary school to attend and what I'm actually going to do with my life AFTER school.  And - the good news is, I have actually made the blog "public" now - so it should be much easier for you all to read and access.

Of course, I have to take a minute to thank my husband for his support through all of this - but, especially during my "culinary coming out" period - I must admit, I was a little bit of nutcase over the last few weeks. But, I think I've actually gotten used to being public about something that I've been keeping close to the vest for so long. 

So -  I've done it - taken that first big step on Mon Voyage Culinaire - and it actually feels pretty good.


  1. Congratulations Crystal - I have a sneaking suspiscion that you will enjoy persuing your dreams although I know how it feels to go through the ups and downs of that separation process from the world you have known for so many years .I surely hope we are the friends that you are coming to so we can hear all about it face to face . Cheers , Bon Courage , Bone Chance and Bon Apetit from here . Judi .

  2. Good Luck Crystal. I give you alot of credit by taking the plunge to follow your lifes calling.

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  4. This is dinner, sister!! So glad to be partaking with you...LOVE, Jennifer