Saturday, 16 April 2011

Memories - Part 3

Being young and looking for a career, it was normal for me to be a member of F.I.C. (Federazione Italiana Cuochi – Tuscan section) and many times I have been involved in preparing events, working with several chefs.

It has been very important to let know me by professionals and at the same time, to see different styles of cooking connected usually to big numbers caterings where the Federation was asked to take care for.

By the way, after I got my diploma, I faced immediately two big challenges: how to have a not seasonal job and how to compensate it with the military service (at that time still mandatory), and here I have to jump back a bit.

The sea has been always attractive to me and when I was a teenager I worked also on board of an amazing wooden schooner as cook and sailor. I made also the enrollment to the “Gente di Mare” a kind of national record to have the regular documents to work on board from fishing boats to cruise ships. Because of this enrollment, I have been trapped in the net of the Italian Navy...

The price of this joke for me when I was 19, was lose the job, lose a salary almost double of a normal worker and forget everything for the next 18 months...

AH! SHIT!!!... Yet, I didn’t know what it was going on for my future...

Thanks to the military service, I lost my job at Canniccia Restaurant, in Forte dei Marmi, my first big operation with a high class a la carte menu and also big banqueting business, I would say a 360° job. By the way, when the Homeland calls, the patriots have to reply and my first stop was in La Spezia, where is the second base of the Navy and where I met back my school mate Max.

After two months course, needed to learn how to kill the troops, we got the same final destination, Nave Grecale, a technology jewel where we had many troubles and lot of fun as well.

In the end of November 1995 we started our military service; in the beginning of February 1996 we were already on the route to the Far East and, to resume in few words these 18 months, I just can say: 70.000 miles navigation in the Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean, with stops in South Korea, Japan, China, Indonesia, The Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Egypt, preparing dinners and banquets for Princes, Ambassadors, Prime Ministers and of course to advertise our beautiful and powerful Nave Grecale.

It’s difficult to explain the meaning of such experience for a teenager, but I’m sure, it marks the training of everyone and, for me, hungry of new things, it was an unforgettable experience and one of the “points” of my life.

To be continued...

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