It’s the last day of 2014 and if I had to describe it in one word it would easily be:
Originally I wanted 2014 to be the year of focus but I had no idea it felt like my life would come full circle. It was five years ago that I decided to walk away from my old life and over the last five years I’ve learned that taking risks and believing in myself pays off.
And so when Chef Rouge worked 6-7 days a week through the summer, looking like a zombie with barely enough sleep to walk I encouraged him to quit his job.And when he shared he didn’t want to go back into someone else’s kitchen with new all new problems I agreed with him. And when he confessed he just wanted his own place I told him to go for it.
So Loka Snacks was born.
With only two weeks we launched a crazy idea featuring local food in the back of our favourite bar in the neighbourhood.
We pushed the first Loka Snacks event hard in social media and we had no idea that on the first night we’d have a 20 minute line out the door and I’d be crushed with expediting orders – the first time I’d ever worked in a kitchen. I’ve only ever been a diner.
And while the buzz moved onto the next new thing in the city we established the name and started working to create a brand.
Chefs and restaurants all over the city were reaching out to us to ask if we wanted to work with them. It became more of a nomadic restaurant as we trekked from East to West sharing Chef Rouge’s food.
We were overwhelmed with the kindness of media, sharing our story in Eater, Toronto Life, and so many others. People were responding to what Dave represented, someone who cared and just wanted to cook great food. No bullshit.
We didn’t need white linen. We often served on China we found at a church sale or plastic plates from our neighbouring Chinatown.
I’ve never seen Chef Rouge so happy.
It’s not easy. We don’t have money so we’re investing time and a lot of it. He continues to work 6-7 days a week but it’s different when you are building your own dream instead of helping someone else with theirs.
Sometimes you can get caught up in fighting the food fight that you can forget how far you’ve come. But after our last service in 2014 he created this video:
It reaffirmed everything I have done in the last five years. Traveling the world made me a better person. I am now more brave, unafraid of failing and able to support someone who needed a push to take a risk to follow his dream.
And I’ve realized this really is the year of focus, instead of wishing things could be different we are creating what we want. We don’t have Loka yet but we’re heading in the right direction.
2014 was an incredible year and I can’t wait for 2015.