Thank you so much to all of you who came by and visited us at the Student Leadership Conference (SLC). Whether we had you for a brief chat at the booth or whether we had you for our entire presentation – we’re grateful. What’s more, we’re even more inspired and excited to keep the passion alive.
And what better way to do this than jump right into a chat with another passionista??!
Featured Passionista #12
Ginette Legal is a transfer student from the University of Manitoba who is now in the Faculty of Science at our very own UBC. You’ll often find this lovely lady whipping up a storm in the kitchen or browsing through cookbooks in preparation to do so. Her passion is undoubtedly cooking but the love affair with food extends beyond her own kitchen – she’s always on the look-out for unique restaurants of all types.
T: How did you discover your passion for cooking and baking?
G: I’ve loved cooking from a young age. Having an older sister to look up to, I always wanted to do what she could. So, when she began baking with my mom, I, of course, wanted to as well. My grandma is also a wonderful baker. So when I would go over to her house, we would make cookies, and cinnamon buns, and any other yummy treat I wanted. For me, cooking is synonymous with family.
T: I love that – ‘cooking is synonymous with family’. Is there a particular cuisine you focus on?
G: I love to learn anything and everything there is about cooking. Every ethnicity has such rich and wonderful cuisines. However, my mom just bought me Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” for Christmas, so I’ll probably be focusing a little more on French food for the next couple months.
T: Nice! Please note I’ll be happy to be your official taster. What’s one of your favourite dishes?
G: My favorite dish to eat is sushi. I consider myself born Japanese in another life. However, my favorite thing to cook right now is pasta. I received a pasta maker about a month ago, and I am amazed at how easy it is to make fresh pasta!
T: Any secret recipes you can un-secret with us?
G: Haha, I have no secrets. You want to know a recipe for something, and I have no problem sharing. I think the best way to really grasp a recipe though is by getting in the kitchen with someone and getting your hands a little dirty!
T: What role does cooking play in your life?
G: For now, cooking is my escape. If I’m stressed, tired, lonely, whatever, I just get in the kitchen and whip something up. It’s also my way of showing people I care. Cooking for myself is no fun. But, getting the chance to make something for someone else that they love and appreciate is such a huge reward for me. I hope to eventually make cooking a career too, but we will see what the next few years hold.
T: Is there anyone in particular who inspired this interest? Or should I say, passion?
G: I have many inspiring female cooks in my life – my mom, my sister, my grandma, and now my sister-in-law. They all cook some really great food. But I think what has continued my passion for excellence in cooking is my dad. He has always encouraged me when it comes to cooking. He praises me when he loves something I make, he gives me pointers when something tastes a little off, and he is always willing to be my guinea pig!
T: What keeps you motivated in life?
G: My friends. Hands down, I have some of the most amazing friends anyone could ask for. If I’m happy, discouraged, upset, angry – I know I can always turn to one of my girlfriends for support. I would not be the person I am today without them.
T: Tell me about one of your greatest challenges and what you did to overcome this?
G: One of my greatest challenges so far was moving away to Manitoba last year for school. Aside from my sister and a few extended family members, I knew no one in Winnipeg when I moved there. For some people, a move is an exciting adventure, but for me it was really hard. I missed my family, my friends, and just my life in general in BC. And when I was done my second term, I decided to move back. But, going to Winnipeg is not a regret in my life. I needed to leave Vancouver to realize just how much I have here.
T: Who do you turn to or what do you do to gain perspective and keep grounded in life?
G: My dad. He may be a little black and white in his views of life, but when I have a tough decision to make, he always makes things seem so simple. I’m a very indecisive person; I analyze everything. So, to talk to someone who is so straightforward helps me gain perspective.
T: What’s your big dream?
G: I want to open a catering business. I would love to work from a small kitchen in Vancouver, with only a few employees, and cater local events. I can’t think of anything more exciting than to be able to pick seasonal food, and create a personal menu around it to be enjoyed by others. Add on a perfect husband, three kids, and a killer home in West Van. And I’d be set for life 🙂
T: That sounds incredible! Wishing you soo much luck – catering and beyond. Any final thoughts?
G: I think we all contemplate where we should focus our energy in life. For me, I’m in this limbo, trying to decide university or culinary school, and frankly, I haven’t decided just yet which career I’ll choose. But, my best advice so far is to think of the “Live each day as if it was your last” concept. If I had a year to live, would I feel more fulfilled knowing I had spent it studying to be a dietitian, or studying to become a chef? And, we all have to remind ourselves to not take life so seriously. This is a learning experience. If you thought you were passionate about one thing, but find yourself slowly being drawn to something else, well, it’s never too late and you’re never too old to try something new.