Play with your Food!
Big things often have small beginnings – a little spark that becomes a blaze (I’m a Springsteen fan get used to it). If you’re ever lucky enough to experience that don’t ignore it. Keep your eyes up because it can be anything from buying a cheap grill at a yard sale to biting into a perfect macaron.
My name is Nick Wuest and I can’t stop playing with my food.
My journey to this very exciting point in my life is long, sad, elating, and just plain weird so I’ll keep it brief. After depression fueled eating problems had me too scared to eat anything not prepared by my own hands I found myself cooking more and more. Lo and behold the more I did it the better I felt. For the first time ever I was actually really good at something! Cooking became my outlet for all of the negative energy I had in me. It was perfect. I could focus all of my obsessive tendencies on learning about what I was making down to the chemical level and exhaust myself physically and mentally in the process.
As I healed I found myself learning more and more that food has a power. It’s so much more than just a necessary part of life. It’s a tool to bring people together, to cheer someone up, to transport a person’s senses somewhere else. To put it simply food is magical.
It’s that magic I’m searching for when I say I can’t stop playing with food. I’ve picked a career that requires both extreme levels of devotion and sacrifice. I harbor no illusions that this will be easy, but I also believe it should never stop being fun.
I worried about holding onto that mentality after starting Pastry Arts at The ICC right up until I met John Davis and he gave me a tour of the school. As soon as I met him and the students and faculty I felt … home, a feeling that was only reinforced by my chef-instructor Chef Tom Jones. That same excitement is so palpable and infectious I’m glad it’s unique to The ICC because if college was like this I’d be a brilliant historian stuck in a library somewhere instead of working five days a week in a kitchen where I belong.
So I was thrilled when I was approached to write for the school. Food is about a shared experience (secret recipes are lame) and I’m honored to be able to do that with students and faculty new and old. My hope is for these posts to be as educational as they are entertaining much like the food I like to cook.
Check out my Frozen S’more recipe.
This blog post was originally published by the International Culinary Center (ICC), founded as The French Culinary Institute (FCI). In 2020, ICE and ICC came together on one strong and dynamic national platform at ICE's campuses in New York City and Los Angeles. Explore your culinary education where the legacy lives on.