joy - blocks - leap

A Note from the Chef

I know that everyone has had the experience of being out on a limb…way outside their comfort zone.

As a chef, my day to day skills are very low tech. In fact when it comes to cooking, the more low tech, the better…at least in most cases. Pasta tastes better when made by hand rather than by machine – so does bread, tomato sauce, dressing and on and on.

Recently I’ve had to become comfortable with being uncomfortable as I spent months, photographing my cooking, recording audio and learning new technologies to present a low tech skill and deliver it in a high tech way.

It’s the back story of my experience trying to finish a project that I’ve eluded to for weeks now. I’m so very close. All that stands between it and you is…technology.

Many months ago I decided to go pro with my online presence so I took classes, read books, purchased tutorials, got a new website, started contributing to other blogs and today I wouldn’t even recognize my old self. But never in this push did I image I’d be developing a cooking series such as the one I’m soon about to launch.

My inspiration took me by surprise, but so did my discomfort. I could cook and talk (at the same time even) on stage before live audiences, on TV and in my classes. But stick a microphone in my face, in an empty room and suddenly I couldn’t speak at all!

I knew that when it came to live events, I never focused on cameras or anything else except connecting to my audience. Picture the audience. Speak to a person, I was told. It didn’t help. But I knew I had come too far to let my fears stop me, so I persevered.

“Where was my old, natural self and why was this so hard?” I wondered as I recorded take after take…until one day…

It wasn’t.

I realized that I had forgotten about my fear as I focused on cooking a dish with you. All I wanted to do was guide you, tell you the things that would make a big difference in making a spectacular dish, as if I was right beside you.

I imagined how you would feel to have someone like me show you how to cook; like my mother showed me; like the years of professional experience perfected in me.

I imaged all the people out there who never had a mother, or father, or grandmother to teach them these practical skills necessary to take care of themselves and their family; that would bring so much joy and pleasure; that would last a lifetime and give them control over their health and well-being; connect them to the earth and each other, and so much more.

And the fear just naturally melted away like butter in a hot sauté pan. Thank God!

I knew while standing on that limb I had a choice. I could turn back or I could jump. I’m leaping.

And as I stand suspended in mid air waiting for the last glitches in the technology of all the moving parts to be worked out by some very savvy professionals…I know that these challenges have no power over something packed with loving intentions.

Wish me well my friends. It helps more than we can really know.

With loving gratitude,



And now to you. What limbs have you been on? What did you do to outside your comfort zone?

Or do you have words of encouragement for me and others? Tell me in the comments below. I read each and every one.



Photo Credit


  1. Corwyn January 23, 2014 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Well spoken, Chef. Each project I encounter is totally different. New challenges present themselves. There are a different group of investors, a new chef ( and you know how difficult they can be) a new supporting staff. We all have to submit to further advances and upgrades in technology that is beyond those of us outside the code writing or decoding culture. There is an ever changing and evolving social media planet, new products and companies coming at you everyday! Oh, and by the way deciphering the trending of recent concepts and which ones are working today and which will grow legs take an extraordinary amount of research.
    So leaping is an understatement and falling ( or even failing) has to cross our subconscious. But we wrap ourselves in a little insulation and dive in. Then it’s all about connecting with others; our supporting staff and associates; customers; vendors; community; even city planners! Our experience, with others is what it always comes back to. Pretty soon we’re gliding along the surface and realizing why we took the dive, or leap, in the first place. Thanks for the reminder.

    • chefsilvia January 23, 2014 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one out on a limb. And so glad you’re gliding!

  2. Marsha from January 23, 2014 at 11:34 pm - Reply


    I am so excited to see your videos!!! *I* am that person who never had anyone to teach them! Well done!!

    Re: going out on a limb: mine is all about marketing. For so long, I was the person people pitched *to*, so I find it SO hard not to feel pushy. But this is the year I reach the people who need my help with networking – and that has to be through marketing! Wish me luck!

    • chefsilvia January 25, 2014 at 4:13 pm - Reply

      Marsha, from what I see of your work you’ll have no problem. You have such a gift for easily connecting to others with a unique combo of humor and valuable know how. You go girl. I’ll be watching.

  3. mike toyoshima January 24, 2014 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    Hello Sensei,
    Happiest of New Years. I hope you are well.
    I read – with a smile – your description of the transition from ‘live’ teaching to that done on camera. In my job, I do troubleshooting of clinical laboratory testing by phone, email or live, as I travel to different cities and countries. My only reservation about teaching by webex, for example, is that laboratorians that cannot interact with me in real time may be missing one of the points that may later be essential to understanding the process of a successful patient outcome. Also, I am always nervous when ‘live’ until I reach a point in the presentation – thankfully near the beginning – where I realize that it is not about my nervousness, but rather that there is a message to convey whose importance is greater than my fear of speaking. I see you feel the same. Best of everything on your new endeavor. Having lessons that can be repeated (replayed) is best for technique-oriented training. Thank you for your inspiration in so many forms. Please do not post this message publicly. It is for you to read and know how much we appreciate your efforts and your history which you’ve shared throughout the years. Mike and Steven Toyoshima. Toyoshima Family Sushi.

  4. Sarah January 25, 2014 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Way to go Silvia!!! I”m so proud of you lady. Way to take that leap and connect!! More videos to come. Thanks for sharing your grand adventure. :-)

    • chefsilvia January 25, 2014 at 4:28 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sarah. Can’t wait to release it. So proud of it. Especially since both my kids helped me create it and I couldn’t have done it without them. Thank you for your encouragement.

  5. Shana January 26, 2014 at 10:24 am - Reply

    Beautiful, Silvia. So eloquently and simply put. Yes, what you do is absolutely needed. From our own places of abundance, in our own gifts we sometimes, even just momentarily, forget where we overflow are the very places others need. In this we are able to give & offer our gifts to help quench the thirst of those whom we serve. For me reminding people of their desire to create and the impact ther work makes fills me as much as it fills them what joy there is, for everyone, when we allow ourselves to serve by doing what we love. Brava, Silvia! You are a gift!

    • chefsilvia January 27, 2014 at 3:06 am - Reply

      Thank you Shana! Your comment means so much to me. And right back at you for eloquence “…where we overflow are the very places others need.” I couldn’t agree more. So many gifts everywhere and one heck of a party!

  6. Sonja Keller January 27, 2014 at 11:14 am - Reply

    I’m glad you went out on a limb Silvia. I love your recipes and you certainly inspire me from a cooking perspective AND a business perspective :)

    • chefsilvia January 27, 2014 at 9:01 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sonja. So glad you’re inspired!!!

  7. Lacy January 27, 2014 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    Ooooo! Can’t wait to see it, Silvia! Best of luck!

  8. nathalie January 27, 2014 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    You know I love your recipes, Silvia, and I cannot wait to see your new business idea. I’m sure a lot of people will hugely benefit from your audio class. But what I also love about your website are these incredibly inspiring posts. Thanks for sharing – we can learn so much more from you than preparing the most delicious meals :-).

    • chefsilvia January 27, 2014 at 10:09 pm - Reply

      Oh, Nathalie. This means the world to me. Thank you!

  9. Elise January 28, 2014 at 2:32 am - Reply

    Silvia! I am so excited for you and for all of us who get to invite you into our kitchens. I understand what you mean about feeling uncomfortable with the microphone. I get the same way. When you are just being yourself and in your element in the kitchen, it’s just easy. I am sure that you ended up getting into your groove, and we are all in for a treat…

  10. Lorna January 28, 2014 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    Silvia, I can’t wait until this wonderful product is available. Good for you for going out on that limb and taking the chance. You are going to help so many people with your laid back manner and amazing depth of knowledge. I can’t wait to have a chef in my kitchen!! Those glitches are going to get worked out and this product is going to take off. Well done.

  11. Lily January 29, 2014 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    I can’t wait to see your cooking series, Silvia. Huge congratulations to you. Such an accomplishment.

  12. Alejandra Ruani February 2, 2014 at 11:46 am - Reply

    Chef Silvia, you’re such a powerful inspiration, everything you touch becomes gold, your new web design is magnificent, fresh, delicious, just like your food!

    I adore you, and hey when are you going to send me a couple of recipes for the Health Divas fans??!



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