Monday, April 06, 2009

Pursuing Your Passion Interview- Bethel Honan

I am happy to share the first of a series of interviews that I am calling Pursuing Your Passion. Inspired by my own (longtime) journey with juggling my career as an artist with my day job and how best to make it all work!  Often the only thing that gets me through the difficult times is connecting with others who share the same lifestyle and there are so many of you out there who are raising a family, growing your dream life, pursuing your passion, working late into the night on your ideas after spending the day at the office. I have found inspiration and comfort in other’s stories and want to begin to share that inspiration on my blog.

Bethel Honan

The first person I interviewed is one of my childhood friends Bethel Honan. For as long as I have know Bethel she has been full of creativity, energy and always had a passion for food. Growing up in a small coastal town can be limiting with resources and inspiration but Bethel has always been on a mission to pursue BIG things and is putting her drive and energy to into her dreams. After marrying a man who is a hunter and fisherman she found there weren't very many recipes for the fish and game her hubby was bringing home.  She decided to put her culinary background to use and began developing dishes of her own, then created a website and started assembling recipes- Bethel is now developing a business, growing a plan and juggling life at the same time!

Describe what you do?
I currently work as a Real Estate Broker but with
the state of the economy I also took on a part time job.
The past month I've been working almost 7 days a week.  My fridge
is bare, the clothes are piling up and my poor dogs are neglected.  I
have three dogs and a husband who likes to eat. Oh, and did I mention I have
this amazing website and business idea that I really want to get going?  
I have been struggling with time management and haven’t had
lot of time to put into the website.  I decided to make a change and 
I'm backing off real estate a bit and working from home, on my time.  Making this decision has mentally made
things easier for me.  Now, with all this extra time I can cook for my
husband, write recipes, take photos of my food, and post it on
the site and focus more on growing my business. This whole real estate thing has been quite a
test- I started making good money these past few months and
but it took time away from my creativity.  I couldn't tell you the last meal I cooked that wasn't in a
hurry.  I know I made the right decision because money isn't my drive. 
I just want to pay the bills and create, is that so much to ask?

Do you have formal training?
I attended Western Culinary Institute in Portland Oregon in 1997 and I
finished up their program a year later.  I guess you could say I received
formal training but the reality is my love for food and cooking wasn't
something I was "trained" to posses.  I did learn some fundamental
elements for cooking like how to make every sauce in the world or proper
way to tie a roast.  

Where does your passion for cooking come from?
I'm not sure where it came from or how one person can have a passion for cooking and the other be totally afraid of the idea.  I guess if I really dive into this I could say that I come
from a very, very, large family.  My mother's side are all Hispanic and we
spent most of my childhood around a table of food, or at a potluck
celebrating.  There was always an excuse to celebrate something
and the food acted as a reason to gather.  I fancy
myself to be creative and for some reason God has decided that the
creativity I posses would be demonstrated in food.  Not only do I love to
cook, but I love to set the table, invite camaraderie, drink wine,
basically make it a social event.  When I'm at home with my husband and
I'm trying a new recipe I like to examine what I cooked, think about
how I can do it better, and challenge myself to try it differently by
adding a dash more of this or a pinch less of that in order to get it just
right.  It's kind of like a game or I'm a mad scientist!!

Where do you find inspiration?
I'm inspired by what others do. I'm totally visual I
love magazines, tv programs, a conversation with someone who has cooked
something a certain way. Lately, I've been inspired by other cultures and
how I can take their recipes and local ingredients and give my own spin.
I'm also inspired by my own taste buds.

What is your favorite dish to cook?
Lately I've been into two dishes. The first is the Elk Parmesan on the
website, the other is the Grilled Sesame Venison (also on the website). 
Both are pretty easy to cook and if you cook it just once you will be able
to whip it out the next time. Those recipes are always crowd pleasers.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I'm not sure this question could go unanswered without me writing a book.
Five years from now I'm in that dream house which I have already picked
out. It's on the top of a hill in Cannon Beach- most importantly it has this very large, amazing kitchen with all the colors
and details I would want in a kitchen! I see myself running a very successful website where I
could focus ALL my time on continuing to grow it. My home would be my office, my test kitchen,
my design studio, my inspiration. I will employ a few key family members
to assist with the projects. I will be touring the country learning from
others just like me and their methods of preserving, cooking, storing, and
creating wild food dishes. Lately I have this vision of creating a
canning section on the website and I'm at home making
batches of canned bolognase sauce, berries, jam, tuna, etc. in the "test"
kitchen. My husband Steve would be able to work only if he wants to and
if he decides not to then he would spend most of his time doing what he
loves which is hunting and fishing. He's the happiest when he's outside
doing those things and in turn it would create more food for the website
to test recipes on. I see us working together within 5 years each
supporting each other in our passions. I better stop there because I
could even tell you what my outfit would look like!

What is a typical day like?
My typical day is juggling a few jobs, on the phone a lot, making sure all
three dogs have eaten. By the evening my husband has come home and I'm trying to figure out
what to cook for dinner.  I find time to visit the site, email a few people, work on the next step
 and then sit down to watch American Idol. Not exciting but
within a year my days will look like what I wrote in the 5 year plan.

Why is it important to pursue what you love? 
It's important for me to pursue what I love because it makes me happy. I
want to be happy and I'm saying "no" to things that don't make me happy
and "yes" to things that do.

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1 comment:

kim said...

Thank you...I always enjoy reading about others who are pursuing their passion.


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