'Where do you see yourself in five years time?' His slim reading glasses perched at the tip of his nose, recording every word I said with an emphatic scrawl of his pencil. I thought about it long, and hard. It is always the simplest questions that seem to have the hardest answers.
'I see myself doing something that I love, something which I enjoy, something for which I am excited to wake up for everyday. But most importantly, something where I'm learning new things everyday.' Yes, that was my answer. His face was expressionless, not a hint of emotion. Giving nothing away.
That afternoon, he called to say I had got the job. My first professional job as an optometrist. I learned on my very first day that one of the strongest reasons why I got the job was on the basis of that question I had answered. 'Most people said they see themselves working up the ladder, managing there own store, earning a certain amount. But you will not succeed unless you enjoy what you do. You will never be good at it unless you love it. And that's why I hired you over anyone else.'
My answer still stands today. Although I no longer work as an optometrist, I make sure whatever I do excites me, ignites a passion in me, satisfies me. Something which I look forward to, that gives me a sense of achievement. Something that I love and enjoy.
And that is exactly what photography does for me. I love creating images, artwork. Arranging plates and food to make the photograph look as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Carefully choosing props to enhance the food. Deciding on a color scheme, what angle to shoot the food from. Where to place the herbs.
From the day I picked up my point and shoot till now, that same fires burns within me. That same enthusiasm. That same feeling of trying a new adventure. And that is exactly what I did this last week. I decided to try something completely- shooting meat. And to complicate matters a little more, shooting it in a style I'm not familiar with.
I decided to try out high contrast 'dark' photography- completely out of style and character for me. It was a a fun journey though. Picking dark props, painting moody backdrops, using black reflectors and making friends with shadows.
So where are the somber images you ask? Well, they just weren't good enough to publish. As I said, it's a work in progress, a learning curve. But with a recipe that involves, enthusiasm, hard work and perseverance, I'm sure it won't be long before you see them on the blog.
Even if the photos were not up to par, the lamb cutlets certainly were. Juicy, spicy, lots of garlic and that grilled smoky flavor. And that is one of the reasons why I love my Le Creuset skillet grill. So much so, that I'm happy to give away one Signature Square Skillet Grill ($165) in a color of your choice.
To enter, leave a comment here telling me what is your favorite food to grill. The required entry must be done otherwise any extra entries will not count.
For more chances to win:
1. Follow @sipsandspoonful on Twitter and tweet the following: Enter to #win a @LeCreuset Signature Skillet Grill (ARV $165) from @sipsandspoonful #giveaway #lecreuset http://tinyurl.com/cv2vq6a
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3. Follow @LeCreuset on Twitter
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PLEASE REMEMBER: Leave a separate comment for EACH of your entries or only one entry will be counted.
If you already follow me on Twitter and Facebook and/or already subscribe to Sips and Spoonfuls let me know as well, since this counts as an entry.
Giveaway starts on 24/05/2012 and will run until 04/06/2012 at 11:59 pm PST.
Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
To enter leave a comment.
One winner with a valid entry will be selected at random. I will email the winner and they will have up to 3 days to claim their prize or another winner will be selected.
One winner will be selected at random to receive a Signature Square Sillet Grill ($165).
The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
Sponsors are as follows: Le Creuset, http://cookware.lecreuset.com
Above competition rules, regulations and guidelines from Gourmande in the Kitchen.
Grilled Lamb Chops with Garlic and Rosemary
8 trimmed lamb chops
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs soya sauce
4 birds eye chilies, minced (vary the amount depending on how much spice you can handle)
a few fresh rosemary sprigs
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
olive oil for frying
Marinate the lamb chops in all the ingredients. You can do this overnight or at least an hour before. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in your skillet grill over heat. Place your lamb chops in batches on the grill for 2-3 minutes on the first side. Turn over and cook for a further minute or so (cooking time will depend on how well done you like your meat). Remove from the grill pan and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.