The kitchen is a place of comfort for all people. While for some it allows creativity to run wild, for others it simply brings a feeling of content as we open the pantry door to find a bowl of succulent chocolate chip cookies waiting to be devoured.
For my dad however, the kitchen provides much more than just contentment. It’s joy, it’s excitement, and it’s most importantly, nostalgic. Being born and growing up in a small village in Bosnia and Herzegovina, my father and his large family had always experienced limitations. Money, education, opportunities. However growing up on a farm did provide an advantage in the form of produce.
As my dad graduated from high school, he perpetuated his love and passion for food and cooking when he moved to the island of Brač, in the neighbouring country of Croatia. It was here in a popular grand hotel located on the island that my dad worked his way up to one of the head chefs in the hotel’s restaurant. Although he emigrated to Australia in the late 1980s, the distance did not prevent my dad from further continuing his passions, as he began a job as a chef in a popular Croatian restaurant located in Darlinghurst, ‘Balkan’.
Although a career change occurred for my dad where he now works as a plasterer, the opportunity of cooking home-cooked meals for my family provide immense delight to my dad, as he’s heavily reminded of his unique culture, his younger life, and his love for food.