A Chef’s Life…….Taboo?


Many people in today’s society think that “Chefs”, generally speaking, live a glorious, enjoyable, stress-free life. This may be true… when we are sleeping. The honest truth is we stress over work even in our sleep!You can take a cook out of the kitchen, but you can’t take the kitchen out of the cook.

My nameis Kenny Raponi and I have been working in the hospitality industry since I was14. Now, at 26 years young, I still have so much to learn as aperson, as a cook and as an individual. My newest culinary endeavor is takingon the position of executive chef at Tabu Grill.Now, not having ever run a kitchen on my own, I knew this task wouldn’t come easy. So being the challenge-driven individual I am, I took this opportunity to provenot only to myself, but to others around me, that we all need a little challenge and even some failure to keep us focused and driven.

I have been working at Tabu now for a year and I absolutely love it! I work within walking distance of the ocean. I can see the crystal blue waters of Laguna Beach and Catalina Island on any given day from the Tabu Kitchen. Now don’t get me wrong, I would much rather be surfing in that water, rather than just looking and wishing……but hey, everyone needs to wish, right? The people I am surrounded with at Tabu are unlike any those at any other restaurant I have worked in. It’s a second family away from home. We all have our ups and downs,our heated moments during service, but in the end it’s those incidences that make us all closer.

A self-starter? I think in some cases I would say that about myself. But I can also say that sometimes I need a little motivation. A self-starter to me is someone that doesn’t need direction, not that they can’t take direction, just an individual who takes initiative at work, and in life. A self-starter doesn’t necessarily need incentives to complete projects, self satisfaction is all they need. Cooking is all I need to be happy……well and maybe women and the ocean, but Ineed my food! And I think if you ask any Italian what his favorite all-time meal is, most likely it’s home cooked by mom.In my case it’s home made pasta and marinara with toasted Italian bread crumbs.