Blue Team, drop the Bouilla-base!

Ahoy there mateys!

Like I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been kind of back and forth between my career as an artist and my career as a chef. For the first time ever, in regards to cooking, my passion and skills are matching each other and are both at a high level. So basically I’ve decided I’m not going to hold back my culinary career any longer. The only thing that has been holding it back is myself. Whereas in comparison with my art career, there are other things holding me back, and there are hurdles that are going to take time to overcome. I’m not going to keep waiting for my art career to happen when I already currently have what I need to make a name for myself as a chef. If and when my art career can take off, that’s great, but I need to live in the now. For that reason, I’ve decided to step up to the plate, have some confidence, and let myself shine as a chef. With that said, this is what I’ve been up to.


I’ve applied to Chopped and am applying to Guy’s Grocery Games, and maybe some other shows. It doesn’t really matter which one, but I would really love to compete on the Food Network in some capacity. I’m very competitive and creative; I get to be creative every day now at my job. I’m cooking at a restaurant located inside of a Whole Foods Market. It’s a very unique opportunity to be able to directly interact with my customers, get to know them and their tastes, and be able to cook custom dishes for them. I love when customers bring me items from the seafood counter and ask me to prepare it for them. I’ve even had an octopus brought over for me to prepare!

I feel like this job has prepared me for an opportunity like this, especially GGG. For the chefs that usually compete on that show, it’s a once in a lifetime experience. For me, I already do that every day. I want to prove to myself that I can truly compete at this level. Also the money could do so much for me if I won, as well as one of my favorite charities.

The other thing I’ve been kicking around is the idea of bringing Maki Zavelli back to life. I’m not officially announcing the return yet, but I can say it definitely looks like it’s happening. I’m just taking it one day at a time right now. One thing you may notice if you’ve seen the old version is that I’ve re-designed the site. I am still kind of working on it, and making sure the bugs are fixed, but I’m happy with the new design so far.

I recently had my friend Rachel take some portraits of me at work in my element so I could use them on my Food Network applications. Everyone seemed to like this portrait the most so it’s the one I used for Chopped (below). It definitely tells the most about me. I personally like the ones with the red snapper though. (see previous post and about page) It was a lot of fun to be able to do this shoot at work and bust out my snazzy royal blue chef coat that I haven’t donned in ages!

The good news for the blog is that I have to submit photos of 3 different dishes for the GGG application so that means at the very least I’ll have 3 blog posts of dishes I’ve made in the next month. Also since this Lobster Tail Bouillabase was intended to be one of them, but I wasn’t happy with the look of it, (delicious though) it doesn’t end up counting as one of the 3. I really just HAD to have some big, juicy shrimp in this but we only had little ones that kinda shriveled up when cooked. Fortunately, the other day we had some beautiful, big shrimp for sale and I made a shrimp dish that I’m very happy with and I’ll be posting the photos from that probably this weekend. Maybe you can look forward to a Bouillabase post in the fall or winter.

For now though, I’m looking forward to a good (long) night’s sleep. I just finished working a whopping 9-day stretch. This means I have the weekend off even though I didn’t request it off.

Oh also the title of this post is a reference to the best video I’ve seen all year (and I’m a total YouTube nut so that’s saying a lot). I’ve been bothering all my co-workers to watch this, but they all always forget so maybe if they see it here, they’ll finally watch it >_>  (Julia Child definitely won) Bon Apetit!

Until next time,

May the fish be with you!

-Maki Zavelli



What’s that on the horizon there?




“What’s that coming out of the water…?”


I don’t even know what to say. But I guess I’ll just get it all out there…

I’ve been lost at sea for a while… um…hmm has it really been… uh 4 years?!

I’m sure you never thought I’d return. I’m sure I never thought I would either.

But alas, here I am, finally re-surfacing after all this time. Well maybe, or at least, temporarily.


I haven’t changed a bit have I? Actually, no I’ve changed so much, it’s kind of ridiculous.

You see, life has been kind of up and down for a while. Well not so much up and down, as it has been back and forth. I’ve spent my 20s really trying to figure myself out and just learn as many things as possible, and create! I love creating things. If there’s one thing I’ve learned overall is that it doesn’t really matter what it is, at the end of the day I just love to create.

Early in my 20s I wanted to be a chef. I started this blog. I loved it. It loved me. It was a beautiful thing. It was a lot of work.

It was a lot of work. I thought maybe the timing wasn’t right; it shouldn’t be this hard, should it?

It ended quite abruptly when I picked up and moved to a new area with no plan, friends, money,  or resources. Boy was that ever silly. I mean I learned so much and grew so much, but it sucked the momentum out of my sails in regards to the food blog.  I never even had food in my fridge, let alone have amazing food to experiment with and photograph. Maybe that’s why most food bloggers are bored housewives. I dared to be different, but couldn’t keep afloat and so I abandoned ship.

I made that move so I could work in good restaurants, and I worked in several. They were kind of chewing me up and spitting me out though. I was losing fire to start my food truck business (which was loosely based on this food blog). Ultimately, I was seeing my passion for food die. After working in the industry for awhile, I decided it wasn’t for me…

Through the tide of those turbulent waters, I was discovering new interests and passions and developing new unrelated skills as well. Since this blog, I have gone through 2 other entrepreneurial ventures. One was a pet photography business. I took what I learned from blogging and got a job in a portrait studio. Then I segued that into my own freelance venture. I was proud of what I did, but it wasn’t successful as a business and decided that it wasn’t for me either. (I would share the link to it, but I just found out that my site host made a change which essentially left my site in ruins, and I don’t have time to deal with it.)

I had also started creating art. I had a growing curiosity for sculpture. I started making derpy little figures and charms. With time and much patience, they got better and far more advanced. This is my latest venture. It’s what makes me the most happy. I decided I want to make a living as a sculptor/artist/designer. I’ve been focusing on that for the last few years, without giving cooking much of a second thought.  If you didn’t gather just from the way my blog was written, I’m a huge geek. Keeping that in mind, I’ll link my art here: 

After finding out that working at a portrait studio was actually hell on earth, I landed back in the restaurant industry after a few months of a private chef gig. All along, I wasn’t focusing on food, it was just holding me over until I could make my plunge as a professional artist.

Something else amazing happened though…

It started creeping back in. Like a slow trickle, barely making itself known, but it was there. As I fell into a position that required the utmost confidence, and the ability to create constantly, I soon found that my passion for food didn’t die — no, it just got buried underneath a sea of self-doubt. Now I’m a chef, and my job is crazy and interesting. More on that later.

I’m at a bit of a crossroads at the moment, but do I really have to be? Maybe just maybe it’s possible to walk down both paths… I don’t know what I will do. Stay tuned to find out? If anyone is out there…

I have no idea who is going to read this. I shipwrecked myself on a deserted island for ages while my readers all went on with their lives. I’m sorry I left, and I’m sorry this post is long. I actually have more important matters to discuss, but alas, I must leave this hanging on a cliff. 4 years is a long time. I never thought I would come back to this blog, but I’ve secretly always wanted to. It’s amazing to think of what could’ve been. Instead of looking back though, its important to keep moving forward.

Who knows what could be on the horizon…

Now if only I could remember my old send-off…over and out … you ol’ … rainbow trout?

…hmm that doesn’t feel quite right <_<;;