Have you heard of Toastmasters? Well it’s an international organization with clubs across the world whose members work on improving their communication and leadership skills. I was ecstatic to hear that my new company has a club called the AECOMmunicators. As a new member I have slowly started to understand the process and assignments. When you join you login in and fill out a questionnaire that helps you pick your pathway for learning. I got the Visionary Communication path which is designed to help build skills as a strategic communicator and leader. For the first assignment they call it the ice breaker speech where you have to prepare a 4-6 minute speech on any topic you like. While I was brainstorming different ideas I thought about how I wanted it to be personal, funny and relatable so I ended up with the title Picky Eater to Cooking Enthusiast!
I have edited down my speech into a written format for you to enjoy.
“When you look up the term picky eater on google it is defined as: a person that is selective about what they eat. They have an unwillingness to try new foods as well as have strong food preferences.
Well that definition pretty much sums me up. Growing up my parents and family would call me a picky eater, well technically they still do!
I was the kid who always refused to try new food, especially if the food looked odd. Basically if I didn’t know what it was or if I haven’t had it before it wasn’t going anywhere near me. Because of this I have always stuck with what I liked and kept it simple. Which also led to another nick name my family gave me. Plain Jane.
I kept my food simple like cheese pizza, chicken fingers, and no condiments. I know it might seem odd that I didn’t eat condiments for example if I had a hot dog or burger it would be completely plain, just meat and bun. But I am happy to report that once in a blue moon I will put a slice of cheese on a hamburger. Still no condiments but I call that progress, right?
A lot of times people view picky eaters as difficult or challenging but I see it as I am very easy to please.
There is one incident that my parents still bring up to this day. When I was young probably under 10, we were having Christmas dinner and my mom prepared my plate for me and filled it with turkey. I asked her what was on my plate and she continued to tell me it was turkey. So I turned around and said I don’t eat turkey I only eat chicken. And of course I added a bit of a sassy tone to that.
My mom proceeded to do what most parents with stubborn kids would do; she went back to the kitchen and just moved the food around on my plate and told me she got me chicken and of course I ate all of it! My parents also got me to eat roast beef by telling it me it was brown chicken! Props to my parents for getting creative.
Now fast forward to adulthood, you would think or at least hope that as I got older my palate would develop but at times I think I just got more stubborn. To this day my dad keeps trying to get me to try new food, just the other weekend he was trying to get me to eat mushrooms. Needless to say I have been making baby steps my whole life with trying new foods. But oddly enough I love spending time in the kitchen cooking and baking.
I grew up helping my parents in the kitchen and I have become slightly obsessed with the food network and cooking competition shows. Some of my favorite shows are Guys Grocery Games, Master Chef, Top Chef, Beat Bobby Flay and Best Bakers in America. Because of my interest in cooking and baking over the last few year my parents have given me kitchen appliances for my birthday and my favorite pieces are my cast iron pan and kitchen aid mixer.
For me being in the kitchen cooking or baking is extremely relaxing, a way to get creative and a way to spend quality time with others. Some of my favorite things to make are short bread cookies, open face apple rose pie, roast beef and pork tenderloin. I’m looking forward to trying new recipes and hopefully expand my food experiences.”