(Ralph’s note: Before I show you the show below, you may want to read a little history about it.)
As I write this, I recall my Social Science I class at the university several years ago. It was the first day of class, and we were asked to introduce ourselves and say something about our ambitions and dreams — I actually wondered why such information is relevant in such as class. I did share something very close to my heart. I wanted to become a broadcast journalist, and I actually became one. But I said, more than being a broadcast journalist, my dream was to have a show in which I will just travel — and eat.
I became a newsman for almost 5 years, and these were good times in my life. But I never really forgot my passion for food. I’ve been cooking since I was a child, and even as an adult, I enjoyed making dishes to serve to friends and family. I would imagine myself hosting a cooking show whenever I was in the kitchen, although I thought at the time that such would be a very remote possibility.
Well, life has its interesting twists and turns. I left the industry to answer another calling, which is to teach. And before I switched careers to my present day job, I took a three-month vacation, which included an opportunity to pursue a dream of watching Martha Stewart live in New York. It was a dream come true, and watching her on the set awakened my dream about cooking for the screen — whether it’s television or something else. And there were other things that have been reminding me to go for it, like the film Julie and Julia, getting to know more about the story of the great Julia Child. And realizing with the help of friends and family that what I possess as a cook — as a foodie — was something special. Sure, I’m not a culinary expert or genius. But what I cooked, somehow, made people happy. And making people happy with cooking, made me happy too.
But how do I do it? I have a day job. I’m happy with it and I have no plans of leaving it. I felt I didn’t have the budget for such a one-man endeavor. I didn’t have the time to pursue the dream. Etc. Bottom line, before I knew it, my excuses were piling up.
Around September last year though, I realized that if I were to pursue the dream, I needed to stop making excuses. I realized that more than external limitations, the biggest limitation was — me, myself. Challenges are a given. But in the end, pursuing a dream is making a decision to just do it. And add to these the need for a lot of prayers. And faith in oneself.
So what is the result of hobby plus ambition? It’s my new show, Comfort Zone with Ralph Guzman. It’s my birthday gift to myself. It’s a podcast — a foodcast. It’s a one-man production, with yours truly wearing five different hats all at once: foodie, host, producer, director, and editor. It’s a lot of hard work being both off-cam and on-cam, but I have been enjoying the ride, including the challenges producing a show brings. I do enjoy this new role as an independent producer, which means I call the shots without worrying so much or compromising on things the mainstream media would, understandably, need to work around with. And I enjoy being able to get the best of both worlds — having this great hobby, and still keeping my day job. So yes, I am not about to quit my day job.
The show, of course, is a work in progress. It’s a simple production. Low budget even. And there are many things I am, even as we right, continuing to improve. For starters, you might need a good set of speakers to hear me. There are small glitches here and there. But that is all part of the learning process and the fun.
I hope to do Comfort Zone once or twice a month, and I’ll see how it goes. You can access it primarily on YouTube and through RatedRalph.com, but I am also looking at other channels through which I could “air” this show. I’m not expecting the show to be a sudden YouTube sensation (but hey, why not?). My goal is to simply satisfy a dream. For sure, I won’t have any regrets 40 or 50 years from now about what might have been if I had produced that cooking show. I remember a Elizabeth Gilbert saying something about having a relationship with her pizza. For me, it is having a relation with food, too. But more than just food, I am most happy for this opportunity to share it with you. In my case though, I have chosen to make the opportunity myself instead of waiting to be discovered. Well, my opening spiels will explain it more.
I am also in the process of reformatting this website. True to pursuing my passion, RatedRalph.com is now a food blog, which was the original concept I had planned when I started blogging three years ago. So do visit the site regularly to see the exciting revisions and changes. Still, aside from food, I will write about important issues when there is a need. So I don’t see a need for a total departure from my journalistic roots.
As I show you my pilot episode, I would like to thank my friends and family for all their support. I’d like to thank my family for allowing me to work in the kitchen with peace (hehehe); my friends, colleagues, and classmates in my MBA for all their words of encouragement. And most especially to my girlfriend TJ, who, aside from commissioning a graphics artist to create the logo of the show, has never stopped believing in me and even pushing me to pursue this dream. Thank you, and I’m looking forward to celebrating with you tonight with dinner.
So friends, here it is — the pilot episode of Comfort Zone. I’m featuring three delicious recipes — Osso Buco, Creamy Spinach Spaghettini, and Hazelnut Kit Kat Brownies. Enjoy the show and I’m looking forward to hearing your comments.
Episode 1: Part 1 of 2
Episode 1: Part 2 of 2