Philly and the Single Lesbian

Manipulation in the kitchen - and the bedroom. By Crystal Fox

My whole profession is surrounded by manipulation. My job – six days a week, 12 hours a day – is cooking. If someone asks me what the core of my profession is, the answer will always be manipulation.

Manipulation of cooking times. Manipulation of heat sources. Manipulation of dining room experiences. Manipulation of ingredients. Essentially, manipulation of everything within my reach. There is not one day that goes by that someone isn’t asking me to manipulate an ingredient or a dish to create something better. After awhile, one is consumed by it. How can you take nothing and manipulate all environments and products to finish with the best end result?

It takes tweaking. And fine tuning. Tasting and touching. It’s about using all five sense, all the time, in very rapid secession. Sometimes it even requires scrapping everything and starting over from scratch.

After cooking for nearly five years now, manipulation comes very second nature to me. It’s almost mechanical. You know just by the very way the oil begins to jump in a pan at what degree that oil has reached, and whether it’s time to put in the protein for the perfect sear.

The biggest falsehood in cooking is the belief that “anyone can cook.” The missing ingredient in a lot of individuals that pick up a pan is passion. The same goes for dating.

But is it possible that love and manipulation can go hand in hand? Professionally – for me – they do. It’s symbiotic. But what about personally?

I wish I had the same perceptive eye on dating that I have in the kitchen. I wish I was able to better read the signs that are given to me and to use my senses with women as effortlessly as I do on the stovetop.

Why is the one thing that carries me through my profession and helps me with the desire to progress – my heart – the very same thing that stands in my way in relationships?

Crystal Fox is a chef in Center City who is dating again. Will she find love. Stay tuned.