Bohémian is a French word that was translated from the Czech word Boheme – derived from an actual place called Bohemia where gypsies lived in great numbers. Over the years, the French translation was used to describe artists who lived a similar lifestyle as the “Gypsies” of Bohemia.
Let’s define bohémian a little more. Bohémian is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, in the company of like-minded people: artists, writers, journalists, musicians, actors, etc.
What do all these artists have in common? Mostly they all possess an uncaring attitude toward the disapproval of their lifestyle by the rest of society. The bottom line is that bohémians generally do not live by the norms of society and disregard conventional standards of living.
Now, what about culinary artists? All definitions of the French word bohémian mentions artists, writers, journalists, musicians, and actors. But, not one mentions chefs. Possibly you could squeeze many chefs into the artist’s category, but in a true context, not all chefs are artists but most definitely a lot of chefs (artist or not) live a bohémian lifestyle.
Chefs live outside the confines of “normal” in terms of career paths. The culinary arts call for an overall commitment to learning all one possibly can about gastronomy. If success is measured in wealth and material goods, most bohémians stand no chance. But in the end, if your life is measured by happiness, an unwavering commitment to who you really are, then conventionals and nonconventional alike can enjoy moments of Bohémian Happiness.
A true-life balance is what will allow for a successful artistic life that will in time reap monetary rewards. Living solely for passion and art once again is not for everyone. Live and let live is not a mantra that everyone lives by. Chefs eventually face the same fate. Do they take a more conventional chef job or remain submerged in a culinary arts lifestyle. This kind of dedication to cooking is what dignifies the craft and gives true meaning to the word art in culinary arts.
Bohémians in general, regardless of their profession or artistic passion, should be recognized and respected for their contributions to society just like conventional types are. As the saying goes, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. And, there’s more than one way to live a life.
Language or labels can be used as tools to disguise the truth. This has been a fact since the beginning of time. The term bohémian can be used to keep a group of people down, moving them to a permanent place outside of society. However, if we refrain from using the word bohémian towards a group of people and replace it with artists people tend to want to know more. Just by changing the label of bohémian to an artist the outcasted bohémian now becomes a trendsetter and is admired for their passion, contribution to the arts, and great perseverance. Bohémians must not waver in the face of adversity and labels. Just rise above the “norm” with your uncanny passion and talent. It will be recognized and it will be rewarded in time.
A bohémian lifestyle has everything to do with freedom, expression, tradition, and passion. Yes, modern-day bohémians want nice things too just like their conventional counterparts. The big difference is that they need fewer material things. Success does not always bring true happiness but it does create an air of great accomplishment regardless of what realm of life one lives in.
In the end, regardless of your path in life, we all come full circle if we live long enough. Bohémian or not, love your life. Live and let live. Go after your dreams, conventional or unconventional as they may seem. Most of all, allow others to be who they are even if they don’t conform to your norms. Bohémian is only a word, it’s not a disease. You won’t catch it if you don’t want it! True contentment is found in remaining genuine to one’s self and living happily with a touch of bohémian bliss.
“DESIGN YOUR DISH ~ DESIGN YOUR LIFE.”