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“Five more minutes, Mum!” I said and sprinkled a bit of cheddar on our omelettes.

“Thank you, Gary! I’ll be right down!”

I smiled and placed two plates on the counter next to me, turning down the heat a little as I went. Breakfast was ready, but Mum had a long morning routine. She spent a few hours every morning on some focusing yoga routine, and got up long before I did to fit everything into her morning. She started work at nine am every day, so there wasn’t much time.

That’s why I made breakfast! I loved cooking, and that way we both had something warm to eat before I left for school and Mum went to work. Mum was a cop and needed the energy, and I was happy to cook just for the sake of it. Mornings could be hard, but when the house smelled of pancakes, or french toast?

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We were lucky to live so close to a river. I always spent some time at the weekend catching fresh fish for our dinners, and it was a great break from school and homework.

Not as great as my garden, though.


When I had first shown an interest in cooking, not just with helping Mum set the table, Mum had suggested setting aside a small spot in our garden for me to grow my own fruit and veg. I hadn’t been convinced at first, but I got into it quickly. It was so rewarding to see the tomatoes I had planted sprout and gain colour, and there was nothing better than a dinner cooked with my own ingredients.

I didn’t think that Mum had expected it to last, but five years later and my little garden was our primary source of fresh food.
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Mum was my inspiration. She loved cooking almost as much as I did, and it was because of her that I got into it at all. She always asked me if I wanted to help her when she made lunch, or dinner, and once I was old enough to do most of it myself she let me. She still operated the hob and oven until I was older, but I loved doing as much as I did.

Besides Mum, I watched cooking shows on TV. I got so many ideas from them and usually couldn’t wait to try them. Mum was my first food tester, and often Grandma and Grandpa Milan volunteered as well.
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There was so much I could do with food. It could be refreshing, warming, comforting, memory-evoking, and it made people feel good. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my life than by doing just that.

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Mum and I were close. I never knew my Dad, and I had no siblings, so Mum and I spent a lot of our free time together. We usually watched the Great Simtonian Bake-Off with dinner, or Sim Chef, and we always bounced ideas. Cooking wasn’t Mum’s calling, but she always had ideas for me regardless. At school most of the kids either hated their parents, were caught in the middle of a divorce, and tried to spent as much time away from home as possible. I didn’t know my Dad, but Mum and I were nothing like that. When I was younger Mum had told me why I didn’t know my Dad, and what Grandpa Milan had done for our family. I had been sad at first; I didn’t want to fall in love and get married right now, but knowing that I’d never have that option still hurt. Still, Mum and Grandma were hopeful. They said that the universe was righting itself. That my child might have a chance at love.

But that was way too far in the future. When Mum had told me all that she had said that it was her and me against the world, and that’s exactly what we were. My family was weird and complicated, and according to Grandpa Milan we shouldn’t even be here,but we were closer than any other family I knew.

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Grandma and Grandpa Milan lived close to us, and usually Mum and Grandma talked every other day over the phone, but we still went out together once a month to catch up. That was my other source of inspiration – the places we went to were amazing, and the food we had there was what had made me realise what I wanted to do with my life.


I was going to be a chef, and maybe one day I’d own my own restaurant.


Just to give you a quick update of where everyone’s at: Sophia is lvl 9 in her career now, so she’s very nearly there!

Gary’s aspiration (in case you couldn’t guess from the chapter) is Master Chef, and his traits are Good, Neat, and Essence of Flavour, which he got from his aspiration. He’s currently lvl 5 of the cooking skill, lvl 3 of the fishing skill, and lvl 2 of the gardening skill 🙂 I’ve given him the side mission to create ambrosia for Sophia, hence the fishing and gardening skills ^-^

I also didn’t have time to edit this, and because it’s not my book I’m trying not to care so apologies if there are mistakes in this 🙂