My name is Madona (Dona) Giorgadze and I was born in the Republic of Georgia, Rustavi, a small industrial town inhabited with factory workers. Like many other kids, I was brought up in one of such families, who had the same kind of apartment as most of others in our building. Just like all the other people, my parents dream was to refurnish this three bedroom apartment and make it pleasant to live. And my dream was to have a comfortable armchair where I could sit and read romance and adventures books. Because of these dreams we had to sacrifice a lot and I had to wear to only ugly dress I had for a year on every party and pair of shoes that didn’t match with anything. I was almost finishing my high school when we had nice looking apartment with all necessary appliances there. The dream came true. But after we got those things due to the small sacrifice that seemed huge for me in that time, war for independence for Georgia started and we had no food, no power, no heat and not even water for days. To feed and keep family warm and healthy were the most important issues for each family. The rate of unemployment was increasing, inflation rate was crazy. My parents used to go out at 3 after midnight and stand in the long lines to get few loaves of bread for us. My dad made wood stove at home that was the greatest thing to have as we could cook on it and heat the home as well. A lot of my neighbors couldn’t even afford it and we used to gather around it in the cold winter evenings and help each other to overcome this period. I was first year student then and used to do all my lessons on the light of the candle as the power was for just couple of hours during the day and I remember sometimes 3-4 days we didn’t have it even for 5 minutes. It was very depressing. I felt I was getting crazy, I hated the darkness, light of the candle and the cold, frozen bedrooms. It’s hard to believe how people could survive both physically and emotionally. Many of them decided to leave the country and go abroad to work there and support their families. Mostly mothers, most of them teachers and doctors, as their income was incredibly law, had to leave their children, go far away, take care of other children or clean other people’s houses, wet their pillows at night missing the touch, the smell, the voice of their kids and send some money and presents to their sons and daughters, who were brought up without the love and care of their mothers and who could find the only happiness in those toys and clothes. I had to do the same thing for some time for my kids, but my case was a little different.
I often think, is our life planned destiny, where even small things happen without our interference, which leads to the bigger events in our life? Do we meet people who become important persons in the future, by chance or it’s not by chance at all?
In a nutshell, just three years ago I ended up in Ridgefield, CT with my two teenage daughters and my second husband, David, who is an American and lived here all his life. Being at home most of the time, I had nothing else to do but watching the food network and cook. Learning about new products, cuisines and recipes made me very excited and I started to cook myself, taking pictures of the food I made and posting on the Georgian website www.perfectcook.org. After joining newcomers club of Ridgefield and starting my own cooking club, I became more involved in this field and tried to educate people around me about the culture and food of my country.
Nowadays, I’m working as a private chef, meaning I cook for the busy families, who appreciate good quality, fresh and home cooked meals. My responsibilities include creating the menu together with the customer, do the shopping list, shop for the ingredients, prepare the dishes, organize and clean after everything is prepared. I absolutely love my job, making people happy and increasing the list of recipes.