Have you ever noticed how some people seem to be celebrating Valentine’s Day every day? They don’t share their love on February 14th only—they are bursting with love year-round for every person they encounter.
Someone I know who celebrates Valentine’s Year is chef Keith Norman. Every time I watch Keith work a room, he shows empathy and a deep desire to understand. (That’s what love is all about!)
Keith is an executive chef for the South Point Hotel Casino and Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada and the equivalent of C.O.O. for South Point’s 11 restaurants.
But he’s not like any other chef: he goes out of his way to love people with severe food allergies by preparing delicious food they can eat—as well as training other chefs to do the same. This is an issue especially close to my heart: I spent too much of my childhood in a hospital room because I unknowingly had Celiac disease, which I now control by avoiding all gluten.
One of my favorite stories about Keith is a time that he cooked for Kendall, a young woman who is severely allergic to 95% of all foods. She spent more than 30 days in a coma as an infant because of her allergies, and since then she’s been resuscitated dozens of times from eating allergen-contaminated foods.
Before she ate a meal prepared by Keith, she had eaten only baked potatoes for a year in order to avoid a reaction. Keith was not only able to make her feel comfortable; he was willing to go the extra mile to make sure her food was prepared perfectly, with zero chances of contamination. For him, this isn’t a hassle—it’s his honor to prepare a meal for guests who may not have had “normal” food since their last anaphylactic reaction.
Since then, he’s prepared many meals for Kendall and thousands of others with severe food allergies.
So, as you celebrate Valentine’s day by delivering flowers or calling to say “I love you,” I challenge you to be like Keith and extend that loving spirit to everyone you encounter all year long.
I love spending quality time with Keith and witnessing his abundant compassion. He also completely embodies the “living the dream” mindset. Keith has always dreamed of getting his love for food and life into print, so for the past year and a half, we’ve dreamed big together.
I’m so happy to announce the upcoming release of his new book titled Allergen Awareness: A Chef’s Perspective. It’s a heart-warming manual for both chefs in the food industry and people with allergies in the family. I know it will change the culture of food preparation and make meals safer for everyone! (To find out more about Keith and his passion for food and helping people with food allergies, click here to read a blog I shared about Keith last year.)
Do you have a lifelong dream like Keith did? One of my favorite things is working with people who are ready to make their goals happen or strategize their next career move. If that’s you, let’s do a VIP day together! In a VIP strategy session, we’ll collaborate to find out how you can follow your passions and pour out your love into the world. Email me to schedule yours now!
P.S. A Valentine’s tip for romantics out there from one of my mentors Dave Coleman, A.K.A the dating doctor. Rather than giving your sweetheart a dozen roses, give just one rose. They’ll appreciate the single rose even more—and you’ll have more money to spend on dinner.