“There is no such thing as perfect food, only the idea of it”.
Professionalism is both give and take – it’s all about balance. We are in a business that is sometimes (most times) unforgiving. Yet we cook because it is our choice – no one forced us to be here.
By professionalism – I don’t mean within the textbook boundaries. Professionalism doesn’t come from a book – it is born from our own standards, morals, ethics and passions! These are things that you can’t learn from a book – you learn them from yourself and your own life experiences.
Some individuals in this business do things because they are told to do it a certain way – even though their own personal beliefs say otherwise. Now there is a fine line between thinking you know and knowing you know. Understand your mind and where it is at all times. Be aware what box your mind is in and whether that realm within your mind works within that box.
Foundation and commitment is the key to a straight and true path. Short cuts cause sloppiness, laziness, mistakes and loss of quality.
It is paramount that you approach cooking in the most unbiased way. Don’t expect something that you didn't earn – and on the other side don’t accept something that wasn't yours to accept.
Whether it is your uniform, punctuality, physical appearance, attitude or outlook – it all relates to the way we respect this profession. We are in a profession where we deal with ingredients that are or were living. They were all offered up to serve our desires, wants and physical sustenance. The least we can do is respect those things that serve our passions, so that they did not die for nothing. This may seem a strong statement but in reality it is simple truth. We owe it to that cod, squab or bison to give it the highest respect and honour when preparing, cooking and presenting it, so that it goes out with awe and a memory in the eye and palate of every customer.
Be as sharp as your knife, and as true as your conscience – learn the science and art of this business – cook outside your head. Not only will it make a better chef in the years ahead – it will make you a better person today!