Monday, March 2, 2009

#49 - 03 March 2009 - "Inspiration"

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." - Albert Schweitzer.

I received that quote as a measure of thanks from a fellow instructor at The Art Institute and it was overwhelming to know that I made a difference in someone else's life. Isn't that what our talents are to be used for...? Whether student, client, guest or cohort - I strive to bring my best qualities to the classroom, home, restaurant and office. Hopefully - every day...

Who inspires you? Your Mother? Father? Spouse? Children? Your teachers, your boss or your neighbors...? Nature - the ocean, the mountains, the plains or the desert? Yes, to all? You never know where inspiration will come from. Just be open to the possibilities. I gather strength from family and friends, for they know me best. I have several chefs who "live on my shoulders", like angels who remind me to work clean and cook with my heart. There are memories of long ago instruction and lifetime of restaurant experiences that I relive and rely on EVERY DAY THAT I COOK. Certainly, for me, my professional inspiration comes from the place that I have toiled for the past two months - The French Laundry. - as it has for the past ten years.

I suppose that one is inspired when they choose to be inspired. I am always thinking about food, looking for new things and re-imagining the old. I try not to stagnate, love a new challenge and happily read about what is currently brewing and simmering in the kitchens of America and beyond. Ultimately, it comes down to method, technique, the quality of your ingredients and your desire. Inspiration, by itself, can't cook - it can't delegate, organize or clarify. The end result of our labor is a direct result of who we are. Get inspired. Peace.