Three Tips to Hone your Creative and Culinary Edge

October 5, 2011

Thanks so much for these strong tips from Chef Scott Green. He read them on the Ideas In Food blog and was kind enough to pass them along. I encourage everyone to read them below and also the full post at Ideas In Food. Every chef should read and take something from these tips.

1. Be curious. Our favorite question in the kitchen is “why?” Finding out why things work or why they interact the way they do or simply why something tastes so good often leads to those inspirational “a-ha” moments. Never assume you know the answer to someone else’s question. If you’re curious about how someone did something then (respectfully) ask them. Their approach may surprise you. In this world of social media and shallow relationships, being able to reach out and make an actual connection with someone by sharing ideas is priceless. Creativity doesn’t flourish in a vacuum. We all need stimulation to stay motivated.

2. Be a problem solver. Never be afraid to try something new. Failure is your biggest success in the kitchen. Sound counterintuitive? Failures force us to look at things from a new perspective and take some chances. Success breeds complacency. The long road uphill is a lot more rewarding than the quick tumble down a slippery slope. Never assume something won’t work until you try it yourself. Even if you don’t get the results you want you will probably learn something valuable in the process. Time is never wasted if you gain new insights that will help you toward your goal.

3. Relax and enjoy yourself. Try to have fun with whatever you’re doing. Enjoy the hot breeze on your cheeks from the grill or the sizzle of the sauté pan. Look around the kitchen and revel in knowing that you’re part of a team sharing a common goal, to create a wonderful dining experience, be it at home or in a restaurant. Inhale and enjoy the scent of food cooking. Relax at the table with friends and family and take the time to really enjoy your meal. The memories you create will make you a better cook. The times when we get stuck creatively are the times when we think too much, put too much pressure on the idea of success and try to carry the load by ourselves. Smile, roll your shoulders and enjoy the process. Once you conquer this challenge there will be another. Might as well have fun with it.