Surrender All Fear!
Once you’ve reorganized your kitchen (see our Blog Post "Time to Get Organized" [Jan. 18, 2018] ) and learned to navigate your newly organized 'work place', you may decide it’s time to head to the nearest kitchen supply store. No doubt in the process of reorganizing you’ve discovered some new ‘needs’ that would probably make your job easier, and certainly a lot more fun. (But let’s, be honest: they are probably more ‘wants’ than needs) And after purging your kitchen of all those gadgets that have sat unused for months – maybe years, maybe you’ve never used them – you must feel that you’ve earned a little time at Sur La Table. You’ve been reading online about all those new tools to make your job easier, and you’ve been dying to experiment with some of them. Now, after all your hard work, you may feel you owe it to yourself to indulge in a few purchases. And you may be right. But not now. Not yet!
Now that you’ve cleared your kitchen (and probably your mind) of all those needless items, it's time for you to take a deep breath and stretch your muscles. While you may have a few aches and pains after all your hard work, we're not talking about your physical muscles.
We’re talking about the muscles required to be a successful home chef, muscles that will help you build endurance in the kitchen. Mental ‘muscles’ you may never have exercised before.
That is because cooking is really more of a mental exercise than anything else. So now that you’ve retaken physical control of your kitchen, it’s time for you to take control of your thoughts and emotions as you prepare to progress from being just a cook to becoming a Discriminating Home Chef.
Perhaps the greatest thing that separates the two is attitude. A cook often says, “I hope I can do this;” while a chef says, “I CAN do this.” You may think that is because a chef has more experience than you do – he or she may know all the techniques and flavor nuances of being a chef. But the truth is, chefs (even Home Chefs) have gotten there by surrendering all fear in the kitchen. They have convinced themselves that they are capable of establishing the right kitchen environment, the right technique, and the right ingredients to accomplish almost anything.
A chef takes control of his or her kitchen. Chefs are not afraid of failure; they understand that sometimes you may need to step back and start over. They persevere through the process until they have achieved what they set out to do. It may take them several attempts to get the desired results from a recipe, but they stick with it until they do. Or else, they decide a particular dish is never going to be in their repertoire, and they move on. They are able to do so because they are fearless.
So now, before you do another thing, it is time for you to SURRENDER ALL FEAR! You may have to do this many times before you are truly successful. So every time you step into your kitchen, surrender your fears. Tell yourself you can do this - and you can do this well! In fact you may even be able to do this better than anyone else. But that’s not what’s important. What is important is that you are no longer just a cook. You are in the process of becoming a Discriminating Home Chef. But remember - you can only do this by surrendering your fears! So do it now before you take another step forward in the culinary adventure. Surrender now, and never look back.