Netflix has a great series called “Chef’s Table”, highlighting one chef, their history and work in each episode. Alain Passard is one of their highlighted chefs in the most recent season. He starts the series by saying to the camera, as if it asked “why do you cook?”
“at age fourteen, I told myself I wanted to be a chef, and I have never changed my mind.”
The guy goes on to share why he keeps cooking, why he only cooks vegetables, his ethos for creativity, and why they don’t write anything down in recipe books: “This forces us to keep looking. Next year I don’t want to make the same recipes I did last year…Its not easy, but what food we dine on! I have chills some days because some days i’m afraid – am I going to find that recipe? will something happen before our very eyes? When you close your eyes whats important? You’ve spent your day taking risks. You’ve made some people very happy. Each day, that is my challenge.” This guy says this stuff with such enthusiasm, such child-like excitement (he is in his late 60s) fervor for cooking that it is totally infectious.
Using this recipe of not having a recipe, only confining himself to use only vegetables (with few exceptions), he has had 3 Michelin Stars for the past 20 years. 3 stars means people should go “out of their way” to try his restaurant. Not ‘out of the way’ like, oh if you’re in Paris, choose this restaurant on the other side of town. It means “In life, wherever you live in the world, this restaurant is worth experiencing.”
Thats a hell of a lot of enthusiasm for cooking. But it is replicable: challenge yourself every day. Take risks. stick your neck out. Think to yourself “am I fulfilling my goals”? For that matter, are you setting big, audacious goals to be fulfilled? Set them, and get there.