Friday, July 17, 2009

CHEF'S Story - 27 Chefs Talk About What Got them into the Kitchen

I impulsively picked up this book at the NLB at a time when God was using a restaurant scene to elucidate the various stages of cell ministry. Prior to this food-related book, I struggled to read any books related in any way to food, except cookbooks (but then, you don't READ cookbooks; you refer). Food books from friends lie in my library unread.

This 2007 book (which also made it to TV in the US) is a compilation of the biographies of 27 accomplished chefs. By presenting the life stories of each chef, I see that what makes a restaurant successful (and there's no point talking about a successful kitchen if it's not for the restaurant to be successful!) - so what makes a restaurant successful hangs on the personhood of the chef. And how he treats people - those who train him and put pressure on him, those he works with in the kitchen, those in the front of the house, and the diners. Another way to put it would be - those who make him sweat, those who sweat with him, those who serve, and those who just consume. And these represent four categories of people in any ministry. If discipleship happens in the 'kitchen', you want to move people from the main entrance to the dining room to the kitchen so that they can produce food that serve others who come later!

Leadership from a chef's perspective is one that holds everything together in the back of the house! They are leaders who hang around the grime of the kitchen rather than embrace the perpetual lime light in the front of the house. If you put on this lens, you will find this a powerful read...

Where you can get it: Kinokuniya S$30.06; NLB
Level of impact: Renewed my respect for successful chefs; has potential to cause younger ones to switch career aspiration. Good inference for leadership.
Timing of book:A time when I'm exploring the kitchen for leadership anecdotes.