Have you watched the visually stunning Netflix original show Chef’s Table? It is a global culinary experience that shares the story of a chef (usually with a few Michelin stars) with striking photography and a beautiful narrative. I fell in love with the show when the first 6 episodes were released and was thrilled to see that another special edition of Chef’s Table, France has just been released. And after watching the first few episodes, here’s what I’ve been able to learn from Chef’s Table, that can be applied in our own lives.
Gratitude Tip: We can often find incredible life lessons by learning about successful people who have completely different careers and non-traditional paths to success. Reading or watching biographies is a wonderful way to learn how others have overcome challenges, faced difficulties and still come out ahead of the game. Everyone’s story is unique and we can all learn from each other.
What I love about this program is that it does tell the whole story – it’s not about the success they have today, it shows what they had to overcome in order to get where they are. And most had major setbacks along the way, yet they continued to follow their dream or their vision, even in the face of defeat.
Lesson One: Make a DECISION. Alain Passard, L’Arpège (Paris) shared that at 14 years old he clearly made a decision that he was going to be a chef. That was it. No turning back, no plan B, he committed whole-heartedly to becoming a chef. And it wasn’t easy. But he never wavered. I have seen this in my profession. When someone makes a clear decision about where they are going, and have unwavering faith, they achieve their goals and dreams. Full stop.
Lesson Two: Give yourself TIME to succeed. Alexandre Couillon, (La Marine in Noirmoutier, France) and his wife, Céline (great name), gave themselves SEVEN years to succeed. They committed to staying open year-round, on the island of Noirmoutier, that was previous only open in the summer for tourists. They wanted to create something that would draw people to their island and help the local economy. Most people over-estimate what they can do in a year, but way underestimate what they can do in 5 years. Anything worthwhile in life is going to take time. Are you making the time commitment required for success?
Lesson Three: Do what YOU love. Adeline Grattard (Yam’Tcha in Paris, France), was a classically trained French chef, with a love for China and all things of the East. She decided to leave Paris for several years to live in Hong Kong and learn all about the flavours of Asian cuisine. When she returned to Paris, she opened a French restaurant, that combined the amazing flavours and dishes she had learned while she was away. She knew that she was doing something completely different than traditional French cuisine, and that she had to do what she loved in order to be successful. And her success came quickly and as a surprise, because it wasn’t at all what would be considered ‘Michelin guide’ cuisine. We all have something inside of us that is dying to get out and be shared with the world. And when we share what we are passionate about, the world will take noticed.
Success never comes easily. There will always be sacrifices along the way. When you find success doing the thing you love. it’s always worth it. Alain Passard will never retire, because what would he be ‘retiring’ from? He wakes up every day, completely in love with his work. Much like anyone who is living their purpose, there is no retirement. Joy is found in giving your best every day and making a difference in the world, sharing your gifts and being of service to others.
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