What’s On Your Plate?

I love food.

Eating it, sure, but also knowing how it’s grown; where it came from (not just what I’m eating for supper, but how it came to be, over time, supper); what goes with what; how all the ethnic cuisines came to America and how they’re changing our culture. Oh, and how it’s made; what the history of some our favorite (and not so favorite) foods; what’s healthy for me; what’s not so healthy; why I like it anyway…

I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

My mother, a transplanted native of Missouri, learned the Southern cooking thing quite well. I have great memories of childhood meals – simple, but oh-so-good. Later in life, she became a caterer for small functions at church, for family and friends. Even today, on the other side of 80, all our family looks forward to her holiday meals.

My oldest son’s second job, and every one since then, has revolved around food. From pizza baker to coffee-house barista to small restaurant cook to line cook to pastry chef to kitchen manager and training chef, he is immersed in all things food. His siblings recognize it: they all like his food and request it when he gets a chance to cook.

My youngest son, on a whim, took a year-long culinary class as a junior in high school. He loved it so much he took another one as a senior, cooking for the faculty every day. He brought home recipes and tried them out on Anita and me (which we really like).

Friday he begins his college experience at Johnson & Wales University as a Culinary Arts and Food Management major. He’s looking forward to JWU, and so in his honor as a new culinary student, I’m going to revise and repost some previous thoughts about food – and how it applies to leaders.

Where I am going with this is that food, restaurants, being a chef, and all things connected are an interesting subject. There are also a lot of lessons to be learned from these areas that can be applied to other parts of life and work.

Let’s go on a food journey…