I wrote a piece here in August about how hard it is for the home cook to duplicate the quality of the food in restaurants. At the time I ascribed that to the quality of the ingredients available to professionals vs. to what most of us have access. Last night I had another thought on the matter and of course it was while I was attending a show by the Dark Star Orchestra. Makes total sense, right?
Here’s what came to me. The DSO is a Grateful Dead “tribute” band. Sort of like Beatlemania for Deadheads. If you shut your eyes, it is as if the Dead have materialized out of the ether and are in peak form. In essence, they have The Dead’s cookbook – their music and lyrics – and are cooking the originals’ recipes with their own touches while never straying far from the original.
That’s the thought I translated to cooking. I have well over 100 cookbooks and yet my skill set isn’t as good as the folks who wrote most of them. Everything from the size and uniformity of my dice to the aforementioned ingredient gap affects how well I “cover” (to use a musical term) their culinary song. I certainly don’t succeed as well as the DSO did last night.
In business, it’s different. Hopefully you’re not using someone else’s recipes and are writing your own book. We take advice, we read books, we digest research, but ultimately we need to be the original versions of the songs, not covers. We need to build our own relationships with our partners and customers and can’t rely on any pre-existing tract to get that done.
So that’s this weeks Foodie Fun Friday thought. Covering a song or a recipe is great and the glorious results can please a lot of people. The real excitement comes, however, when you create your own classic and make others cover you.
What’s on the menu this weekend? Enjoy!