That’s what the office looked like during the Easter break. Yup, deserted. But even on a day like that, I was fired up to be there, working on Love Letters to Chefs. My story is that I only get to give this project my full energy on weekends. So I make the most of the time I have. It doesn’t motivate me any less that everyone else is taking time off. Because serving you, chefs, is the most fulfilling work I have ever done and will ever do.
This is no different to your story. You show up to every shift while the rest of the world plays. You toil unseen, away from the limelight. You assign everything else second place in your life. All your energy is channelled into this work.
Yet, in moments, your work is turned into mere memories. Memories of sight, smell, taste, touch and sometimes sound. There are no lasting monuments. But let me ask you this: do you think that your work makes any less of an impact, as a result?
I’ve read of illustrious chefs such as Heston Blumenthal and Tim Raue wanting to be architects when they were growing up. Having practised both careers, I will tell you this: it’s no fun when your profession is contingent: when you need a client to commission you or teams to build your designs for you.
That’s not your story as a chef. The joy in being a chef is that you always get to do what you love to do. Whether it’s for customers coming in through your door or for yourself and your loved ones. Cherish the gift: that ability to connect with what lights you up on a regular basis.
Yes, you have bills to pay and long shifts to endure. Yes, yours might be a tough team to work with. But the more frequent those moments in which you connect with the essence of your work, the more successful you will be. And the less those other things will get in the way. Because when you’re ‘in the zone’, you’re producing your best work. And that determines the rewards that come to you.