As (most of) you begin to wind down, I can imagine that what’s most pressing now is getting some much-needed rest. Maybe you’ve given some thought to the New Year and your hopes and dreams for 2017?

I have to say this because Catering is an industry in which you’re always looking forward, always moving on to what’s next: don’t forget to reflect on your journey through 2016. Whatever your year was like. Whether you had great setbacks or great success, new beginnings or burning of bridges, looking back always helps set the context for what you want in the future.

Today I want to introduce something that I intend to adopt in the New Year: reflective practice. Some of the most successful chefs (and I believe professionals in other disciplines such as medicine) keep detailed notes on their work days as a means of reinforcing their work. Whether it’s recording recipes or prep notes, or even just journalling about the team performance during service, it allows you to engage more deeply with your work. You gain clarity and a sharper perspective. If you’re already doing this, I’d love to hear what you’ve gained from adopting this habit.

I recall my dad telling me about this practice while I was still at school, about how he still had all his notebooks from years ago. Multiple careers later, I’ve now found that this is the work I really want to do and finally, I’m inspired to begin recording notes from my day.

So if you haven’t done your Christmas shopping yet, make sure you treat yourself to a nice, new notebook. Begin your reflective practice today.

Reflective practice in the kitchen

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