Positive self-worth and self-esteem have not been built into the archetype of the chef.
Love Letters to Chefs exists to empower chefs to recognise, expand and maximise their sense of self,
so that they can make the choices that will provide them with a better quality of life.
The Company will undertake these three streams of work to that end: helping chefs acknowledge their gifts (Chefs Are Artists), expand their capabilities (Chefs Can Calculate) and maximise their potential (Chefs Awaken).
Chefs are Artists
“I’m not an artist” is a familiar refrain in kitchens. Rather than being an expression of humility, many chefs use it to apologise for their lack of sophistication in plating skills.
The truth is that there is an art to cooking and plating food: an art that has evolved over the centuries, an art that has been handed down to them.
Can we codify the principles of food design, giving chefs a legitimate language through which they can articulate their compositions?
How can we help chefs expand the expression of their artistic abilities?
Chefs can Calculate
Owing to negative experiences in early education, many chefs admit that they struggle with the application of mathematics to cooking. This impacts how accurately they perform everyday tasks, as well as how successfully they run the businesses they lead.
The truth is that we only require a handful of calculations in the kitchen.
Can we impart to chefs those fundamental calculations, so that they find the confidence to employ them in their everyday work?
How can we help chefs recognise that they can calculate?
Inbuilt within the chef culture is the implication that someone who cooks professionally is somewhat less than enough and somehow less than worthy.
You will hear it in their assertions: “I’m only a chef”. You will see it in their motivations – the attachment to external validation, the self-sacrificing attitude, the way they treat each other and the constant proving of themselves and their capabilities – all of which serve only to distract them from their craft. Our kitchens might have been modelled on the military brigade system, but exactly what enemy do chefs set out to fight at each service?
The truth is that every chef has the necessary ingredients within them to excel at the service that he or she has been called to.
Can we help chefs own that truth and therefore show up more powerfully to that service?
How can we help chefs awaken to their potential and maximise it?
A better quality of life for every chef
What could be possible when chefs show up to their service with a more healthy sense of self? Could they:
– Command fairer compensation for their food, from customers who recognise the work that went into preparing it?
– Take back their power from critics, rating guides and reviews?
– Handle numbers with more ease: both in cooking and the running of their businesses?
– Enjoy better working conditions, more balanced lives, improved health (both physical and mental), richer relationships, and more stable finances?
– Raise the profile of cooking as a profession, drawing in future talent?