Chef Matt Part III
A day in the life of a Professional Chef is challenging for a lot of different reasons and especially the adrenaline highs and lows. Today, we get to discuss this further with Matt as well as his outlook on how the energy you prep food with can translate to how it tastes in your mouth and how it impacts your soul. We found his perspective enlightening…”the more you know, the less you know…”
If you owned and operated your own restaurant, would you wish to require your cooks to endure some sort of daily physical activity or discomfort? In order to better themselves, create a better team atmosphere or simply to discover more about whom each of them is?(for their knowledge and for hours as the proprietor)
If I owned a restaurant I wouldn’t require my cooks to do any sort of physical activity. I would however constantly speak of life metaphorically. I’d tell them that things are all connected all the time. How every moment translates into the next, inside and outside the workplace. I would like to challenge them directly and indirectly, and consistently on how they view life and it’s happenings. I’d probably take on the persona of the crazy zen master who occasionally whaps his students with a stick to bring them into the moment, into true enlightenment. Only it’d be words which took over the place of the stick. There was a math teacher in high school who would slam down a meter stick on the desk andyell, “Thunder Cats HO!!!” I believe he was trying to achieve the same thing. He’ll smile knowing that at least one of his disciples understood and will carry on the lineage. I would always provide an opening for my workers to join in physical exercise however. I would speak of that path highly and encourage, but never force or demand it.
Do you feel the world would be a better place if we all shared your view on an ill prepared meal and applied that to all parts of life? In other words, do you feel like the world could benefit from more commitment to excellence, and intense targeted intent in whatever is being done?
I do think the world would be a better place if we viewed food the way I do. It is one area in our lives where we have a pretty big participating role in. I can tell you of many restaurants that served so so meals, however the list of really grand delicious food experiences can barely span all my ten fingers. I’m constantly blown away by how many mediocre spots do well in business when they give people shit. (Can’t find a better word for that spot that can achieve same feeling.) It’s like if I went to you for personal training, and you just never really gave me your all and I walked away dissatisfied, you probably wouldn’t be in business for people would be receptive of that. However people have yet to become empowered with food and about food so they just kind of assume the status quo of bad quality and taste and care is the way it is and always will be. If we don’t buy the bad products, there will no longer be a market for them.
I love your point of view on eating in restaurants. If the minute isn’t done well, then why move on to more bigger things. Do you practice a progressive or procedural mindset in the kitchen when teaching someone new or when learning something new? Master the basics then move to the next step. If so, why?
I believe that everyone should feel that they don’t deserve anything. So many people in their workplace feel like they are better than where they are at, but in doing so, they fail to give their all and when seen through other’s eyes, they aren’t even to the progression of what they’re trying to achieve. So yes, I believe it’s back to the basics. Anyone who is well along in their craft would speak of this highly. It’s always back to the basics. It’s refining the basics. It’s breaking down the basics to allow for the basics to evolve once understood. Everyone is so anxious to get to the complex pieces that they forget how long it truly takes to build that foundation. It’s like that saying, “The more you know, the less you know.” I feel like for myself, I always have to return to that starting point. Each time there’s something new to pick up or to understand more fully.
When exercising or just out doing strenuous activity, do you feel as if this time allows you to handle stress better, grasps difficult to handle ideas, expand your consciousness etc.?
Physical fitness allows for me to connect the activity to life through metaphors. A long run is very difficult at many different times. But step by step I’ll get through it. Or when riding my bike across the U.S. the message was, every day another mountain. Each day in life provides challenges. Physical activity askes of us the same that life does. We learn problem solving techniques through our movements which allow us to take on life more confidently. We begin to understand that our effort and our trying is what gets us through. When we truly give our best in all moments, we finally reach that stillness, that state of peace that we’re all searching for.
At Game Ready Fitness we discuss all of the time that “how you do anything is how you do everything.” Passion begs perfection, and although we are always striving for perfection the process of driving that result is where the magic happens. Work hard and stay humble to the basics…as Matt says “it’s always back to the basics.” Eat well, sleep well, work hard and give your love.
We’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Matt for sharing his kindness and experiences and hope that his message brings more clarity to your own life as well. His book, Tour de Compassion (https://www.amazon.com/Tour-Compassion-Long-Way- Where/dp/1514345374) dives much deeper into his journey on his cross-country bike and can bring anyone additional inspiration to move!