Proficiency and skill lead to talent, the combination of innate abilities that are nurtured, trained, and practiced. And what of creativity? Where do ideas come from? Intellectual property, to own an idea, can only grow in a culture in which the individual takes precedence over the group.
Sharon’s creation of the hors d’oeuvre was an idea in her head – creativity – something she wanted to try. Her consideration of the chocolate sauce, on the other hand, was personal preference for strong flavors combined with experience and talent. When I suggested adding lemon to the Gorgonzola sauce, Sharon immediately went for the zest.
Tuk seemed a natural with gnocchi dough and a fork. Deborah exclaimed how perfect they looked. She understands production concepts immediately and is extremely skilled with her hands.
Deborah commands the kitchen. Her awareness, knowledge, skills, and attitude permit her experience, passions, and preferences to emerge. It’s no wonder she succeeds at what she loves. Because she isn’t shy in that setting, all these attributes can come forward. In a setting in which she trusts, her abilities emerge.
My ambiguity with Cook’s Illustrated continues to deepen. Creativity and culture expression is not what they do, although that is among the most basic uses of food. Investigation, research, and reporting are what they do. They know what they can do better than anyone else and they know for whom they are writing. To identify this and to be bold is where innovation and change comes from. Elvis Presley and the Beatles were examples. Julia Child and John Calvi are, too.
Success, on the other hand, has different parents. Access to money, zeitgeist timing, vision, management skill, are critical. Frank Sinatra and George W. Bush are examples.
What are the implications for my SIT work? Name the distinction and boldly put it in front of the people who want to know.