Skip to content

What is my menu?

Minnow Park
Minnow Park
1 min read

My wife and I recently watched the Chef’s Table episode of

Mashama Baily of The Grey in Savannah Georgia (Season 6, Episode 1).

A big part of her story was putting together a menu for her restaurant. A menu is the fundamental expression of a chef. It’s the distillation of their entire experience and craft into a portfolio of dishes. Mashama was struggling to put hers together.

I totally understand her struggle. I’ve asked, in my own way, “What is my menu? How do I express the most unique, and compelling version of myself?”

Mashama read so all the cookbooks she could find, and looked to all the high end French training to find her inspiration. She had a business partner who she would ask to test the food, because she wasn’t confident in what she was making.

She eventually shared a version of her menu with her mentor, who told her it was all over the place. There wasn’t a story. She hadn’t found who she was a chef.

It wasn’t until she went into her past, owning her story and the food she grew up with, did she find her unique identity. Her dish “Foie and Grits” was the one that stood out to me as an example of something singularly Mashama’s.

It was her version of beef liver and grits, a hearty breakfast for black people as they start a long day of work. The foie represented her high-end French training, and the grits were made the way her grandmother made them when she was younger. The foie gras was about Mashama the woman, the trained chef who knew how to work with such ingredients. The grits represented Mashama the girl the one who went back to her home town to find her roots and herself.

The lesson for me is simple: own your story. The more we try to find our worthiness outside our story the more we are imitations of who we really are.

Trust the ProcessOwn Your Story

Comments


Related Posts

Members Public

Recovering a Sense of Play

Something I’m trying hard to recover when working on projects is a sense of play. It’s one that’s easy to lose because it doesn’t rank high in making a project feel worthwhile—productive, profitable, or prestigious, feels much more important. We’d certainly make time to

Members Public

Earning to Be Creative

I have another question for you today: How hard are you trying to earn your identity as a creator/creative/artist? Because once we decide for ourselves that we start creating work that is generous, courageous, and intended to connect with others, most of us run straight into self doubt.

Members Public

Yes, You Are an Imposter

For the longest time I thought the Imposter Syndrome was something to overcome or avoid. It’s not till recently I’ve learned it’s here to stay. It’s not going anywhere. Before I started coaching it was, “Who do you think you are even trying to do anything