hard work and dedication

This conversation with one of my long-term interests in the culinary world made me think especially after a month of ruminating on the shifting zeitgeists when posed with the difficult question of diversity and inclusion.

"...a chef whose hallmarks are precision, decorum and control.[...]

“I go back and forth on the level of intensity I want to continue to dedicate to my profession, because I’ve done it now for the past 44 years, and that’s a long time,” he said. “When is taking care of everybody else less important than taking care of yourself?” [...]

“In some ways it makes me happy, and in other ways it makes me desperately sad. I look at it and I go, ‘Wow, this is extraordinary.’ But sometimes I look at it and go: ‘Why did I do this? Did I really set an example for future generations of chefs and what they can achieve?’” [...]

Preeti Mistry, 40, a classically trained chef with a modified Mohawk who cooks elevated Indian street food at her Juhu Beach Club in Oakland, Calif., and her new spot, Navi Kitchen in nearby Emeryville, was in culinary school when she discovered Mr. Keller’s “French Laundry Cookbook.” It had become an instant professional and spiritual guide for cooks of her generation.
In 2004, she visited the French Laundry. At the time, she thought it was the most amazing meal she had ever eaten. She even got to shake hands with Mr. Keller. “I left feeling like I just met Drake or something,” she recalled.
But now? She views fine dining as disingenuous, built from a system steeped in oppression and hierarchy in which women, gays and other minorities — whether customers or cooks — are not treated the same.
“It’s essentially haute couture, and we know haute couture appropriates from minorities and urban communities,” she said. Chefs as powerful as Mr. Keller, she said, have a responsibility to address those issues. “You need to go on your woke journey.”
Mr. Keller smiled when presented with that lens on his profession.
“I pushed against convention when I was young,” he said. “Then you realize there is no reason to push against things. There is no value in it.” Hard work and dedication to craft, he said, will right all wrongs. [...]
No matter what your circumstance, you need to find your own way out. In order to get ahead, you have to work hard. It’s pretty simple.”
via {NY Times}


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