Slow food for the soul
AS PART of my rather convoluted past I spent part of my early life in restaurants and kitchens, learning from and working with some fantastic chefs as we developed and built successful teams educating in food design, menu construction and the organising principles that make restaurants great.
As you would recognise from watching cooking programs on television it is incredibly demanding, extremely challenging and wonderfully satisfying when you get it right.
It is soul destroying when you do not.
Those days are long gone and thankfully so, although the lessons (and some of the recipes) are with me still.
I would describe my approach to cooking these days as "slow food”. What does that mean to you?
For many it is passed off as another fad as people get on with their busy lives burning energy and time.
I love food. I enjoy preparing it, cooking it, and sharing it with friends and family as part of a social connection where the food is part of the ritual of relationship and community.
To me it is a time for relaxed focus on creating a culinary and sensory experience in slow motion.
I want to cook to eat well and with real enjoyment for the simple pleasure of what has been grown by others and enhanced by me for the wellbeing of anyone at the table.
What I am describing is the opportunity the slow food approach in cooking gives us to be totally present in the experience of transforming the ingredients through love and appreciation for the produce into something nourishing and enriching.
And that approach crosses over to every opportunity to engage with another person.
That's when it moves beyond slow food and gets into "slow conversation”.
That is taking the time to be totally present in appreciation for another's story, view, map of the world and the desire to meet them with love, compassion and care so that the encounter is something that is nourishing and enriching to the wellbeing of everyone.
Many of our conversations are transactional and moved past so quickly that there is no thought for the engagement, relationship or impact on the other person. That's why I like the idea of slowing things down to really enjoy the moment.
What's your approach? Why don't you slow down and find out?