Cooking is my favorite metaphor for the creative process. The creative is JUICY. When we work on a creative project, we STIR things, QUICKEN the energies, and let ideas SIMMER and COOK. We also need a STRONG POT.
On that note, here are 12 important tips for a winning ‘dish’ from the reality tv show Top Chef. Hope they’re helpful!
1. Let the star of the dish be the star of the dish. Drowning out the star of the dish with other elements is a no-no.
2. Sometimes the dish needs a “hit of acid.”
3. You may deconstruct your dish, but make sure all the parts go together.
4. Your dish should not be “one note.” Similarly, don’t have everything be in the same “flavor profile.” Offer multiple layers and depth of flavor.
5. One should be able to taste every individual flavor separately. Don’t let the flavors blend together.
6. Your goal is to make a ‘composed dish’ but if you fail on execution, you will be sent home.
7. The judges are looking for “complex” dishes that are ‘well balanced’ between savory and sweet.
8. However, don’t try to do too much. Non-edible garnishes are a no-no.
9. Presenting one main element that’s perfectly cooked “shows a lot of confidence.”
10. The salad should not be overdressed.
11. The main component not underseasoned.
12. And never, never do something we’ve seen before.