Grant Achatz taught me how to expand my thoughts on creativity, continue pushing past all limits, and that standards are meant to be broken and raised higher. He has always told me to keep being creative and never be complacent.
I learned to cook with passion and my heart from Brian O'Connor (when at Blueacre Seafood). He has always told me that I'm too fancy.
Kevin Davis (Blueacre Seafood) taught me how to build a business from the ground up and run it on a day-to-day basis and keep it full. He always told me to never stop and never let anyone get in my way.
I staged at Noma for 10 days and it changed the way I pushed myself in a restaurant setting. The days were very long and the way the team jumped on the next project as they completed the last definitely set the tone for the rest of my career.
Anthony Bourdain did a talk in Seattle with Mario Batali at the Paramount Theater early in my career and someone in the crowd asked him for advice for a new cook in a kitchen. All he said was, "shut the [email protected]$% up and work". I took it to heart and it worked!
When there are tough times at work, I try to pile together lots of ideas, projects, and thoughts then prioritize them and see what is really important to worry about and what isn't. I think it's easy to focus on what's going on right now but it may not effect what's going to happen in the future.
Being a person that people can trust, where they can come to you with anything, is important. I may not be a friend, but I will definitely listen and find a way to work with someone so that they can help the team. Inspiration is everywhere and it doesn't have to deal with just the job itself. Finding new ways to keep minds being creative keeps people motivated because there is always something else ahead of us.
I try to instill in young professionals that it's important to learn from different sources outside of the work place, whether it's visiting museums, reading books, spending time with family, etc. Patience is something that I have learned along the way and it's very important when working with a team of people. Balance is the ultimate goal.
I continue to educate myself by reading just about every cookbook and I am constantly trying to find different ingredients, techniques, and people who can teach me their ways.