Change vs Constant, Constant vs Change, The Argument in Favour of Constant:
Jeff Bezos said: “I very frequently get the question: What’s going to change in the next 10 years? And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question: What’s not going to change in the next 10 years? And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two — because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time.”
Change vs Constant, Constant vs Change, The Argument In Favour of Change:
In his talk about Finding Your Purpose, Tim Cook said: “As you go out into the world, don’t waste time on problems that have been solved, don’t get hung up on what other people say is practical. Instead, steer your ship into the choppy seas. Look for the rough spots, the problems that seem too big, the complexities that other people are content to work around. It’s in those places that you will find your purpose.”
Change vs Constant, Constant vs Change, The Argument in Favour of Both: A Case Study:
The story that led to the:
Of Historic Heston by Heston Blumenthal.
I don’t remember how Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant ‘The Fat Duck’ came on my radar, but I do remember I bookmarked pages from the website and immediately put it on my Joie De Vivre list. It was their Christmas Experience that spoke to me. Like Heston I have wonderful Christmas memories from growing up, and I become very nostalgic at this time of the year. Here is some of what I saved from those bookmarked pages:
The Trip: Your Itinerary
“The whole experience is a Journey, centred around a nostalgic trip full of playful memories, filled with curiosity, discovery and adventure. This nostalgic trip is based on a collection of some of my favourite childhood holiday memories, taking place over the course of a day. The menu is your itinerary for the day, represented on the map you’ve just seen on the homepage.
“I don’t know about you, but I always got really excited in the build up to going on holiday; for me, this is where the journey begins.
“My story is only there to act as a catalyst to help bring your childhood holiday memories to life: where you were, who you were with, what you ate and how you ate it. Hopefully, it’ll get you reminiscing, making connections, sharing experiences, and bringing back some wonderful memories.
“Nostalgia is a key element that lies at the core of what we do at The Fat Duck. Our role is to help our guests recall their happiest memories. We aim to be the spark that ignites nostalgia. This is the most exciting thing we have ever done.
“Through storytelling, we have been able to build human relationships based on the observation and exchange of real emotions. Over the past 25 years, we have taken our guests on a journey through food and emotions, enhancing our understanding of nostalgia. This has allowed us to create new experiences and embrace hardwired human shared beliefs.
“This year The Fat Duck will mark the festive period by bringing to life the story of Christmas in a wondrous experience revolving around the focal role played by the Christmas tree. Evolving from the story of Heston’s childhood holiday journey, The Fat Duck will devote the entire experience to a celebration of Christmas and the stories that revolve around it.
“Our Fable Tree is a celebration of Christmas, with nostalgia and traditions at its core. We aim to evoke nostalgic memories following the life of a Christmas tree, our deep rooted connection to it and what it symbolises. It is a celebration of the childlike excitement, anticipation and positive memories of the festive period that leads to elevated emotions and human connectivity.
“Our story begins in nature where seeds turn into a Christmas tree and we are then transported to our magical Christmas memories where we celebrate with family and friends around the tree. Following the journey of the Christmas tree from the woods into our home, we explore our connectivity with nature, the symbolism of the tree and the emotional connections between friends and family during a special time of the year.”
These words, this description, I think will help you to understand why I immediately put a visit on my Joie De Vivre list.
I explored the website further because I wanted to learn more about Heston, his work and what else he did. This is what I discovered:
“We love creating new experiences and if there is such a word as Wonderosity, then this is the feeling we want our guests to have at the end, beginning and middle of their time with us…and far, far into the future too! We like to think of ourselves as storytellers, creating fantastical edible stories and in the job of narrator, our events team are here to guide you through – carefully planning your story from the first page to the very end. So, if you are sitting comfortably, then let us begin…
“The Mountain Gourmet Ski Adventure
“Join Heston’s chef friends for another journey of friendship, food, fine wines and the best fun on the mountain.”
Yep, that went on my Joie De Vivre list too.
I wanted to know more about the man, so I explored further, this is what I discovered:
He’s entirely self-taught, over a period of ten years he worked in a number of relatively undemanding jobs by day and taught himself the French classical repertoire by night. His interest in cooking had begun at the age of sixteen on a family holiday to Provence, when he was taken to the three Michelin-starred restaurant L’Oustau de Baumanière. He was inspired by the quality of the food and “the whole multi-sensory experience: the sound of fountains and cicadas, the heady smell of lavender, the sight of the waiters carving lamb at the table.”
A pivotal moment came when reading On Food and Cooking: the Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee. This challenged kitchen practices such as searing meat to seal in the juices, and it encouraged Heston to “adopt a totally different attitude towards cuisine that at its most basic boiled down to: question everything.”
He advocates scientific understanding in cooking, for which he has been awarded honorary degrees from Reading, Bristol and London universities and was made an honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is a pioneer of multi-sensory cooking, food pairing and flavour encapsulation.
Blumenthal uses British history in his dishes. He became interested in historical cooking in the late 1990s upon obtaining a copy of The Vivendier, a translation of a fifteenth-century cookery manuscript that contained unusual recipes, such as a chicken that appears roasted but wakes up as it is served. He said, “I’d had little idea the cooking of the past could be so playful, audacious and creative.”
The opening of Dinner presented him with far greater scope for historical cooking, and its menu is composed solely of dishes inspired by the recipes of the past.
This brings us to his 2013 book Historic Heston
Blumenthal, a renowned chef who has made his name creating such original – and some might say bizarre – dishes as Snail Porridge and Nitrogen Scrambled Egg & Bacon Ice Cream, decided it was time to go back to his British roots and to focus his creative talent on reinventing dishes that represent the essence of British culinary heritage.
Blumenthal, whose name is synonymous with cutting-edge cuisine, chartered a quest for identity through the best of British cooking that stretches from medieval to late-Victorian recipes. This has been the secret to his success at world-famous restaurants The Fat Duck and Dinner, where a contrast between old and new, modern and historic, is key.
“Question Everything.” Heston Blumenthal
In researching this story, I came across an article by Esquire magazine in which Heston returned to the source of where his journey had begun for him: L’Oustau de Baumanière. Waiting to be seated, a waiter approached and wondered if he would prefer to eat his lunch in reverse, beginning with petits fours, then pudding, followed by cheese, then main courses, starters, finally amuse bouche. The wine would go backwards, too: dessert, red, white.
Blumenthal was immediately taken by the idea of the backwards lunch. The notion had a whimsical, topsy-turvy, Lewis Carroll eccentricity to it, which is very Heston Blumenthal. Also, it offered a chance to experiment on the taste buds, to surprise them into action, offer them something unexpected, and confounding, and fun, all of which is quintessentially Blumenthalian.
For Blumenthal, it was a homecoming which took him back to the summer of 1982, to when he first fell down a rabbit hole, as he puts it, into a world of multi-sensory wonder. The rest as the saying goes is history, well history the Heston way that is – where throughout the burrows history and science converge.
Words of Wisdom
Blumenthal advocates the notion of the “monomyth’ – the idea that all our foundational stories tell of a hero’s journey. That was why he felt he needed to go back to the beginning, so that he could start again.
He says in questioning everything, that it’s about the journey, the process of discovery, the curiosity. And that turned out to be his drive.
Maybe you can take a page out of Blumenthal’s book, and question things in your WorkLife. His favourite questions include:
- What if I do it this way? Then,
- What happens if I do the exact opposite?
Try it, reflect it on it, let the feedback inform you what it is that you want to change in your Worklife and what you want to keep constant.
Today’s book of the blog is: Historic Heston By Heston Blumenthal
Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associate Programme. This means if you click through and make a purchase through my referral links, I’ll be compensated. Using the links won’t cost you anything extra, and it helps to keep the blog. Thank you.
WorkLife Book Wisdom
The intention of this blog is to inspire you through people’s stories of their WorkLife experiences. Through these stories you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles and successes they encountered along the road of their WorkLife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride.
My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your WorkLife story.