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3 Lessons From Watching Top Chef

Last week my husband had very lucky timing and managed to get a reservation at Joe Flamm's new restaurant Rose Mary.

The inside is beautiful, the food was fantastic and after the meal I got to meet Joe who wished me a happy birthday.

For those of you who don't know him, Joe was the Season 15 Top Chef winner. He's also one of my all-time favorites from the show. I went in to full fan-girl mode when I met him and he was very gracious when I congratulated him on his new baby and talked to him about Top Chef.

I didn't start watching the show until last year, but since then I've binged eleven seasons. Needless to say I fell in love quickly.

After watching so many episodes in such a short period of time, I've learned a lot about food, the restaurant industry and all types of cuisine.

I've also noticed the behaviors of the chefs who go on to become finalists or winners. You can usually tell early on in the season who is still going to be around at the end. So today I'm sharing three lessons we can learn from Top Chefs.

Lesson #1 - Be flexible.

Things can be unpredictable in the kitchen. A chef might plan their dish but can't find an ingredient they wanted to use. Or they get too focused on one element and forget they have sauce on the stove until it starts to burn. Sometimes they want to make a particular dish but don't have enough time on the clock.

The successful chefs stay flexible. If they can't find scallops they use shrimp instead. They come up with a different, quick sauce on the fly. They make the dish using a pressure cooker or the wood-fired oven instead of the cooking method they normally use. They don't give up and let the clock run out or tell the judges that there's no sauce on the plate because it burned.

Just like in the kitchen, life can be unpredictable. Everything doesn't always turn out exactly how we thought it would or think it should.

But if we're flexible we can find solutions because we're willing to try something new or make some tweaks.

If we don't, time runs out while we're whining about the thing that went wrong when we could have been creating something amazing.

Lesson #2 - Go all in.

One of my favorite Top Chef episodes was when Charlize Theron was the guest judge and the challenge was inspired by her movie Snow White and the Huntsman. The challenge was to make a dish that was wickedly beautiful for an evil queen. You guys, Grayson served a black chicken with the claw still on and said she wanted it to look like it had been slaughtered on the plate. It was so gross, but so amazing. Other dishes included a lamb heart, a "bloody" handprint on a plate and an enchanted forest.

The chef who was eliminated lost because she didn't go all in on the challenge. There was nothing wrong with her food, but it wasn't a wickedly beautiful plate. It was just a normal plate of food.

When you do something go all in. I'm not saying you have to do it perfectly or you can't change your mind down the road. But when you're in it, don't half-ass it.

If you give it your all, there's nothing to wonder about or regret later.

Lesson #3 - Failing isn't the end.

When a chef is eliminated from the competition their Top Chef ambitions haven't ended. They get another shot in Last Chance Kitchen to cook their way back into the competition. And at least two ultimate contestants, including Joe Flamm, not only made it back into the competition but went on to win it all.

Because he treated it as an opportunity to get better and to improve on the things that got him eliminated. He took to heart the idea that you're either learning or winning. And did both. If he'd given up or decided that being eliminated meant he wasn't a good chef he couldn't have gone on to win.

This also applies to all of the chefs on the show who didn't win Top Chef. Just by being on the show they grew awareness for their restaurants, met and learned from award-winning chefs all over the world and had life-changing experiences.

Too often we decide that failing would be the worst thing ever so we don't try. But failing isn't the end. It's part of the process. Every process, every time.

What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? Go do that. And be willing to learn and keep going. The only way failing is the end is if you quit.

These are just three of the things I work with my clients on so they can start new careers, add more of what they love into their lives and stop holding themselves back. I'm here for you too.


What do you get when you work with a life coach? ✨A judgment- free space devoted to you and your goals. ✨Strategies for creating and getting the life you want. ✨Honest, objective perspective on what's keeping you stuck. ✨The opportunity to make decisions based on possibility not discontent.

I’m a certified life coach helping women do the things they think they can't and see opportunities instead of obstacles. I have one on one coaching spots available.


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