It takes years to develop and much over thinking to abandon. Developing one’s own style is not something that most cooks have the luxury of time to think about. We spend most of our time just trying to keep our heads above water so to speak. The daily grind of kitchen work has the ability to suck creativity and ambition out of the liveliest, most motivated cooks at times, especially when in the throws of extreme pressure and expectation. The development of a personality of the finished product is a goal for most of us. We would like for the whole experience to feel as though it was designed by us and also feel at times that it might be nice to have that recognized by the guest. When i speak to people, many times i get so excited about what it is that we are talking about that i begin to speak in sentence fragments often times not verbalizing complete thoughts and assuming that the other party understands what i’m saying simply because i am so enthusiastic. I think that perhaps i expect too much from a paying customer at times. Not everyone goes out to eat with the notion that they might be expected to some degree to think about what it is that the restaurateur is trying to convey through materials, noise level, lighting, fragrance, service and food. Although some folks really do enjoy breaking down the entire concept into pieces that make sense to them because certain aspects of the experience may remind them of another meal they might have had, be it good or bad. People go out to restaurants because they are either hungry and thirsty at the time or plan on being hungry and thirsty in the near future. My being disappointed by people not “getting it,” “it” being the concept that i had in my head. A concept which at times might not have been so precisely delivered as to not leave any room for different interpretations from any number of wildly varying demographics is simply expecting too much from myself and the guest.
I think that despite the fact that i cannot in any short terms explain what mine is, whether i admit it or not, i have a style. This latest venture has proven to me that people’s expectations are not pulled from thin air. Expectations about what a meal is going to be are created by other people’s feedback or personal experience with a style of cooking or even perhaps through articles written about that style of cooking with no other frame of reference. However expectations are created, it is my job to either meet or exceed them in some way. Of course that is an impossible task, but what i can do better is anticipate those expectations and provide certain pieces of an experience that were hoped for while introducing new experiences that help both my development and the possible broadening of scope of expectation.