“I know the price of success:
dedication, hard work and an unrelenting
devotion to the things you want to see happen”
Frank Lloyd Wright
I loved reading Eric Riperts’ autobiography ’32 Yolks’. His parents were deeply in love for his first years then their relationship disintegrated with vitriol and grief. His father died young. Ripert’s love and longing for his dad didn’t diminish over the years. He found several male mentors who along with his mother and grandmother fired up his love of fine ingredients and how to create culinary magic with them.
What struck me in the book was Ripert’s endless desire to excel. Fresh out of culinary school and into the famous Parisian Ruberchon restaurant, he discovered while he had excellent ‘knife skills’ he was slow. He might take 40 minutes to brunoises vegetables, his peers would take 4 minutes. He would go home, not to rest, but to practice to dramatically increase his speed in food preparation. He thrived on praise and received very little. Instead, his boss’ chilling and repetitive criticisms cut him to his core. His persistence in becoming one of the best chefs in the world was phenomenal.
There was a point in time when I longed to play classical guitar. I had a series of lessons with the amazing Mathew Marshall. I insisted on beginning with Malagueña. Mathew encouraged me to practice scales, and finger placing. I didn’t want to.
I wasn’t willing to do the hard work to become skilled. I could play one minute of Malagueña but I did not learn to play the guitar. On the other hand, I did learn to work with groups and found exceptional teachers. I chose to be in groups for 1000’s of hours to practice and learn.
Working well with groups and choosing who to learn from has been my life-long passion.
What have you invested your heart into mastering? What works for you –coaching by criticism, or coaching by encouragement?
© Diana Jones