How to Float Like an Angel While Working Like a Demon

President Barak Obama and his elegant wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary this past weekend.  

It only takes a look at the photographs that captured their evening out at the Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, Virginia to see that this is a couple dedicated to each other.

That mutual commitment is mirrored by the restaurant's owner Chef Cathal Armstrong and his beautiful wife and professional partner Meshelle, both hailing from Ireland.  Their esteemed 50 seat restaurant is named after their first child, Eve.

Chef Armstrong trained in France but has always maintained his commitment to source and quality that reaches back to his Irish childhood.

With multiple stars awarded for excellent as well as a deep loyalty to sustainability, Chef Armstrong’s Restaurant Eve was a perfect choice for the First Couple who have provided to the nation an active role model for healthy eating.

Yet as every professional in our industry knows, style, elegance and stars-awarded don’t just happen, just as great marriages don’t just happen.

It takes work, commitment, dedication and skill. When it’s done well, it only looks easy – a lovely picture, a dinner served with grace and charm.

Perhaps there is no more perfect example of the ease of expert expression than the new Air France ad airing global. The dancers are subtle and graceful, gently hinting at a mystery only revealed at the end, yet always capturing the elegant essence of the Air France experience.   

But before the dance (or dinner) comes the endless and very necessary preparation. In an amazing double release, Air France has also documented the efforts involved in the “staging” of the magic.

And while many of the televised foods shows have opened a window for consumers to glimpse the working wonder of a professional kitchen, it is only a brief image of the steam and strain.

What is not captured are the years of training prior to mastery, the untiring eye seeking perfection, the effort to discover the ever new while never forgetting the richness of the past.  

Like any great marriage, it requires that one focus every day on the values expressed through medium of everyday life. It requires caring; it requires simply truly Loving what we do and deeply respecting all those we share our day with.

Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2011