As every chef and hotel professional knows, nothing is achieved in isolation, alone from one’s colleagues within the industry. It takes a team effort that combines many talents and points of view – working together to create, to serve.
No day is perfect – none are. And if one demands perfection, this is, well, simply the wrong planet to be on. But that does not mean one should do nothing. Instead, we do what can be done and then continue to work to address the remaining outstanding issues, be they cuisine or raising the American debt ceiling.
The United States, like an executive chef, holds a position of great responsible to set an example of civility and purpose.
This sometimes is not an easy task. When America was first formed, debate and conflict ruled the day – to the point that the nation, like a great banquet, almost never left the kitchen.
Yet among the lesser men who assembled in 1776 were those individuals such as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson who sought not to dominate opinion but to call on each delegate present to reach beyond personal agendas or beliefs to a higher sense of self that embraced universal values and principles.
Was their work in steamy hot Philadelphia perfect? No, of course not. For over 200 years America has worked on, adjusted, and grown into a larger sense and understanding of what democracy means. Today we are struggling again. And today, because of world economic markets and the Internet, that struggle will affect millions of others around the world.
No longer do we stand alone. As the world must work together (like a true professional kitchen does), so must the American Congress – Compromise a little, then work together so that none are excluded and all may join the feast that hopefully one day will include the whole world peacefully seated at one table in mutually understanding and respect.
Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2011