Sunday, June 22, 2014

Chefs In Shorts 2014

The Chefs and Future Chefs of Boston at the Seaport Hotel to celebrate Chefs In Shorts 2014.

Every time that I attend an event involving Future Chefs I think about the advice that I could best give to young people and, indeed, to my younger self if I had the mystical power to go back in time.  I would tell them to always be aware that life and the way that you are perceived by all and everything around you is constantly hanging in the balance, like the scales on a butcher block table used to measure ingredients precisely.  Every time that you disrespect someone or something the scales tip against you, even if just a little bit.  When you make a cruel joke about someone or something that, sure, people may laugh at temporarily, you may hurt feelings that will never heal and cause the perception of what you are, the values you hold, to be forever damaged.  Likewise, when you show up for work on time, you tip the scales a little bit in your favor.  When you put your work that's easy for you aside to help someone else who is struggling that may just be a moment that they will never forget and always grateful for. For you and your spirit and generosity. When you apologize for something you did you tip the scales back in your favor.

Every time that you prepare food well you are creating joy for someone.  Celebrate the fact that you have been handed this power.  Last night at Chefs In Shorts 2014, the largest number of Boston Chefs ever assembled for this event came together.  I think they do it, like me, because it is an affirming experience to share with young people the things that we, perhaps, wish we had been shared with us at their age.  Understanding.  Learning. Setting an example.  Teaching someone something new that will help them steer through the turbulent course of life.  And let's not forget that it's also just plain fun.  For many it's a night when they can turn from the sometimes many disappointments in life and truly shine.   

Life is an emotional bank account.  You can choose to make deposits or withdrawals, the only two transactions. From the moment you open your eyes in the morning until that time when you fall back into your quiet slumber you are tipping the scales, positive or negative.  When you reach the tipping point with another then you have made a true friend, complete with all of the admiration and respect due you.  Or, you have ruined what might have been one.  Every action has an often unseen or unknown consequence but it always takes place.

I ran into Tom from @Bostontweets (and dozens of other friends and food-lovers) who said to me: This is my favorite event of the year. Always." I couldn't agree more.  Mother Nature smiled upon us with a night of glorious, cool, sunny weather, great food and an atmosphere of giving.  Great night everyone!

Above:  Chef Matt Cunningham of The Sinclair was tipping the scales with his creative cuisine, no matter how hard the work or how long it takes.  He has some of the most inventive dishes we have recently had the pleasure to sample.

One of the best ways to tip the scales is to simply be a good role model and lead by example both in and out of the kitchen.

M + C Spiedo was tipping the scales with great sourcing on their plate with the help of Future Chefs.

Future Chefs Staff is ALWAYS tipping the scales for all of the young people with an interest in food and the culinary arts.

Suzi Maitland of Trina's Starlite Lounge was tipping the scales with love for good, old-fashioned food and the young people it can inspire.

I've been called a "social media influencer."  What this event always demonstrates for me, beyond just the great food on a plate, is that we all have influence.  How we choose to use it every day is the challenge.  Never stop looking for the opportunity to inspire someone.

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