Starting From Scratch
I had a neighbor who said, “If the recipe calls for a pound of butter or a pound of bacon, it is probably a good recipe.”
My grandfather was a professional chef and food service manager and worked in and ran many restaurants and cafeterias. I loved visiting the kitchen and watching him work.
My father was also a chef and food service manager for a good portion of his working life. I enjoyed watching my dad pull an ingredient list from his head after taking a bite or two of a dish at a restaurant. After he started teaching, he continued catering on the side as well as doing some competitive cooking, winning many state competitions and even a world championship. I liked to watch him and his cooking partner create recipes from scratch and tweak them to achieve the desired result.
Despite this pedigree, my mom was the one who taught me to cook (and also to never make bread dough on the piano again). She taught me how to follow a recipe and what different terms meant – simmer, boil, roast, bake, broil, stiff peaks, etc. I learned to cook from her and am grateful for her lessons. I did learn to taste from my dad. I pay attention to textures as well as flavors and presentation. I enjoy cooking. There is still something special when cooking from scratch.
I would read recipes and cookbooks and watch cooking shows on PBS. I was studying the recipes rarely making many of them just to learn about flavors, ingredients, steps and techniques to make the recipe. Baking was a different story. While I can open the pantry and the refrigerator and assemble a meal from scratch without a recipe, I follow a recipe when I bake. The chemical reactions that take place to make a great loaf of bread require the exactness of a recipe. After having worked in industry and in my own business, I have become a believer that to make a great business requires a recipe.
Many business owners start their businesses from scratch. Some buy a business. Some inherit one. Regardless the method of their start, when starting from scratch there is a lot of trial and error involved. Many businesses fail because they don’t have a recipe to follow to make what they dreamed of when they started a reality. Many go about business without having read, studied or even following a recipe for a successful business.
Over the coming weeks, I would like to share some of my ingredients and recipes for a successful business. Bon Appetite!
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