Less is More

So I read a blog the other day about increasing productivity in the workplace by CamMi Pham and I thought immediately, “How can I relate this to the kitchen?” I’ll supply a link to her blog and the inspiration to this one at the end.
For now I will ‘Vamp” on the 7 things you need to do more of to be more productive in the kitchen:

1. Work smarter: As CamMi’s blog points out the 40 hr. work week was brought about by Henry Ford looking to get the most efficiency out of his production line. His research showed that the extreme drop in productivity after a 40 hr. work week didn’t make economic sense. In the kitchen it means that working smarter, not harder, is key. I point to our discussion about Mise En Place as a reference for this. Secondly, the importance of sleep on productivity is very important. Maybe more important is the power of napping. ‘Let me sleep on it’ is a way of gaining perspective, and inspiration for many things…..including, “What the #$%$ am I going to make for dinner?
2. The Pareto Principle: 80% of effect by 20% of cause (Why the #$%$ do they say it like that?) In kitchen terms it means 20% of the work = 80% of the result. IE OMFG this tastes amazing. In economic terms it means….If you dropped $70 on the crown roast… put your attention on that! It also means that someone will likely steal the thunder of all your hard work by bring some side dish “everyone was talking about”. Tim Ferris has been acutely accurate in relaying these facts in his works, The 4 Hour Work Week, The 4 Hour Body, and The 4 Hour Chef. Thank you Tim!
seared scallop bruschetta3. Delegate: and ….When going from A to B….you want to end up at C!!!!! You don’t really enjoy peeling potatoes…let the kids do it, or cousin Rob…the key is lots of stuff can be delegated. Remember the 80-20 thing. Recently I wanted to replicate a scallop topped bruschetta I saw on twitter. I told my brother (thinking Basil) pick up some cilantro……..He brought home Italian Parsley! So I zigged and zagged and had our own mushroom gravy specialist whip up mushroom rue that we spread on toasted Italian bread and topped with Fish Mojoed, pan seared scallops that ended up being 80% of the pleasure (taste wise) of the evening. (just look at that picture!)
4. Be Real: The key is actually having food hit the table. Perfection is in the eye of the hungry! I use recipes as a ‘LOOSE” outline for most any meal I attempt.
5. Eliminate meal time steps when you can: The best way to do this is to prepare, in meal time proportion, certain things before hand and freeze or preserve. You can put together lots of side dishes that you buy in bulk and freeze meal time proportions. (Part of the 80%) From sweet potatoe pie, to a Kale and Quinoa medley, lots can be prepared in advance in bulk, and frozen for future use.
6. The people have spoken: Quit trying to get something right if your dinner mouths say….” That was not good”….Move on
7. Stop eating…Practice intermittent fasting: A lot of new research points to the health benefits of intermittent fasting. I will say that living from a place of appreciation is really empowering. A great way to appreciate food is to go without… for even a little while. We evolved from a ‘feast or famine’ place, and our body actually resets and heals in this environment. 500 calories a day, two days a week is one way, or give yourself 16 hrs. of none-eating every day for a while. This will build your will power and give you an appreciation for all you have. Remember the,” I can’t” vs. the,” I don’t” perspective”. When you say “I don’t” you are affirming an idea of your identity. You really create your world according to your identity. When you Change your identity you change your world. Fake it till you make it…. Start saying I don’t eat after 4 on Tuesdays and Thursdays…or something similar.
Check out Cooking Vamp #21 “Less is More” for more insight (click on “Archived Chat” to see viewers’ comments/questions)

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