At some point, most of us have watched Matt Preston, the very popular and beloved judge of the Master Chef Australia, exhibit his mastery over everything gastronomical on TV.
The food journalist, restaurant critic and author is in India and he took a Master Class at J W Marriott in Bangalore. Matt, for whom curry is soul food, passed on some important pearls of wisdom to cooking enthusiasts, budding chefs, children and home cooks.
But his pointers don’t just hold value in the culinary world. Entrepreneurs can learn a thing or two from the gourmand as well. Some juicy nuggets from the session include:
1) Appreciate local elements – A pesto recipe calls for pine nuts and basil, rare ingredients in our country. So, while in India, and teaching an Indian audience, Matt turned to local elements. He used elements like coriander, cashew and ginger to create his dish. As entrepreneurs, it is essential you appreciate the geography you exist in and explore and tap into local talent pool of your city and State.
2) Don’t put a stop to learning – Matt travels across the world, sampling food and exploring local food habits and cooking techniques. In all his travels he learns new things. Despite being a celebrated and much revered food connoisseur, Matt says he always finds something new to learn. Regardless of what stage you are at in your entrepreneurial journey, don’t assume you know everything. Continue to seek more and learn more.
3) Question everything – On cooking traditions and techniques, Matt pointed out how essential it was to question practices and not accept processes or techniques just because they have been passed down through generations. Say, a certain pie or a dish was cooked in a certain way or in a specific dish due to the availability of equipment, produce or resources. To learn and innovate you need to question. While it is important to ask the ‘whys’ you still need to be intuitive and astute, at cooking or entrepreneurship.
4) Don’t forget who you are – Matt, and his fellow star hosts on MasterChef, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan, have time and again encouraged young chefs on the show to stay true to their core. They have encouraged them to bring a part of themselves to the dishes that they are creating. Appreciating a young chef on the sets of his master class, who added a local touch to his cooking, Matt encouraged others to do the same. As an entrepreneur, as you evolve and progress, there will be a lot of new things to imbibe and instill. It is important to not forget that special ingredient that makes you unique, the quintessential you that you should not leave behind on your entrepreneurial journey.