An underestimated driver of progress is the sources of inspiration around us.
Whether a cook or a scientist, it is not the details but the individuality that connects us all. The ability to reason about the world and our agency to mold it.
Inspiration from others abounds but it also quickly fades. Sort of a fire starter that you can summon on command but it is up to you to keep it alight.
One of my favorite sources of inspiration is a chef, Marco Pierre White. He has an inspiring story that hinges on a hardcore work ethic and simple but profound ideas that resonate.
The following are extracts from an Interview at Oxford Union (2016).
On beginnings. I came from a very working class world. But a working class world that had self-esteem and pride, they knew their position. The front gardens were always tendered. The back garden is where you grew your vegetables and you dried your washing.
On Simplicity. It’s very easy to overwork and overthink something. The secret is to have confidence in what you do. Why take something and make it something it’s not?
On honesty. I always believed in one thing when I was in the kitchen. Honesty with yourself. Is it within me to win 2 starts in michelin? Do I have what it takes? And I said to myself, “yes”. So I started pushing and pushing and pushing, because it’s about self belief, at whatever cost.
On dreams. It is not you but other people that make your dreams come true. At the end you are just a pied piper, if they’re not prepared to follow you 6 days a week 18 hours a day, it will not come true.
On greatness. If someone asks me, what makes a great chef? I’d say three things:
- They accept and respect that mother nature is the true artist and they are the cook.
- Everything they do becomes an extension of them as a person.
- They give insight into the world they were born into. The world that inspire them and they serve it on their plates.