I discovered a show called The Chopping Block on Sunday & Olin & I have been watching it since then. We finished it last night. It's only 8 episodes, but a great concept. Master Chef Marco Pierre White, who has trained individuals such as Gordon Ramsay, of Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, etc, is training potential restauranteurs. Eight couples team up, starting out 4 against 4 in two separate restaurants across the street from each other in NYC. They pick the name, the decor, plan menus etc. In various challenges, each team either wins or loses & at the end of each episode, a couple from the losing team is "sacked" by Marco.
I particularly love this show because I find Marco, although intimidating to the couples trying to impress him, rather courteous, calm, cool & collected compared with his protégé Gordon Ramsay, who gets bleeped out on TV a lot, along with kicking trash cans, throwing things, yelling, etc.
I also love the concept of training & guiding couples to see who is going to get the prize of 1/4 million dollars to start a restaurant of their own, which is one of my dreams. I know Olin & I could never be on a show like this because we a) have no formal chef training & b) are vegetarian/vegan. They have to know how to cook all the meats. Also, they all drink & serve wine, coffee, etc.
The thing that inspired this blog was on one of the "Great White" challenges, the team who won, received a renowned maître d’ for the following evening's dinner service. He taught them something very simple that to me was very inspiring. He said when your guests come in make them feel welcome & comfortable & show them that you are in control. What he meant was, don't let them see that you are out of control & chaotic. You have the situation under control, in other words. Remain calm, cool & collected even when mistakes happen.
I feel this principal is quite universal in its application. I was thinking how that could apply to any business, any church, any home, any gathering of people. Like when we have company at Thanksgiving or something. I wanted to make everyone feel welcome & comfortable, but I had an emotional meltdown over my failed attempt at a sweet potato casserole & locked myself in the back bedroom until I could get myself together. This would not be a good example of implementing these principals. I also think it would be useful in Pathfinders, which intimidates me since I did not exactly grow up involved in & feel I'm learning everything slower than the kids. If I focus on making the kids feel welcome & comfortable while maintaining control I think Pathfinders would go more smoothly for me & I would dread it less. In order to do that, more preparation is in order. Olin likes to wing it, but I feel totally lost when I get there if the plan is to wing it. Now I'm pondering...