Photo by Isabella Vosmikova/Bravo
Winning a big reality show like Top Chef doesn’t look easy. But in a recent interview with culinary celebrity Wolfgang Puck, he said that after victory is when the hard work really begins. And yet, with a little bit of leadership and a lot of teamwork he explained that success was certainly achievable.
As Wolfgang noted, “What you really have to do is sit down and know your strengths and your weaknesses. And if you are… a chef in a restaurant, hire the appropriate people to help you to be successful. In a way, once you go into the next step, owning a restaurant or being a chef, you have to be a coach and a player in a way. So you have to be able to do both.”
While that dichotomy is key to attaining the ultimate goal, Wolfgang made it clear that no one man or woman can reach it on their own. He remarked, “It’s very important in a restaurant to really do the right hiring because there’s no restaurant that you have one cook and one chef and nobody else in the kitchen. Generally you have five, ten, 15 people with you. So that’s really important is to train them right, but first you have to hire the right people.”
But of course, in a marketplace glutted with options there’s one more important element to standing out in the crowd. As Wolfgang explained, “When I was really young and I think the culinary landscape was so different. But I really think there are very few contestants who actually I thought had their own ways.”
As he added, that’s what separates the very best of the show’s competitors. “Out there in life there are so many people you can find who can execute it, but to have their own ways, their own ideas, there are very few of them. And when somebody is a Top Chef winner you almost expect them to have their own ways their own ideas, and then execute them perfectly.”
Still when it comes to cooking, Wolfgang was clear to make a distinction about the particular skill set, saying, “A chef is a mixture maybe of artistry and craft. You have to learn the craft really to get there. And then you could be called an artist if you make it artistically if the dishes are. But to get a really artistically you could call it an artist, but it’s more a craft than an artistry, than an artist.”
Tune in to Top Chef: Seattle on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. Central on Bravo.
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