All serious cooks understand the importance of flavour. In the Caribbean, we create flavour by seasoning.
Seasoning fish, meat or chicken the evening before it was to be cooked was a big thing in our home growing up and although I sometimes take short cuts due to last minute decisions, it remains important in my home.
Some may call it marinating. It’s the same thing. It means to allow food to soak in the flavours of the spices and herbs you’ve seasoned it with. The aim is that food will be tasteful, delicious, savoured and enjoyed.
Good seasoning enhances the nutritional qualities of food; and it makes it more digestible, because our relationship with food is also emotional and psychological. If it smells, looks and tastes good, we’re more likely to enjoy it.
But food is not my point. I use it merely as a metaphor for what I want to say, and it is that you have a flavour and are here to release it to the world. That’s your sole purpose. It’s your soul’s purpose. Release your flavour.
You release your flavour when you are yourself. That is, when you are doing things your way, and not someone else’s.
I must say, I cannot sum this up better than in the words of William Whitecloud who in his blog titled ‘Stop Selling Crap and Fighting for the Scraps’, said:
The problem with not unleashing your Genius as an entrepreneur is that you will copy or model what other entrepreneurs did to become successful. This does not create success at your highest level but rather a watered version of someone else success. [ibid] This leads to compromise, mediocrity and survival because you are competing for the scraps.
You audience don’t want you to be a watered down version of someone else’s success. [ibid] They want you to create something new that doesn’t exist that rings true with your soul and their hearts.
Now, those are not my words, it is not my way, but I believe I am using one of the strengths I have which is to curate and use whatever learn and discover. That’s my flavour, or at least one of them.
However, let me explain it in my own way.
I return to food.
Recently my niece told me that when she was growing up I was ‘the chicken and rice house’ because no one cooked chicken and rice like me. My mother’s house (her grandmother), ‘the oxtail stew house’. Her sister makes mean fried fish so hers was ‘the fried fish house’. Give two people the same set of ingredients and the outcome will differ, that’s why she didn’t talk about my fried fish or my oxtail stew, though I also cooked both. They had nothing on her sister’s fish or my mother’s oxtail.
Likewise, God has given each of us our own flavour. He expects us to use this in life, including business, to flavour our offering to the world.
I like how Sally Hogshead describes this. In her work to help people build success by fascinating the world in their own unique way, she says, “The greatest value you can add is to become more of yourself.”
It is not to focus on being better but on different. How far more exciting and liberating it is to look in your own cupboard, select your choice of herbs and spices and to blend them in a way only you can.
May you do just that. May you flavour the world with the skills, insights, approaches, ideas and all that God has given to you.