3 Business Tactics I Learned from a Chef

In Customer Connections, Leadership Connections, Management Connections, Uncategorized by Shannon Alter0 Comments

Want to channel your inner Julia Child and help your business? I admit that I’m no stranger to Food TV, however my newest inspiration came from an in-person cooking demonstration given by Chef Zov Karamardian from Zov’s Bistro. You never know where your best business strategies will come from, food included.

I am fortunate to serve on the Board for Laurel House, an Orange County, California home for teen girls in crisis. We asked Zov if she would donate her time to provide an in-person cooking demonstration for a small cadre of local corporate women at a benefit event for our girls. She graciously agreed. Personable and charming,  Zov offered her best cooking (and business) advice while preparing our dish of Moroccan chicken,and rice.

1. Don’t Stir. Don’t peek. Don’t lift the lid. Cooking, she said, is all about patience. With rice, for example, if you lift the lid you’re bound to end up with soggy rice. Isn’t the same true (relatively) about our businesses? Sometimes, our inclination is to immediately jump in with both feet when perhaps we’d be better off to just…listen. No stirring.

2. Go back to the classics: Admit it, your grandma (or your mom) has probably shared some of her basic, classic cooking tips with you. Without grandma, we might not know about them. Here’s a tip from our Chef: when you’re making rice, tie a dishtowel firmly around the underside of the lid of your pan (so, the open part is on top of the lid); it absorbs the moisture and makes fluffier rice. This tip works in business too. Want to provide solutions for your clients, or strategic business tactics for them? Think about the basics: a strong foundation, credibility, building trust and relationships. It works every time.

3. Squeeze in a little lemon: Occasionally, we all get stuck. In cooking, perhaps the rice explodes (it happens) or our cake falls flat. In business, perhaps we’ve encountered a new situation, or a complex problem. Zov’s advice? Use a lemon. Whenever a dish doesn’t seem “bright” enough, or you know it needs just a little something more, squeeze in a little lemon. Stuck for an idea at work? Crank up the creativity: do a little brainstorming to generate some new ideas. Use a lemon.

As Zov says, it all starts in the kitchen.

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