Been digging in the Fast Company archives. Here’s a fantastic article about renound Chicago chef Charlie Trotter:
Some years ago, American cooking schools, in an effort to professionalize an occupation that paid little and was lacking in prestige, began awarding degrees in “culinary arts.” The problem was that very little of what these budding chefs turned out even remotely resembled art. It doesn’t take “artists” to mimic their instructors, who are themselves mimicking crusty old cookbooks written by ancient French chefs.
Doing things differently is hard in the restaurant business, where new raw materials are tough to come by. Chefs achieve artistry through relentless creativity, tastefully and consistently executed. It’s no accident that many restaurants fail. Even good restaurants eventually bore their customers if they don’t continue to innovate.
Trotter, who earned a political-science degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1982 but never graduated from cooking school, declared from the outset that no matter what happened, eating in his restaurant was never going to be boring.