In all things, perfect practice makes perfect, imperfect practice does not. Are there areas in which you would love to improve? Your pallet for wines or maybe that perfect pairing you’ve always wanted to accomplish with your favorite wine? There is one thing out there that will propel you forward. Every culinary student and chef is exceptionally familiar with it, it’s called critique. Those scowling words out of the instructors mouth, the guest who you can never seem to satisfy… But, like a bandage on a sore wound they must be dealt with. When someone doesn’t like your food it can become very personal. But it also means growth, building character along the way.

Don’t be afraid to hold yourself to a higher standard, take hold of criticism and when it’s constructive, learn to cherish it. Dedicate yourself to it! What do those around you need? What can you provide for them? Think outside of the box again this month!

I fell in love with food at a very early age, I remember making up my own recipes at the young age of eight. Save yourselves the pain and agony, don’t ever mix scrambled eggs with Worcestershire & sour cream! It’s just, so not worth it! The things eight year olds can dream up. The point is, write YOUR story, you don’t always need to listen to what Food TV says, Betty Crocker, or whomever… Be creative this month. Take one of your go to recipes and give it a big twist. This I know, people LOVE food. Well, I know this too, when you’re a chef nobody ever wants to feed you. It’s a double edge sword. Is there someone who you need to reach out to, mend a dispute with? I’m telling you (and you know that it’s true) food is a perfect gateway. Well… Wine is typically a whole lot better. But, what is even better than that? Food and wine together!

Anyway, I know that I’ve covered a few different areas this month but, in honor of our New Year (and absence of resolutions for some of us) I just want to continue encouraging all of you to strive to be better and better. If we all as a society had this goal (and I know that we all don’t) think of what an amazing world this would be!

So, this month’s recipe is going to be a plain and simple classic… I want you to prepare it but put your own amazing spin on it. Don’t be shy, don’t be afraid. Go in to your kitchens and play, play, play! As I always love to say, don’t be so serious, it’s only food!

Share some of your stories with me, I’d love to know what some of you made!