How Crowdsourcing the World Innovated English Dining
Us Brits have plenty to be proud of. From The Beatles to Shakespeare, William Blake to Dr. Who, British culture has left an indelible mark on the world. But historically, England has been the laughingstock for one thing: cuisine. This was certainly warranted in the 70’s & the 80’s; walking the streets of London you’d find bland food and poor service, but there’s been a steady increase in quality from those times.
As much as it’s changed, it’s easy to see why the world still makes jokes. Sure we have classics like steak & kidney pie and fish & chips, but if you want something more exotic, you’re stuck with the likes of haggis, jellied eels, and spotted dick. The names alone are enough to make you grimace. But luckily, due to the influence of immigrant gourmands and chefs and the relative ease and cheapness of international travel to all parts of the world, visitors to The Sceptered Isle no longer have to scarf down plates of blood sausage and mushy peas.
Now, one can walk the streets of London, Stratford-Upon-Avon, or Oxford and find amazing food and fine dining with influences from France, India, and Greece. And the best part? British chefs have actually gotten better. That is the power of competition, open dialogue, and the innovation of fresh ideas.
So yes, we still have roast beef & Yorkshire pudding, fish & chips, and bangers & mash, but now we have generous servings of Michelin 1, 2, and 3-star chefs.
Meat and Potatoes
Many of us are in the ‘meat and potatoes’ phase of our career. We’re working on the basics, and building our foundation. We’ve optimized a few domains, and are enjoying our meal. But what happens when we see the person at the table next to us eating their steak with a butter herb sauce. We think, “I want that. How did they get it?” The answer is simple: ask.
Start the conversation. “How did you get to where you are? What mistakes did you make? What advice would you give someone in my shoes?” By making the right connections and asking the right questions, you’ll soon find yourself searching for more exotic flavors.
Once you start looking you’ll find goose liver, gingerbread, and port; oxtail consommé; butter poached lobster with vanilla, carrot, and lemon verbena; and for dessert, Grand Cru chocolate mousse. The beauty is once you’ve sampled many dishes you can always return to your steak and potatoes. Only then, you’ll have a refined palate and a wider knowledge of what’s possible.
It’s Not Just What You Eat
This metaphor wouldn’t be complete without the Epicurean mandate: it’s not what you eat, it’s who you eat with. You want a healthy and varied mental diet, but you also want to be inspired and challenged by people you enjoy. Connecting over commonalities is important, but if those you surround yourself with are too similar, you may fall in a rut and not be challenged to grow.
In my career, I’m constantly meeting people and making connections at workshops and events like San Diego Startup Week and my meetup, Top Line Sales Club or at more formal events like my monthly VP of Sales Dinner.
So get out there and meet professionals who inspire you to grow and be the best you can be. With good food, good colleagues, and good wine, there’s no knowing how delicious life can be.
Chris Stock, CEO & founder of DevEvo, is an International Sales Trainer, Coach, Author & Keynote Speaker with over 20 years of sales experience. He has developed the salesforces of global companies such as Google, BMW, Sony pictures and Fujitsu. Hailing from the UK, Chris is currently enjoying the SoCal lifestyle, where actual sun can be found on a beach.