Cooking Up Creativity

One look at me and you would not think I am a foodie nor am I a sous chef. But I am always after my mom to try out new recipes either by adding simple twists like adding chopped veggies to a bread pakora batter or adding powdered digestive biscuit as a topping for apple crumble. Cooking allows one’s creative juices to flow because all you have is plain raw materials in front of you and you have to cook up something that is appealing to your taste buds, eyes and nose.
You would notice that in culinary competitions where chefs are pitted against one another, some of the most creative dishes are produced. Interestingly enough, creativity is at its peak when these chefs have to conjure up something with a restricted number of ingredients. Can you ever imagine what can one make with leftovers like bread, vegetable stock and cabbage? Well, voila! You have steamed cabbage dumplings in warm vegetable stock seasoned with Thai herbs. Well, at least the contest judges loved every bite of it, so I am assuming it would be more than just ‘edible’. No wonder at home when you have a limited and an odd combination of ingredients, you can come up with very innovative and tasty dishes like fried pasta with a simple mint chutney dip. It seems necessity or a ‘do or die’ situation brings out the most amazing inventions.
My point is that new and unusual ingredients foster creativity by forcing chefs and at home cooks to consider possibilities that would otherwise never occur in front of them. Of course it is not always necessary that all the results are successful. Would a batch of fried carrots in gram flour batter taste good? I am not so sure, but having access to a wide variety of ingredients, however odd can provide more opportunities for success as well as some flops. Would it not be interesting if we are given a new set of challenges or information on a daily basis and asked to come up with creative solutions? I am sure there are days when you feel that your mind has hit a block- you cannot think of any new idea that has not been tired before or how to solve a problem. Unfortunately, we humans are creatures of habits and think of the same old approaches again and again. If we are in a field for a long time, it is tougher to think out of the box.
To tackle it, you go back to your source of inspiration and wellspring of creativity. It can be as simple as reverse mentoring wherein you partner with new trainees in your organization and simply hear their views and ideas about stuff, even collaboration across various disciplines bring in expertise or even a new perspective to an ingredient contributing to the problem at hand. Believe it or not watching the Masterchef competition or even watching baby TV can trigger an Aha moment. Personally for me, the Masterchef competition have provided me a lot of inspiration to believe in my dreams and a spark to kick start a new thought. So, have you found your creative source yet?

One thought on “Cooking Up Creativity

  1. i totally agree… you can cook anything from anything…. even your future with your dreams 🙂

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