Top Chef 5: Creativity gets you nowhere

It’s become a standard sight: At the judges’ table, the risk-taker’s risk-taking is briefly acknowledged, and then he (or she) is sent home. And then next week they’ll criticize someone roundly for not taking risks.

The problem of course is that creativity is not enough. The newness of an idea doesn’t make it good. (Take my Oatmeal Risotto fer instance. Please.) Execution counts. This is true in cooking, in chess, in web publishing, in MMA, movies, you name it. Weird opening gambits, off-kilter strategies, elaborate fictionalized special reports with javascript navigation, specializing in funky leg locks, The Fountain – all fun, all nice, usually with insufficient payoff.

Alas. There is a place in the world for the person who can make chicken parm perfectly, night after night, and enjoy doing it. That is hard to do. I respect that person greatly. But I am not him.

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2 thoughts on “Top Chef 5: Creativity gets you nowhere

  1. Digital Equipment Corporation
    Palm Computing
    Xerox (inventors of the computer mouse, and windows, etc.)
    Polaroid

    etc. etc.

  2. It’s the same in sports. Team/player X is too risky or conservative…but only if they don’t win.

    (Yes, a talking head said Oklahoma was too conservative last night. But if they didn’t turn the ball over twice in the red zone, they wouldn’t have been.)

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