As a restaurant owner you need to be as much a businessman as you are a chef. Staying inspired gets you the recipe, menu and business ideas that help move your restaurant forward. With these 10 tips to read, watch and listen to, we’ve got you covered!
1. Movie - Boiling Point (2021)
Head chef Andy Jones balances on the edge of a knife, on the busiest evening of one of the most popular restaurants in London. He’s under intense pressure, with multiple crises threatening his sanity. Incredibly, this movie is all shot in one continuous take, which emphasizes the pressure cooker actor Stephen Graham and his team are in. Restless, full of fire and kitchen mayhem, it tells the story about a chef who’s desperately trying to keep it all together.
2. Book – Unreasonable Hospitality (2022)
In Unreasonable Hospitality - The remarkable power of giving people more than they expect, chef Will Guidara (former co-owner of Eleven Madison Park and NoMad) talks about transforming ordinary transactions into extraordinary experiences. Highly rated on Goodreads, this book tells some wholesome stories on how to surprise your guests, make memorable meals and get the most bespoke hospitality in the business.
3. TV - Chef Gino D’Acampo cooks on This Morning (2010)
You either love him or hate him, but this fragment of chef Gino D’Acampo on the This Morning show is an all-time classic, that probably popped up in your feed somewhere in the past years. But, if it hasn’t: you HAVE to watch it. Gino’s relatable frustration, the innocence of show host Holly and the reaction of Phil, who knows what she’s got coming…
4. Podcast – The Sporkful (since 2010)
‘Not for foodies but for eaters’, this podcast, with host Dan Pashman is obsessing about food in ways you wouldn’t immediately think of. For instance, there’s an episode about the role of jelly in pop-culture, one about ice for drinks, and a series on pasta called ‘Mission: ImPASTAble’. Also, they have the annual game ‘2 Chefs And A Lie’ where you have to identify the person who’s not a chef. It’s fun, light, and well worth the listen!
5. Short video series - Vice Munchies: Close To Home
As a chef, you know that gastronomy is always influenced by traditions, trends, and cultures. In Close To Home, a show on VICE’s Munchies-platform, it’s all about geography and food. Visiting different chefs, Michelle Zauner talks about food and ingredients, but also about history and migration. For instance, did you know that Peruvian ceviche was created by Japanese immigrants? With every episode being under 15 minutes, it’s just enough to skim the surface of these interesting topics.
6. Book – Perfectly Good Food: A Totally Achievable Zero Waste Approach to Home Cooking
Described as the perfect cookbook for the thrifty (and environmentally mindful) chef, this beautifully illustrated cookbook is written by the chefs behind Boston’s Mei Mei Dumplings. It’s full of recipes to reuse leftovers and ways to prevent fresh produce from wilting, at home and in the professional kitchen. Moreover, it contains a lot of tips to make the most of your ingredients. Even though it contains many tips you may already know, it’s a great guide towards preventing waste!
7. Video – The perfect omelet with Pierre Koffmann
It’s something all chefs should know: the secret to quality food is in doing the simple things really well. In this video, triple Michelin star chef Pierre Koffman shows how he makes the perfect omelet. We won’t spill the beans on how he does it, but we can say his secret involves butter…
8. TV Series – The Chef Show
In 2014, a movie called ‘Chef’ was released. The script and co-production were in the hands of filmmaker and actor Jon Favreau, who also cast himself as the star. However, for his chef skills he needed a mentor. That mentor was food truck owner and chef Roy Choi, who oversaw the menus and food prepared for the film. Roy became co-producer as well. Their friendship extended beyond the movie and resulted in this great cooking show. Each episode involves the creation of several recipes, but is also kept light, with celebrity guests from both the world of film and the world of cooking, and lots of jokes between the hosts.
9. Documentary series – Somebody Feed Phil
If you’re into travelling, culture, and local cuisine, then this documentary series is a must-watch! Phil Rosenthal, creator of American sitcom ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’, travels the world to discover interesting dishes, recipes, and chefs. Or, as Phil puts it: “I find a new place, see what everybody’s eating and sometimes…miracles happen!” Phil is funny, genuine and, well… in love with going to the source of good food. The show continuously gets great critiques and even got an Emmy nomination for ‘Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program’.
10. Social Media – The beautiful food photography of Bea Lubas
Bea Lubas is a food photographer… and a good one. As author of the book ‘How to photograph food’, she puts her knowledge into practice on her incredibly aesthetically pleasing Instagram. Whether it’s an entire dish, a cookie or cake, or just a single ingredient, every photo evokes a strong urge to stick your hand through your screen to get a taste of what you’re seeing. A great inspiration for angles, lighting, and composition, to give your own Instagram a boost!