cutting the tape

Thomas Keller is a world- renowned chef , proprietor of Thomas Keller Restaurant group  , and holder of 7 Michelin stars. Of his multiple restaurants , French Laundry  , is the one of the most renowned. In a Tedx talk , Keller discusses connectivity and excellence. One story in his talk that caught me was a about an employee at French laundry who was the  Chef de Cuisine ; He was in charge of preparing the fish for the dinner service  . Normal procedure is to have a cutting board on your station so you can prep throughout  dinner service; this is a commonality at  most restaurants. This particular night, the cook decided that he would be so prepared that  he would not need a board at his station. He professed that if you prepare ahead with excellence , there is no need for a board to prep on. That night , before dinner service he prepped so well, he didn’t need the board once. This became the new standard . Another employee of who was in charge of labeling the product that would go in the kitchen, one day decided instead of tearing the tape , he would cut the tape. It’s a small detail that also changed the procedure at work and became a new standard.


All of these employee’s decisions to lift the standard brought about a change amongst the the staff and ultimately the company. Because a change that a particular person made affected a company , it would be assumed they were leaders , vanguards of sorts, and in a way, they are. However, the leadership shown in this story is not necessarily displayed by the employees but rather implicitly by the principle, Thomas Keller . You see , leadership is not necessarily about actions that may set a new  standard of excellence , but rather about a person’s  ability to make others believe that there is one.  It is awesome that these employee’s exemplary gestures of excellence ,affected change In their company however, who or what exactly was the impetus for these people to reach for more? Why was there even a need to elevate their respective positions to another level?

The reason is Thomas Keller . He instilled a culture and cultivated a mindset that encouraged an always evolving display of excellence. In his own actions and conversation, the desire to go deeper and excel a little more than yesterday was very much prevalent . So , when the Chef de cuisine was hit with the idea to elevate his preparation , it wasn’t an isolated thought of improving one’s craft , but rather a totally dependent action correlated with the ever present culture of excellence that Keller has created . The exact same goes for man who started cutting the tape with scissors as opposed to tearing it; the principle’s actions and culture directly affected the thought and actions of the pupils . These people are disciples of Thomas Keller


The New Testament speaks of the  ministry of Jesus Christ and the accounts recorded by his disciples upon the death of and before his arrival. In Matthew 28:18, upon His resurrection Christ gives His mandate to his disciples ( The Great Commission) telling the disciples “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me “.  “Go then and make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. This declaration to the disciples along with witnessed work of Christ and the prophesies preceding his ministry made is to believe that there is a standard . There is something to reach towards. In Matthew 3:11 John the Baptist declares that “indeed I baptize you with water”. (It is I who leads you closer to another level with knowing Christ) ” but He Who is coming after me is mightier than I whose sandals I am not worthy to carry will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire”. The disciple are operating in a such a way that their actions should be lauded, but it is very clear that such action in inspired the principal. Paul when talking to the church of Ephesus, states that we ” should be imitators of God “, as well beloved children imitate their father. God’s  burial and resurrection is one the pulls all of us to believe in the standard. It empowers us in Matthew 28:20 to ” go teaching them( Gentiles ) to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you”.


About Literarydimes

This blog is a reflection of me. My random thoughts and current happenings. Enjoy. Engage. React.
This entry was posted in Life, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to  cutting the tape

  1. Great read! Would love to have you contribute to Genteel Flair if you’re interested!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s