Monday, March 9, 2015

Rant: Permission To Take A Food & Drink Risk

Once again, these are the words of Nate Berkus, a decorator, product designer, author and speaker, from his speech at the Design Blogger's Conference which was recently held in Atlanta, The conference was presented by Esteem Media and Adam Japko, the founder and CEO of Esteem Media, created an exciting, informative, and fun conference. Though the conference is centered on interior design, many of the panel sessions have applicability well beyond interior design and Nate's words here are no exception.

In the above statement, you can substitute many items for "design" and it will still be relevant and inspiring. You could "give yourself permission to take that" food risk, wine risk, restaurant risk, spirits risk, or more. You don't have to follow the conventional options, and conform to the norms. You can, and should, think outside the box and be willing to try different and more unusual options, to break outside of your comfort zone.

Complacency is easy. It takes no effort to order the same dish every time you go out to a restaurant. It takes no effort to buy the same wine every time you visit a wine shop. It also takes no effort to eat and drink the same things as everyone else. They are the safe choices, those which won't rock the boat. There is no risk that you won't like what you eat or drink. You know exactly what you're getting, and frankly, that is boring.

There is nothing wrong with taking risks. You simply need to take that first step, to let yourself take a chance on something new and different. Sure, it may seem a bit scary at first, but that is merely a psychological barrier which you can easily overcome. The reward for taking that risk can be enormous, the discovery of a new food or drink which excites and satisfies you. You could uncover a new favorite, something to tantalize and please your palate. However, that cannot happen unless you are willing to take a risk.

Consider the recent Boston Wine Expo. If you attended this grand wine tasting, which wines did you taste? Did you stick to the wines you already knew well? Or did you seek out wines that were unfamiliar to you, wines from different regions, wines using less common grapes? Did you take any risks in your wine tasting?

When you dine out, do you only eat at Boston restaurants? Do you shy away from traveling to suburban restaurants?  Or do you take a risk and visit those suburban spots, to discover the wonders of their culinary skills? When you dine out a a restaurant, do you always order the chicken dish? Or the steak dish? Or do you prefer to order the special, no matter whether it is seafood, beef, chicken, lamb or something else? Do you play it safe with the menu or take risks?

Break out of your routine. Break out of your complacency. Break out of your boring, same old choice. Instead, take risks and explore the myriad of choices that are available to you. Unless you take those risks, you'll never know what you are missing, the great wines and foods that you could be enjoying. We all need to take a close look at the choices we make concerning our food and drinks, and ascertain those areas where we play it safe, and could benefit from some risk. We may feel we are big risk-takers, and might be in many areas, but there may be other areas where we are unwilling to be risky.

Give yourself permission to take that food and drink risks.  

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