You worked with some amazing chefs, from Jean-Georges to molecular gastronomists. Was there any style of cooking you weren’t able to master?
No, and I’ll tell you why. I deliberately avoided the high probability of failure. I borrowed that advice from Warren Buffett. I chose recipes with the highest tolerance for mistakes.
What’s one recipe from the book a guy has to know?
The very first recipe in the book. It’s a variation of ossobuco. Always an expensive menu item at a restaurant. But if you tweak it, it’s easy to make. It’s five minutes of prep time! I’ll tell it to you right now: get a cast-iron pot, 3-4 lamb shanks, one bunch of carrots — just scrub and break ‘em in half, one can of whole tomatoes, some garlic cloves, two glugs of olive oil, three-quarters of a bottle of white wine. Put on a bunch of salt and pepper, cover it, cook on 350 for two hours. I served it to a guy who considers himself a foodie … he was blown away.
[callout] ... I just did sniper training with the L.A. SWAT team. I think I can apply these skills to that. [/callout]
So Malcolm Gladwell. He famously said it takes 10,000 hours of practice to be an expert in something. You’re saying you don’t need that much, right? Are these ideas incompatible?
Malcolm is a smart guy. I’m defining mastery as being in the top five percent of something. With that definition, you can become a world class master in one or two things per year. You can “master” 99% of a language in a year. To get to 99.9% level of mastering … that’s a long, personal decision, one that a lot of people would be fine not making.
How are you going to apply these skills next?
I just did sniper training with the L.A. SWAT team. I think I can apply these skills to that. Also, I want to learn a few more languages, like Indonesian. And maybe surfing.
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