I feel this kinship with Samurai because they were servants who were required to maintain composure and moral grandeur in the midst of high pressure, high speed situations. In the culinary industry we serve in all directions: We serve our patrons. We serve our employees. We serve our employers. We serve our investors. We serve each other.
It is our charge and our challenge.
It is our path to enlightenment through service.
On this path, we are chefs.
There are seven aspects to the ethical code by which the Samurai composed themselves - Justice, Courage, Benevolence, Politeness, Sincerity, Honor and Loyalty. I have chosen to spearhead an organization which can help chefs and other service industry professionals to make positive changes in their lives and I believe that those who are looking for change will find it on this path. After all, Samurai were servants. Warrior vassals who made service to their Daimyo an integral part of their existence in both life and death. We give our lives to this business in no small way, dedicating the vast majority of our waking hours to the care of the restaurant to which we have assigned ourselves.
The western world at large seems to be in a state of self-gratifying stupor and as a child of that world I've searched extensively for some understanding of what our culture is going through. I set out to seek my enlightenment several years ago and I chose the culinary arts as my path. These are my musings along the way and this is no more than a humble attempt to share what I have learned in the hopes that some questions might be answered, some light might be shed and that some peace may come.
We can all use the wisdom of Bushido to enhance our experience of life.
The current Western mindset would say that we're all different and that we should follow what feels good and that whatever system is in question may not 'work for everyone'. There is always truth to be found wherever one looks for truth. I would urge caution when approaching any new or different way of thinking and examine it as thoroughly as possible from as objective an angle as possible. That said, I would also argue that if one's path holds steady in the torrential information blizzard at hand in this modern world, it is likely to be the best path for you - likely, but you'll have to try it on to see if it fits.
If it works then use it, if it doesn't then reject it.
Welcome to our study of Bushido (Path of the Gentleman with a Knife)