Not your average bread and butter

Kottke shared this video today of a chef, Dan Richer, who is taking bread and butter as seriously as entrees:

I love his delight in his craft. He exudes joy as he talks about making bread and butter, and his passion for getting it just right is inspiring. You can roll your eyes that it’s just bread and butter, or you can admire that he cares deeply about doing something really well. (And butter is one of the all time greatest edible delights ever created. Please don’t tell me you eat margarine.)

Restaurants can get by just fine with average bread and butter. That’s what customers expect. But amazing bread and butter? Bread and butter that inspires short films? Richer is doing this for his own delight and for those he serves, but it certainly sets his restaurant apart from all the others that are fine with average. I would love to visit this chef’s restaurant.

Satisfactory is forgettable. There’s nothing heroic or inspiring about average. Why not make the thing you do, even if it seems basic or simple, as awesome as you can?

Near the end of the video, Chef Richer says this:

I’m like the anti-chef. I want to do less to something, and I want to put less on the plate. If there’s an ingredient that I can take off of the plate to make it more simple and more pure so you can actually experience the essence of what it is that we’re serving… That’s what’s special to me.

I am more wowed by simple elegance and clarity of execution than by complex and convoluted products and experiences. Simplify. Eliminate inessentials. Make the basics beautiful.

And eat butter. (Take it easy on the bread, though.)