The Definition of Discipline

Gavin Kaysen (Photo: Brent Herrig)

Discipline is about having a sense of routine, order, and control.

Discipline is doing things the right way, even when circumstances vary,
and even when you may not feel up to it.

~ Gavin Kaysen (1979 – )
American chef
Chef and owner of Spoon and Stable Restaurant in Minneapolis
Former executive chef for Daniel Boulud in New York City

Musings and Impressions
I read plenty of food literature and one of the books that’s sitting on my night stand presently is a revised edition of Daniel Boulud’s Letters to a Young Chef, which he first wrote 15 years ago. I’m not a chef, and I’m not 19, but the lessons of the kitchen and hospitality from this perpetually smiling chef are grand lessons in life as well. 

The tail end of this fine book captures an equally fine compilation of letters from some of his friends. The first in this august cast of chefs is Gavin Kaysen, who has chosen to give his letter the title, Discipline

It’s interesting how Kaysen chose to define discipline first and foremost as routine, which feels like the most mundane of words. But routine is everything. Gustave Flaubert, the French writer and the man behind Madame Bovary (a Boulud favorite), once said this too about routine: 

Be regular and orderly in your life,
so that you may be violent and original in your work

Kaysen noted that discipline was “a way of life” in Chef Daniel’s kitchen, and what struck me most was how he has come to embrace discipline as
“a tool for perfection.”

Tool for perfection. That’s powerful. 

For more quotes like this, visit soul quotes


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