Recipe for Success

I was inspired this morning by two different articles. The first was about IBM Chef Watson. Remember the computer that played Jeopardy. Well now it is making recipes and doing it by adding ingredients that you wouldn't think of combining. (

The second article was how after the Canadian Federal Government has spent Billions of dollars and that we might not be winning the battle for innovation.

So how would this new recipe be developed. You take 1 part bright young mind that doesn't know that the problem can't be solved, take 1 part company that has a problem but might not know that it exists or that there is a solution. By the way, when the problem and/or solution is pointed out it becomes what I call FBO (Flashes of the Blindingly Obvious). Now add some cash to the mix. Not too much since cash like salt or sugar can tend to spoil the results. Place on heat and periodically turn up the heat until you get the desired results. Don't spend too much time watching (watch pot doesn't boil) or too little time watching (burnt offerings).

Next you need to add ingredients from the other recipes that are in your kitchen (incubator, accelerator, etc.) to your own. Think of it like adding chocolate to peanut butter.

The last part is to find assistant chefs (advisors or mentors) to help make sure that if there is a question it can be asked and answered. You will need sous chefs as they know how to make common dishes and are willing to try new things. Head Chefs are great but for our purposes we need someone who is still working in the kitchen.

Put this all into a giant mixer (see Pieter deJonge's vision in Cambridge for a local example) and wait for the amazing results.

Don't forget that like a grocery flyer people have to know that the ingredients are available. They have to know what is on special and what might be in season.

Locally there is an expression and book called Food that Schmecks. To me it means locally produced and tastes good. Often served in small portions it leaves the consumer wanting more. This is what our area and Province should be about.

From KW to Brantford and Guelph to Stratford with Cambridge in the middle we have what it takes. If you picture on a map you can visualize by connecting the dot you get a diamond. I do consider our area to still be a diamond in the rough. So much success and still lots of potential. A different angle, a perfect setting and a little buffing and you get something that shines.

In sports there is a playbook and for cooking there is a cook book. So the formula will be to create an innovation book full of recipes that others can copy and add their own flavour to the mix.

All this from reading two articles this morning.

Note: I took the picture when I was in China April 2014.

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