Monday, 23 April 2012

R Risk, restaurants and chefs on TV

R Risk is a  concept that has always fascinated me but it became of special interest in the past few days as I partially tried to overcome my jet lag, by zonking out on my couch and watching the Food Network shows, "Chopped" and "Top Chef Canada." There are many dictionary definitions of risk but I define it as the potential for a chosen course (action or inaction) to lead to an adverse result. I had just watched Brene Brown's YouTube TED talks on vulnerability and shame, and thought about the fact that "psychological risk" may be scarier than "physical risk" - as in my P for Pirates post.
In my previous professional career there were numerous times when I was challenged to take on a role or an assignment that was way out of my comfort zone. Confronted with my own vulnerability, I inevitability took on the challenge,  telling myself that confronting the risk  would be "good for my soul."
So what has this got to do with my A to Z Challenge theme of travel, food and theatre? On the two TV shows I mentioned, I watched those chefs who are obviously passionate about food and proud of their culinary skills,  risk the often-times devastating reviews and criticism of the competition judges as they battled to prove their skills.
As I walk two neighbourhood streets that I call "restaurant row" for the cafes, coffee shops and fine restaurants that line the three blocks on each street, I note on the window of the fine establishment that recently closed, a sign advertising a new restaurant opening there shortly. Like phoenixes arising from the ashes of failed dreams, a new dining place seems to open every few weeks. Talk about risk!
This week I saw two wonderful shows, a play called God of Carnage and the opera, Aida. And again I thought about the risk a performer takes, each time putting his or her ability out for the world - and reviewers (see N for Naughty or Nice) to criticize.
But taking risks makes the difference between a safe, boring, maybe stultifying  existence. Its so easy to stay within your comfort zone. To me RISK is the spice that makes the adrenaline flow, the difference between living and just existing. What do you think?

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