Byron's Babbles

Leading With “Food Stories”

fileStories have always been shared over a good meal, but more and more chefs and artists alike are using the food itself to tell the story. I have become so immersed with this concept that I have planned a leadership retreat for this weekend starting tonight with food telling the story as the through line. Our Focused Leader Academy (FLA) participants will be learning from Chef Nicholas Townsand at Ulen Country Club tonight on how to prepare a meal to tell a story. I am super excited about this!

Then we will start the day tomorrow with my good friend and Graphic Recorder, Mike Fleisch, telling a story of our six year journey working with teachers together by cooking breakfast. I am not going to give the story away yet. You will have to wait for tomorrow’s post. Needless to say, we have quite the plan.

The narrative side of food really intrigues me. Subconsciously, when you eat something, your brain is always comparing it to what you’ve had previously, the place you were eating it, and the people you were eating with. Think about it – our brain tries to find connections and similarity. Just like being able to tell stories is a very important leadership trait, the more powerful story behind the food, the more it evokes the memory, which in turn enhances the flavor. There is no doubt that flavor is inextricably linked with memory and emotion. They’re all processed by the same part of the brain.

As a concept, “story food” is happy to pick and choose from any of these former trends, but with the intention of offering a non-verbal narrative through taste sensations. The challenge for the chef is to create tastes that manage to convey the message, while at the same time being pleasurable to consume. The best thing about “story food” is how accommodating it can be. Just as chefs tell a story with food, we as leaders need to be able to tell stories using our experience that inspire and guide those we lead.


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  1. […] four that tells the journey of our Focused Leader Academy (FLA) learning to tell a story with food. Click here to read the first post entitled Feeding […]


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