March 7th, 2010
Several years ago, while I worked for Object Mentor, I blogged about an old friend, Master Chef Rino Baglio. I described some of the lessons I learned from him about craftsmanship and how they apply to software development.
Yesterday, I read a blog post by Christopher Cribb that contained another Chef anecdote that shows the same fanatical commitment to quality. Chistopher is a Kansas City-based wine importer who visited Chicago’s Fronterra Grill recently. Fronterra is the famous Mexican Restaurant owned by Chef Rick Bayless. Bayless won one of those master chef competitions recently, so now his restaurants are even more popular (and hard to get into) than they were before.
Christopher’s blog post is actually about wine pairings with spicy foods (and worth reading for that discussion alone). Along the way, he describes observing Bayless eating his own dinner at the bar. When he started to eat the fish entree, he immediately took it back to the kitchen. Twenty minutes later, the head chef brought him a new plate and apologized for whatever transgression Bayless discovered.
It’s easier to just let subpar work go uncorrected, but Bayless is so successful because he’ll send a subpar dish back to the kitchen. When was the last time you said “no” to subpar work in your software project?