Amuse-bouche Thinking: Big Ideas, Tiny Bites, and the Creative Process in Haute Cuisine




Wilson, Corey

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The value of creativity as a business commodity increases each year as global markets, diversified consumer habits, and new ways of living with technology stoke an insatiable appetite for the new, the next. Haute cuisine exemplifies the unrelenting need to churn out appealing, practical ideas in a competitive market. Existing studies of creativity in haute cuisine focus on modes of creativity, perceptions of creativity, and models of the creative process that abstract creativity from the actual work haute cuisine chefs: developing a menu of numerous courses and serving them to guests. This grounded theory qualitative study aims to understand more precisely how chefs in haute cuisine manage the creative process to produce novel dishes. The findings suggest that creativity in haute cuisine is a non-linear, non-sequential process consisting of six primary phases: (a) context construction (expertise and defined success), (b) social creativity (organizational structure, culture, and processes moderated by internal and external constraints), (c) prototype dish, (d) feedback, (e) production dish, and (f) self-care. These findings potentially lend themselves to other industries that similarly rely on creativity.


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