Inspiration is a Two-Way Street

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image: Chef Matt Louis photographed by Enna Grazier, for Stages at One Washington "Inspiration is a 2 way street."  

A chef friend shared these words recently on his Facebook wall, and while he was referring to his collaboration with colleagues and staff in the kitchen, this statement truly gets to the core of our philosophy at Inspire. We've selected our speakers to participate in Inspire only in part because of their skill as instructors and their success in the industry. What makes our speakers special, what sets them apart and makes us eager to have them represent the Inspire mission and curriculum is that they are lifelong learners. They recognize that they have just as much to learn from their community as they have to offer. We have invited them to join us in creating the Inspire retreat and representing our curriculum because for all the joy we get out of seeing them teach, we get even more joy seeing our speakers and attendees mix together and take turns learning from one another.

Chef Louis goes on to say, "Chances are [if] someone credits you for inspiring them, [it is also true that] they have inspired you. Keep your eyes open, inspiration is everywhere, and comes in many different ways."

This year we have many alumni speakers returning - some are joining us to teach workshops again, and some have registered to attend Inspire alongside all the other 'attendees'. Many will share their expertise and experience by acting as mentors during our mentoring sessions. And many of them have also signed up to be mentored.

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The Inspire experience is built on a foundation of peer-to-peer mentoring. Everyone brings something of value to the table where we'll all meet in just over a week. This back and forth inspiration, mentoring, sharing of ideas and strategies and opportunities for thinking about things in a new way is the heart of what we do. I want to encourage each of you to push yourselves: challenge yourself, reach out, ask questions, think, listen, and share with generosity. This is what Inspire is all about.

Thanks Chef Louis for expressing that philosophy with such sincerity and simple eloquence. For anyone reading this, if you find yourself in Portsmouth NH, be sure to try Matt's amazing cookery at Moxy.