It dawned on me today. Use your notebooks. I spend hours writing and working through ideas and compiling them in notebooks. And yet many times I overlook referring to them during the creation and execution of a dish. That is just downright stupid. There is nothing wrong with spontaneity and improvisation. I am a strong proponent of both. However, failing to draw from the resources you create and build is merely cutting your own legs out from underneath.
Sure, sometimes an ingredient is unavailable or not of a desired quality. If that is the case make substitutions. Yet, use the outline or script from your notebook. Time in the kitchen is for the execution of ideas. I know other thoughts and concepts begin to spark during the creative process and that is good. What happened today showed me it is better to just write down the ideas and work through the process of dishes that are at least partially formulated. Nothing came together. Yes components were arranged but at the end of the day the dishes failed. The reason is because I opted to work without rehearsal. As we have noted, the key to improvisation is the rehearsal process, working through scenarios in order to avoid disaster in the heat of the moment. Well, I forgot and paid for it today.