Read a great article in 'Lucky Peach' (http://www.momofuku.com/news-and-events/lucky-peach/) this afternoon... Here's the scenario.
I am teaching a class @ JWU titled 'American Cuisine Today'. The students have been exposed to regional American foods and particular Chefs and Michelin-starred restaurants in order to elevate their understanding of fine cuisine. So....today the particular group creating, cooking and presenting a representative cuisine of the NorthEast USA is designing food inspired by David Chang of Momofuko and Wylie Dufresne of WD~50. The article in 'Lucky Peach' is written about Chef Chang and three other Chefs having lunch in San Francisco, presumably on a cold, SF bay-swept pier. The gist is the lunching chefs are pondering the problems and issues of chefs that copy other chefs without giving the initial chefs the public accord...all the while I am reading this and my students are 'copying' Chefs Chang and Dufresne!!! Ironic, eh?
Culinary students are, like singers and muscians, trying to find their 'voice' and looking for their 'style' - all the while emulating others who have come before them. Chefs Chang and Dufresne...we acknowledge your brilliance and we honor you as we have duplicated your food and created our own dishes with you as subject matter, mentors and inspiration... Bravo.
A word to the student chef. Find who you are. Cook what you love. Be what you dream. In the end, as with all crafts and arts, we delve to make our guests happy... Peace.