I've just tried to plan a menu and found a massive problem. I am a completely selfish cook. I am only able to consider and devise meals that appeal to me - that I want to eat.
In other words I am not nearly as interested in what other people will want, or how they would like to have something cooked. Oh no, my approach is that this is what I like and how I like it, and if there are any objections - well they just need to be educated. Taste it, then they'll come around.
Naively people have suggested that I try to cook properly - you know, for money and that. Despite the obvious issue - I'm not qualified, there are other obstacles: I cook like a trench war, I get very passionate about everything being to my standards and I have no knowledge of safety and hygiene regulations; however I think my biggest issue would be the fact that the food would be completely to my standards and opinions and the customers would have to lump it - wait come back, where are you going - you'll like it, I'm telling you... oh.
This extends to the way I behave in the kitchen - one of my loves of Christmas comes from me being left in the kitchen with alcohol to sustain me and knives to defend my position - offer to help at you peril! I am literally king of my castle.
It does occur to me that I am a monarch of the Canute variety - steadfastly commanding the sea not to come it and denying the inevitable. In my case this is the fact that other people like and dislike foods differently to me - an inevitable truth that I consider unacceptable. Which begs the question, is mine the instinct of a chef, or a poisoner?
I must admit I get a perverse pleasure from sneaking in food that people profess to dislike into their food without them noticing. Old favourites like chilli, olives, mushrooms and herbs and spices - spices especially when someone says they don't like curry or spicy food and they mean heat (spicy means thousands of different flavours and not a generic terms for 'a bit hot' - pah! ). I also love finding ways to get people to eat veggies they don't like - again especially children (I think I have a subconscious belief that if you let kids get away with not trying stuff they'll be crippled gastronomically for the rest of their lives, and I can't let that happen! Or maybe again it's the poisoning thing?).
Fortunately I seem to get away with most of my choices of flavours and meals. But then again I do have the knives...