...An apprentice went to their chef and asked eagerly, “I am devoted to studying and cooking expertly crafted food. How long will it take me to master this craft?” The chef's reply was casual, “Ten years.” Impatiently, the apprentice answered, “But I want to master it faster than that. I will work very hard. I will practice and work everyday, ten or more hours a day if I have to. How long will it take then?” The mentor thought for a moment, “20 years.”
Maybe this means the harder you work, the more there is to learn, or the more you want to learn! Mastery of anything doesn't just come from practice alone, but from the hundreds of tiny changes and improvements, fuelling an ever evolving set of actions & patterns. The Japanese word kaizen means "change for better", with inherent meaning of either "continuous" or "philosophy" and refers to activities that continuously improve all functions. Kaizen encourages experimentation to nurture change and improvement.
Welcome to Kaizen House, the concept incubator brainchild of Elizabeth and Steele Haigh. The premise behind the company is simple; Find ways to create ‘exciting, inspiring, educational’ things. Kaizen House is London based and is currently focused on curated dinners, pop up events, content creation and conference speaking. Please stay tuned and subscribe to the newsletter for further updates.
Elizabeth Haigh (née Allen)
We already know what Elizabeth is capable of - Founding head chef at Pidgin, she guided the Hackney neighbourhood favourite to a Michelin star barely a year after opening. Her dishes have been described as bold & exciting, yet balanced, fusing her Singaporean-British heritage and fine dining cooking experience with a passion for wood-fire cooking. In 2016, she founded Kaizen House with the view to building her own restaurants and incorporating the Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement to other ancillary projects. Kaizen House's first project was a pop-up restaurant concept named Shibui. Shibui (Japanese slang for ‘good taste’) is a fascinating word that alludes to the ‘beautifully simple, yet complex’ things in life and in the creation of food, means making a dish that leads the diner to draw beauty out of it for oneself.