Food & Drink

Finding my voice as a writer and teacher

Peter Reinhart, 65, is Chef on Assignment for Johnson & Wales University and three- time James Beard award winning author. His 10 books include: Bread Upon the Waters: A Pilgrimage Toward Self Discovery and Spiritual Truth.
Peter Reinhart, 65, is Chef on Assignment for Johnson & Wales University and three- time James Beard award winning author. His 10 books include: Bread Upon the Waters: A Pilgrimage Toward Self Discovery and Spiritual Truth. Courtesy of Peter Reinhart

Peter Reinhart, 65, is Chef on Assignment for Johnson & Wales University and three- time James Beard award winning author. His 10 books include: Bread Upon the Waters: A Pilgrimage Toward Self Discovery and Spiritual Truth.

I went off on my own after college to find out more about who I was and what I had to say. This took me on a spiritual journey into the seminary lasting 25 years.

After starting a bakery, I discovered the theme of my life which was – bread. The slower the bread rises, the better the bread.

Over many years I developed Struan bread where I forged a strong emotional connection. When in Scotland, I learned “Struan” meant the converging or confluence of streams. It symbolized the convergence of streams in my life. I found my voice as a writer and a teacher and knew what I had to say.

Strive to become great at one thing. Find the thing you most enjoy, you’re most drawn to, and become an expert in this. By breaking through into excellence this will spill over and infuse all of the other things that you’re good at.

For a long time I thought I had no aptitude for hand skills or craft. I realized it was much more a matter of a decision, rather than a limitation. I decided to overcome this to achieve what I needed to in order to make bread – so I made that decision.

People can change. Don’t prejudge the possibility of someone always being the way that they are.

As told to Michael J. Solender

Know someone over 50 who’d like to share their life’s lessons? Reach out to michaeljsolender@gmail.com.

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