Change vs Constant, Constant vs Change, The Argument in Favour of Both Part 1 By Carmel O’ Reilly

Change vs Constant, Constant vs Change, The Argument in Favour of Constant: 

Jeff Bezos said: “I very frequently get the question: What’s going to change in the next 10 years? And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question: What’s not going to change in the next 10 years? And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two — because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time.” 

Change vs Constant, Constant vs Change, The Argument In Favour of Change:

In his talk about Finding Your Purpose, Tim Cook said:  “As you go out into the world, don’t waste time on problems that have been solved, don’t get hung up on what other people say is practical. Instead, steer your ship into the choppy seas. Look for the rough spots, the problems that seem too big, the complexities that other people are content to work around. It’s in those places that you will find your purpose.”

Change vs Constant, Constant vs Change, The Argument in Favour of Both: A Case Study

The story that lead to the:

Book Wisdom 

Of The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen

My first introduction to Steven Raichlen was as a man who is half historian and half chef. This is his story of how he earned that description, which I’ve adapted from his interview on the Big Questions podcast with Cal Fussman 

in 1975, Steven Raichlen earned a Bachelor of Arts in French literature from Reed College. He received a Thomas J. Watson Foundation Fellowship to study medieval cooking in Europe, and was offered a Fulbright Scholarship to study comparative literature. He trained at Le Cordon Bleu and La Varenne cooking schools in Paris. Raichlen said the beauty of the Watson Fellowships is that they can’t be academic: so he couldn’t’ say he was going off to Oxford to study medieval literature, instead he proposed to study medieval cooking in Europe. This was because he had written his thesis on a medieval poet, and he was into all things Middle Ages. When he was researching the poet, he found a medieval cookbook and thought that it was amazing people were handwriting recipes in cookbooks six-hundred years ago.  

Each year the Watson Foundation looks for someone that burns with a passion, who has enough street smart and worldly wiseness to make it happen. He was given $7000 to eat and drink his way through Europe – in 1975 that was a lot of bucks. And so off he went to study medieval cookbooks in all the great libraries of Europe. 

The language in the books would say: “Add a bit of this and a bit of that”, but he wasn’t sure how much of this and how much of that. So he figured he needed to go to cooking school and learn the grammar and vocabulary of cooking. He enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu and La Varenne cooking schools in Paris. He said to him cooking is a language and vocabulary needed grammar, and that was how he learnt what he needed to know; and  with that he was able to go back to the medieval recipes and figure out how the stuff went together. 

On his return to the US, he went on to become a food writer and a restaurant critic. It was, he said, a continuing education. Every time he went out, he learnt about food.

During his restaurant reviewing years he developed a cholesterol problem, so he developed a style of cooking that was low in fat. He said the barbecue idea just came to him, and that grilling is one of the oldest and most universal cooking methods; but that everywhere you go, in every country it’s done differently. And so he thought: “wouldn’t it be cool to travel around the world and document those differences.”  His work eventually became the book: The Barbecue Bible.

Book Wisdom

The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen is big and it’s filled with recipes from all over the world, and that’s where the wisdom comes in. It takes you, your taste buds and your mind to different places, all the time nurturing your curiosity. 

To give you a flavour of what to expect:

“… On the end of a barely inhabited island located a few miles off the Côte d’Azur. The lle de Porquerolles is where to go to escape the crowds and traffic of the Riviera. Immortalised by the mystery writer Georges Simenon …”

“… I’d heard that Sunda Kelapa was one of the best restaurants in Jakarta, but I would never have guessed it by the neighbourhood. The ride there took me through a dilapidated stretch of the port section of Batavia, past derelict warehouses, down trash-strewn streets lined with shanties …”

“… Duckling a l’orange … the traditional preparation calls for oranges, but I also like the exotic flavour you get with tangerines…”

Words of Wisdom

He became dedicated to one subject that he became a master in, devoting his whole life to barbecue, and to spreading all of his knowledge.  He said that he writes recipes because that’s what sells the books, but that what really interests him is the history, the anthropology, the culture behind the food. 

Sage Wisdom

“Some critics say they go into a restaurant with the thinking: prove to me that you’re not a terrible restaurant. I go in cup half full, my thinking is: I’m here, I’m excited, show me what you can do.” Steven Raichlen 


Raichlen said he’s a big believer in lists, and so on posing the question to himself, “what else do I want to do with barbecue,” the self-feedback that came to him was: 

  • He needed a website – check out for recipes and programmes; 
  • He could do a TV show – he’s done a few now, including: Barbecue University, Primal Grill and Project Smoke;
  • He could publish his work internationally – his books have been translated into 17 languages;
  • He could create products – you can check those out on his website;
  • He could speak about his work – he says he gets sent to nice places all around the world to speak;
  • He could start an international barbecue community – He’s the founder of Barbecue University, which offers courses on live fire cooking;
  • He could write more books – He’s written quite a few by now.

Eventually all of this became a business. He says: “the beauty about barbecue is that it’s a subject that is very broad and very deep and you can instantly form a bond with people over barbecue.” 

As a man who is half historian and half chef, Raichlen recognises and appreciates what is good about ‘constant’ and ‘change’. His story demonstrates the argument in favour of both.

Today’s book of the blog is: The Barbecue Bible By Steven Raichlen 

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associate Programme. This means if you click through and make a purchase through my referral links, I’ll be compensated. Using the links won’t cost you anything extra, and it helps to keep the blog. Thank you.

WorkLife Book Wisdom 

The intention of this blog is to inspire you through people’s stories of their WorkLife experiences. Through these stories you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles and successes they encountered along the road of their WorkLife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride. 

My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your WorkLife story. 

Published by Carmel O' Reilly

Carmel O’ Reilly: WorkLife Learning Practitioner & Writer Author of WorkLife Book Club, Your WorkLife Your Way and The School of WorkLife book series. Created to help you manage your WorkLife Learning. Blogger & Podcaster: Telling people’s powerful stories about WorkLife challenges & successes Founder of My guiding statement is to help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, passion, purpose and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.

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