Sometimes it's easier to try too hard, rather than just let the ingredients shine. Usually, less is more, and restraint is best. I find that some of my best meals come when I throw culinary chops to the wind and just let the food cook itself. Not that there isn't skill and attention involved--It's crucial to pay attention and intervene when necessary--but, as is usually the case, simplest is best. Case in point, I've taken to roasting my meats and vegetables together in a large copper, tin-lined roasting pan. For the most part, I just place the meat and veggies in the pan, season carefully and place in an oven. The skillful attention comes in checking in regularly, about every 15 minutes, adjusting, turning, flipping, amending, adjusting, removing, resting, etc. The finesse comes at the end, in the pan sauces, finishing touches, garnishes, and plating. All of this can be done 'a la minute' while the diners wait, watch and anticipate. Artistry. Theater. Drama. Delectable! There is ZERO prep time here, just PAYING ATTENTION!! Good luck cheffies!!
Sorry folks, but I must break the news to you. The restaurant model is ALL wrong. Dinner is ready when Mama SAYS it is ready, not when you WANT it to be ready. The best food experiences come when the FOOD is ready, not necessarily when WE are ready. Conundrum! I feel this is why the best restaurant food experiences are those which rely on a set menu, and a single seating. Less convenient? Perhaps. More satisfying? Absolutely! Diiiinnnnerrrr's readyyyyyy! Wash your haaaaands! To the table!! ding, ding, ding, dinner bell....