My relatives told me I'd grow old and lonely because I didn't know how to cook borscht. (That's a Ukrainian cuisine's staple.)

What they didn't know is that I found another obsession with cooking. Namely, of viewing it as art.

The art of creating a mouth-sterpiece (I had to) out of a bunch of unrelated ingredients.

The art of plucking certain elements and smells and tastes into a cohesive story.

The art of precise movements and meticulousness, of intention.

The art of delightful experience of sharing food.

I can go on because to me, food and cooking are more than about sustaining myself. That's a ritual crafted from the first plate to a last guest leaving the door – be it at a fine dining restaurant, or at home.

No wonder my biggest ah-ha moments in entrepreneurship came from this: Fine dining, cooking, chefs.

You've probably watched an episode of two of "Masterchef" – that's the ode to creativity of chefs, aspiring and experienced alike. Yet, it's also a fine example of how we, the audience, fall in love with certain contestants because of their thinking reflected in their skill, i.e. cooking.

But what about learning productivity, brand culture, and personal brand-led businesses?

To serve a restaurant and prepare enough food, to manage a team that moves in one step, to be a part – a cog – in such machine takes incredible discipline, let alone intentionality and grounding in the moment. Instead of yet another re-read of "Atomic Habits", pick up "Work Clean" by Dan Charnas and learn about productivity techniques of chefs.

To create 11-star experience that people sign up for months in advance and think nothing of paying a lot of money for, to entice them to come back for more than food is the apex of knowing your customers and delighting them at every touchpoint. "Unreasonable Hospitality" by Will Guidara breaks down how Eleven Madison Park, a fine dining restaurant in New York, turned guests into superfans and built a culture specific to their vision.

To lead a business off countless creative projects and YOUR vision doesn't require to be a well-off celebrity anymore. When you dedicate yourself to your craft and find the spot that compels your audience to follow AND buy from you, you break the mold of just one type of business and can explore wherever your creativity and strategy bring you. My latest read is about Ievhen Klopotenko, one of the most famous Ukrainian chefs, and how his business spans from social projects to online courses to physical products to his media appearances – truly, the platform he built off his content brings him incredible opportunities.

While the last book is in Ukrainian, I'd simply recommend checking out famous chefs (and other mentioned books) online – perhaps, inspiration for your own business will strike you when least expected.

Yes, perhaps you won't find me in the kitchen. (The most I could do is bake you an apple cake.)

But you'll definitely see me – eyes ablaze – in the front row. That's my lens to admire overlooked teachers of creativity and entrepreneurship – and one I'm lending you to see beyond the usual business bubble.

(Ironically, I'm writing this sitting at the kitchen table. Surrounded by my husband's kingdom – his favourite pizza stone and other things... Well, yes, I don't know the names of all these blenders. The only thing I care about is my tea pot. Chin-chin.)