Every time I visit Melbourne’s MoVida tapas bar, the experience reminds me of some great business advice – find what you do really well and focus on improving it, becoming expert at it and making your career revolve around it. Play with it, add to it, improvise and have fun, but stick to a core theme that works for you, a theme that expresses what you are really good at, a theme that expresses the ‘essence’ of you.

You see, MoVida does exactly that – they do tapas and other Spanish food, and that’s it. They do it REALLY well, but you won’t find any Asian fusion dishes or Middle Eastern specialities here. As chef & co-proprietor Frank Camorra says in the first MoVida cookbook, each dish is handcrafted and slightly different to the rest, some Australian ingredients have been substituted for Spanish varieties, some dishes have been improvised, some are really adventurous – but it all comes back to the roots of Spanish food. The service is sublime and their enthusiasm for the food, and the customer’s experience of it, is palpable.

Their manifesto:

Be led by the season and let the produce create the menu.
Find a source of (regional) inspiration.
Create but remain true to the source of both the produce and the inspiration.
Explore and be curious with new techniques.
Reject pointless complication and embrace the beauty of simplicity.

With not very many changes, that would make an excellent career or life manifesto:

Be led by your strengths and let them create your career choices.
Find a source of (external, work-related) inspiration.
Create but remain true to the source of both your strengths and the inspiration.
Explore and be curious with new techniques.
Reject pointless complication and embrace the beauty of simplicity.

Each time I have eaten at MoVida, the dishes are different, the ingredients vary, but the quality is always brilliant and the experience is always ‘essence of MoVida’. That’s why I come back, for their perfect blend of consistency and variety.

But that’s enough of MoVida – what is the essence of you?

 

Joanna Maxwell

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