My husband and I are currently watching the Netflix series Chef's Table, one episode a night after dinner, a true dessert, and I am in awe. All these super chefs from around the world have several things in common.
First of all they are true artists with an extremely high sense of esthetics - every one of their creations is art at its best, both esthetically as well as gustatorily. These chefs don't use recipes, they create recipes, and it's from a different planet than what you and I are cooking for dinner. Second, they are all local food frontiers people, whether foraged or farmed. Third, most of them have a deep connection to the land and either have their own farms or work closely with farmers to cultivate, develop, and grow food with deep and authentic flavor. Many of them did not go to cooking school, but apprenticed with France's luminaries to learn traditional French techniques, before developing their individual geographical and cultural spins and striking out on their own. All had difficult beginnings, attesting to their struggles in finding their unique mode of expression. Of course, they are all perfectionists.
Perhaps the most important take away from watching these culinary geniuses is that their life is their profession, or their profession is their life. Their occupation is who they are. Their art expresses their soul. They don't go about their job from nine to five and live for the week-end in order to finally do what they like best. They followed their passion and live it - all the time.