creating a plate should be fun. if you allow creativity and play into your cooking you will grow quickly as a chef. this means trying out combinations, new flavours, ingredients and processes. this also means accepting that what you make may not work 100%. but this is how you learn. making a mistake will teach you a lesson that you will remember, if you read that lesson in a cookery book you would be very unlikely to remember it.
in a culture that is full to the brim of tv cooking shows that tell you there is a right way and a wrong way to create food we are naturally anxious. shows like Masterchef and the like do you a great disservice. they teach you that your cooking should be perfect as it will be judged. and judged harshly. if this is happening to you either become aware of it and deal with it....or simply stop watching these programmes. they will stunt your growth as your own private chef.
there are tools that you can employ to aid your creativity.....if you are not ready to take off the training wheels yet. you can start with adding the odd ingredient to a recipe, or switching one for another. most ingredients will go together if you like them. it's really that simple!!!! you can look at flavour combinations in the flavour thesaurus by niki segnit or just google the two ingredients......if there are recipes with these ingredients then they will work together.