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The Responsibility of a Chef


docsconz
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The underlying theme of this year’s Congress is The Responsibility of a Chef, with a specific focus on mentoring, sustainability, and community. Chefs today have an unprecedented opportunity to effect change; special demonstrations, seminars, presentations, and panels will address these topics, and begin a dialogue on the role of a chef and the future of food.

As stated on the Starchefs.com website, the theme for this year's International Chefs Congress this coming September is The Responsibility of a Chef. A number of presenters including Barton Seaver, Daniel Boulud, Rick Moonen and others will address various aspects of this theme in their presentations. I find this compelling and am curious as to how eGullet member chefs and cooks feel about this. Do you, as a chef or a cook, feel that you have a greater responsibility to society beyond simply preparing good food? How do you approach being a good citizen in your job if you approach it at all?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I am an alum of Antioch College, whose motto comes from the college's founder, Horace Mann: "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity."

I am constantly asking myself whether I am winning a victory for humanity. It makes for some lifelong psychological torment, I can tell you that. So I definitely believe I have a responsibility to adhere to my ethics concerning food sourcing and preparation.

I think chefs absolutely have a responsibility within the food industry to help effect positive change, particularly because they are in a position to do so. With the position comes the responsibility. This not only includes positive change in the realm of food production, but also social change, as well. For example, supporting family farms over giant agribusiness and minimizing ecological impact by buying locally.

Also, chefs have a responsibility to ensure their employees are treated well. For example, if you hire an illegal immigrant, you have a responsibility not to exploit that person's labor. You might even have a personal responsibility to help him or her achieve legal status. Labor is an issue and chefs are in a position to effect change in that realm, as well.

Labor concerns arise in food production and distribution, too- witness the current boycott of Wild Edibles.

Another concern is elitism. The ingredients I would like to use are often expensive enough to alienate a pretty large portion of society. If I become a private chef, it will most likely be for some fabulously wealthy asshat who not only votes Republican but contributes big bucks to political campaigns I despise. How can I stay true to my food values while keeping my cuisine accessible to all?

I do my best by focussing on the sustainability issue. However, there is always concern for the bottom line in this industry. It's a tough balance.

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Also, chefs have a responsibility to ensure their employees are treated well. For example, if you hire an illegal immigrant, you have a responsibility not to exploit that person's labor. You might even have a personal responsibility to help him or her achieve legal status. Labor is an issue and chefs are in a position to effect change in that realm, as well.

I would have thought that an illegal immigrant should not be employed in the first place. Your responsibility to society is to obey the rules of society. How can you help him to achieve legal status? He has broken the law by entering the country illegaly.

I admire you for supporting family farms over giant agribusiness and minimizing ecological impact by buying locally but this can only pertain to a certain tranche of operators. Sadly the reality is that for a great majority of food consumers world wide price is the driving factor. Of course efforts are being made to "educate" the consumer but the bottom line for the vast majority is price.

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I admire you for supporting family farms over giant agribusiness and minimizing ecological impact by buying locally but this can only pertain to a certain tranche of operators. Sadly the reality is that for a great majority of food consumers world wide price is the driving factor. Of course efforts are being made to "educate" the consumer but the bottom line for the vast majority is price.

Isn't the idea of having to make decisions that in the short run may be difficult and potentially counter to self interest in order to benefit the greater good (i.e. to make sacrifices) for the long run the basis for being "responsible?" If one believes that small farm produce and sustainability are important issues, then shouldn't that be important for a chef to support? If a fish is popular but endangered, is it responsible to serve it? I think that these are legitimate questions, realizing that there may not be one "right" answer depending on the specific situation. David, aside from simply abiding by the laws of society, do you feel that a chef needs to be "responsible" for the greater good and if so, how do you or should one approach that?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I admire you for supporting family farms over giant agribusiness and minimizing ecological impact by buying locally but this can only pertain to a certain tranche of operators. Sadly the reality is that for a great majority of food consumers world wide price is the driving factor. Of course efforts are being made to "educate" the consumer but the bottom line for the vast majority is price.

Isn't the idea of having to make decisions that in the short run may be difficult and potentially counter to self interest in order to benefit the greater good (i.e. to make sacrifices) for the long run the basis for being "responsible?" If one believes that small farm produce and sustainability are important issues, then shouldn't that be important for a chef to support? If a fish is popular but endangered, is it responsible to serve it? I think that these are legitimate questions, realizing that there may not be one "right" answer depending on the specific situation. David, aside from simply abiding by the laws of society, do you feel that a chef needs to be "responsible" for the greater good and if so, how do you or should one approach that?

It appears that that "tranche" of operators may be growing as a chain as large as Chipotle is now committing to using all locally sourced ingredients at its restaurants. If they can do it, can't others? Should they?

While this is a very visible area for responsibility and worthy of much more discussion, it is not the only one. Please discuss other areas as well.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Also, chefs have a responsibility to ensure their employees are treated well. For example, if you hire an illegal immigrant, you have a responsibility not to exploit that person's labor. You might even have a personal responsibility to help him or her achieve legal status. Labor is an issue and chefs are in a position to effect change in that realm, as well.

I would have thought that an illegal immigrant should not be employed in the first place. Your responsibility to society is to obey the rules of society. How can you help him to achieve legal status? He has broken the law by entering the country illegaly.

I admire you for supporting family farms over giant agribusiness and minimizing ecological impact by buying locally but this can only pertain to a certain tranche of operators. Sadly the reality is that for a great majority of food consumers world wide price is the driving factor. Of course efforts are being made to "educate" the consumer but the bottom line for the vast majority is price.

Isn't "price sensitivity" one of the main reasons illegals are hired in the first place?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Docsconz, perhaps you'd like to change your name to Pandora??

Thank you for posing the questions and starting a good discussion.

Every day that I am alive, I have a responsibility to my fellow planet mates. Whether I'm wearing my chef hat, my wife hat, my mother hat, my stiletto wearing-cocktail sipping hat, I have a responsibility to at the very least do no damage, but to try to make the world a better place. To ask this of a chef is natural. There will be pressures and compromises and it will be an eternal struggle.

OK, enough with the lofty stuff. Let's tackle some of the buzz words.

Local.

What is the objective of eating local? Simply to save transportation costs? To support local business? Because perishable items, picked at the peak of maturation don't travel well and taste much better in situ?

If leaving a smaller carbon footprint is the objective, it's unlikely that small farmers all heading into market in their trucks are leaving a smaller footprint than one big truck that has been packed to capacity and has a route mapped out for it that is the most efficient possible. (UPS truck routes eschew left hand turns because of the wasted fuel).

If I want to eat grapes, olive oil, wine, coffee, chocolate, seafood, meat that's been on a hoof, and fowl, bananas, drink milk: where should I live? These are basic items and it makes more economic and 'carbon' sense, to produce these items in the geographical area where they are best suited. It's a double edged sword, oh, it probably has more than a double edge.

If I want the best peach in the world, I'm only going to get it close to the source.

Sustainable.

I'm not really clear on the goal of sustainable. I think I live in a pretty sustainable part of the world (Umbria), the crops are rotated, tobacco subsidies have been cut so we have more water in the aqua system and bigger sunflower fields. Is this what sustainable means?

Organic

What does it mean when organic is synonymous with expensive? That only rich people get to eat 'clean food? Who is addressing the needs of the masses? Can a chef have any impact on the price levels of organic,, or is that beyond his scope? I think it is probably beyond the scope of the chef who is just trying to keep his restaurant afloat, but for the celebrity chef, they are in a position of influence.

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My first responsibility is to provide tasty and nourishing food for my clients, while staying within their budget. This can be challenging when you have a really small budget. It's August, the height of corn season, and I want to make corn soup- all I need is maybe $4 worth of corn, tops, but I'm told to use canned. Canned corn! In August!

In this respect, "local" or at least "seasonal" means more flavorful as well as healthier because it's fresher. If I serve my clients soup made from canned corn rather than from fresh corn, I am doing them a disservice and I am not being a responsible chef.

As for the issue of illegal workers: That is the reality of this business, at least in NYC. Who would you rather have working for you, the lazy CIA grad who won't work for less than $9/hour, shows up late or calls in sick, and bitches about having to wash his own pots? Or the guy from Guatemala who shows up on time every day, never complains, and works for peanuts? The second guy is the more valuable employee.

At the very least, you make sure he gets fed and you help him if he needs a ride to work or his wife is sick or something. Maybe you buy him a good knife. You help him more than you would the legals, because once you have heard the stories about what people go through to get here, how many weeks spent in the desert, you realize that you owe it to him as your valued employee to try and keep his life here in America from sucking as much as it could or as much as it did back home. Something as simple as a decent meal at the end of the night helps. I've worked in places where we made sure the porters ate better than anyone else. And if some CIA kid complains about that, then you know who the asshole is.

If you value an employee's labor, you have a responsibility to that employee. That goes for all employees, regardless of legal status. Arguing that an illegal immigrant is already a criminal is a slippery slope that leads to exploitation.

If you would prefer to go the legal route with your exploitation of immigrant labor, you could do what a lot of the larger restaurants in NYC do: become a sponsor for your employee's work visa application. Then you hook him up with an expensive immigration lawyer, and garnish his wages for the legal fees. Then he is indebted to you for the next five years. Unless he can find another sponsor, he is stuck with whatever hours and wages you choose to bestow upon him. This makes him your indentured servant. I have seen some pretty atrocious exploitation of labor occur under this entirely legal arrangement.

So, to answer your question about how one can help an illegal immigrant achieve legal status, which I am taking at face value, you can do this in two significant ways: by becoming his sponsor, or by getting him some quasi-fraudulent documents- people do this as well.

I'm not saying you should hire illegals, I'm saying that if you do, and many many chefs do, you have certain responsibilities that are all the more important because there is no law in place to protect them and their rights in the workplace.

BTW, my obligation to obey the rules of society is not the same thing as my responsibility as a chef.

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My first responsibility is to provide tasty and nourishing food for my clients, while staying within their budget. This can be challenging when you have a really small budget. It's August, the height of corn season, and I want to make corn soup- all I need is maybe $4 worth of corn, tops, but I'm told to use canned. Canned corn! In August!

In this respect, "local" or at least "seasonal" means more flavorful as well as healthier because it's fresher. If I serve my clients soup made from canned corn rather than from fresh corn, I am doing them a disservice and I am not being a responsible chef.

As for the issue of illegal workers: That is the reality of this business, at least in NYC. Who would you rather have working for you, the lazy CIA grad who won't work for less than $9/hour, shows up late or calls in sick, and bitches about having to wash his own pots?  Or the guy from Guatemala who shows up on time every day, never complains, and works for peanuts? The second guy is the more valuable employee.

At the very least, you make sure he gets fed and you help him if he needs a ride to work or his wife is sick or something. Maybe you buy him a good knife. You help him more than you would the legals, because once you have heard the stories about what people go through to get here, how many weeks spent in the desert, you realize that you owe it to him as your valued employee to try and keep his life here in America from sucking as much as it could or as much as it did back home. Something as simple as a decent meal at the end of the night helps. I've worked in places where we made sure the porters ate better than anyone else. And if some CIA kid complains about that, then you know who the asshole is.

If you value an employee's labor, you have a responsibility to that employee. That goes for all employees, regardless of legal status. Arguing that an illegal immigrant is already a criminal is a slippery slope that leads to exploitation.

If you would prefer to go the legal route with your exploitation of immigrant labor, you could do what a lot of the larger restaurants in NYC do: become a sponsor for your employee's work visa application. Then you hook him up with an expensive immigration lawyer, and garnish his wages for the legal fees. Then he is indebted to you for the next five years. Unless he can find another sponsor, he is stuck with whatever hours and wages you choose to bestow upon him. This makes him your indentured servant. I have seen some pretty atrocious exploitation of labor occur under this entirely legal arrangement.

So, to answer your question about how one can help an illegal immigrant achieve legal status, which I am taking at face value, you can do this in two significant ways: by becoming his sponsor, or by getting him some quasi-fraudulent documents- people do this as well.

I'm not saying you should hire illegals, I'm saying that if you do, and many many chefs do, you have certain responsibilities that are all the more important because there is no law in place to protect them and their rights in the workplace.

BTW, my obligation to obey the rules of society is not the same thing as my responsibility as a chef.

I appreciate the name calling of the "Lazy CIA CHef" SO you must have no education or one from the other schools. Anyways, the immigration issues is a lot bigger that not hiring in the first place. When an employee provides you with the information needed and required by the Feds, who the hell has the time to do huge back ground checks when all you are doing is hiring the person to cut the grass on the course or prep in the kitchen. So it is a lot bigger issue - let play this scenario. Which American will work the fields to bring me the foods I need and to have a hot kitchen with people I treat like gold to follow my lead in prepping food for the guests and then cleaning up the mess. You know not many will for the pay. I am a CIA Grad and I did not work for less that 10 an hr becauseI know that my education and my experience made me worth a little more than that. Now I am a Sous and - well make a hell of a lot less that 10 an hr if you do the math for the title. My peeps have papers -= real beats me - I treat them like family in the fact that I am with them more and in close proximity banging pans and running the line that these are my brothers and sisters. Now - take them out of here for an illegal issue - I can say it would hurt us BAD and I would really feel as if a family member had died. SOme of the people making the issue of illegals don't know too many - I know of some and might even know some I didn't know were. Some have horrible stories about death squads, and murdered family and I could not even think about sending any one of them back --the pay taxes, with the money they earn - they contribute to the local economy with food, gas, BEER had to add that one and most of them live happy normal lives.

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I appreciate the name calling of the "Lazy CIA CHef"  SO you must have no education or one from the other schools.  Anyways, the immigration issues is a lot bigger that not hiring in the first place.  When an employee provides you with the information needed and required by the Feds, who the hell has the time to do huge back ground checks when all you are doing is hiring the person to cut the grass on the course or prep in the kitchen.  So it is a lot bigger issue - let play this scenario.  Which American will work the fields to bring me the foods I need and to have a hot kitchen with people I treat like gold to follow my lead in prepping food for the guests and then cleaning up the mess.  You know not many will for the pay.  I am a CIA Grad and I did not work for less that 10 an hr becauseI know that my education and my experience made me worth a little more than that.  Now I am a Sous and - well make a hell of a lot less that 10 an hr if you do the math for the title.  My peeps have papers -= real beats me - I treat them like family in the fact that I am with them more and in close proximity banging pans and running the line that these are my brothers and sisters.  Now - take them out of here for an illegal issue - I can say it would hurt us BAD and I would really feel as if a family member had died.  SOme of the people making the issue of illegals don't know too many - I know of some and might even know some I didn't know were.  Some have horrible stories about death squads, and murdered family and I could not even think about sending any one of them back --the pay taxes, with the money they earn - they contribute to the local economy with food, gas, BEER had to add that one and most of them live happy normal lives.

I apologize for hurting your feelings. I am guilty of using a broad generalization to make a point.

Did you have something to say about the responsibility of a chef?

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I believe I was answering your question but since you are - well - slow to pick up

I edited out a lot of what I put in to start because - you are way too smart for me - The responsibility of a chef is to provide a service. The service is food to the public. You do this in the most affordable way because you want to make money. You also take in to consideration - your labor - which I won't discuss because scottie has ALL of the the answers on that one - while going local is always a good thing it sometimes does not fit in with budgetary constraints and as tough as things are now - not very appealable to the financial guys. I am more concerned about buying and cooking things that are on the start of endangered watch lists and also making sure that my vendors are following safe guidelines.

I think it more appropriate to ask you if you have anything to say about the responsibility of a chef instead of your hiring practices and opinions

Edited by Jakea222 (log)
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Also, chefs have a responsibility to ensure their employees are treated well. For example, if you hire an illegal immigrant, you have a responsibility not to exploit that person's labor. You might even have a personal responsibility to help him or her achieve legal status. Labor is an issue and chefs are in a position to effect change in that realm, as well.

I would have thought that an illegal immigrant should not be employed in the first place. Your responsibility to society is to obey the rules of society. How can you help him to achieve legal status? He has broken the law by entering the country illegaly.

I admire you for supporting family farms over giant agribusiness and minimizing ecological impact by buying locally but this can only pertain to a certain tranche of operators. Sadly the reality is that for a great majority of food consumers world wide price is the driving factor. Of course efforts are being made to "educate" the consumer but the bottom line for the vast majority is price.

Isn't "price sensitivity" one of the main reasons illegals are hired in the first place?

I think, more that price point, in two industries where I have some familiarity - small project construction and restaurant - that availability and often the work ethic of the employee, play a significant role in hiring decisions.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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this is the tip of the iceberg (the chef's responsibility). the real issue is the business' responsibility. the chef, being a critical element in the life of the business, is therefore responsible for more than just the cuisine. we are amist of greater social movement, from my vantage point.

kudos to the organisers for celebrating this, nonetheless.

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this is the tip of the iceberg (the chef's responsibility). the real issue is the business' responsibility. the chef, being a critical element in the life of the business, is therefore responsible for more than just the cuisine. we are amist of greater social movement, from my vantage point.

kudos to the organisers for celebrating this, nonetheless.

You are right. Restaurants are a business and a chef has the responsibility of making that business work as well as putting good food on a customer's plate. Both of those elements are essential responsibilities for all chefs. beyond those two things, however, an individual chef's sense of responsibility to society may vary. There clearly is a wide range in this sense amongst chefs as there are in the general population. The responsibilities to the customer, the restaurant and to society are not mutually exclusive, however. A number of chefs and restaurants are using their sense of social responsibility and the greater good towards their own bottom lines as well. One example is Chef/Owner Jose Duarte of Taranta restaurant in Boston, whose commitment to going green has been good for the restaurant as well as the environment.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Feh.

Call me a cynic (I prefer pragmatic) but after 30 years in "The Life", I can say without qualification that the only responsibility of a chef is to provide a profit to his masters.

All else is sheer vanity.

I'm so awesome I don't even need a sig...Oh wait...SON OF A...

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I have been thinking a lot about the mentoring aspect. I have been so lucky to have worked with some of the best in the business, who I am still learning from, even if we don’t talk, as it’s the things they taught me then that inform my decisions today.

I have been thinking also about community, as I think that there are both similarities and differences in the chef/mixologists communities. Relationships that are forged in heat and stress and tempered in gallons of ice cold beer are more intense than most.

My thoughts are not in order enough to present yet, and may not be until after the conference. I look forward to reading what others here have to say.

Toby

A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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Feh.

Call me a cynic (I prefer pragmatic) but after 30 years in "The Life", I can say without qualification that the only responsibility of a chef is to provide a profit to his masters.

All else is sheer vanity.

Is it "sheer vanity" to provide good food on the plate for the customer? I don't think that a profitable restaurant necessarily serves "good" food as I know quite a few that do not, yet appear quite profitable.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Feh.

Call me a cynic (I prefer pragmatic) but after 30 years in "The Life", I can say without qualification that the only responsibility of a chef is to provide a profit to his masters.

All else is sheer vanity.

Is it "sheer vanity" to provide good food on the plate for the customer? I don't think that a profitable restaurant necessarily serves "good" food as I know quite a few that do not, yet appear quite profitable.

Yes, absolutely.

Profit is the flagpole upon which you can choose to fly whatever banner makes you feel better about yourself, but make no mistake, without that flagpole you have nothing at all.

Consider a local (to me) example: Le Francais in Wheeling Illinois, an award winning french restaurant, with the brilliant chef Roland Liccioni at the helm, creating not just "good" food, but some of the best in Chicago. It's current status? Shuttered.

Why? Not profitable enough.

Profitability is the one and only responsibility that matters because without it none of the others are possible.

Just ask Chef Liccioni, I'm sure he'll confirm it for you.

I'm so awesome I don't even need a sig...Oh wait...SON OF A...

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No doubt that a chef has the responsibility to run a financially viable restaurant, or as you say, the Apostate, it will soon be shuttered and good to nobody, however, there are many ways that a chef can do that and still take on a sense of responsibility to society. The example I cited of Chef Duarte and Taranta shows that being responsible can assist the bottom line.

Alternately, a profitable restaurant that is churning out churlish food holds value to few but the restaurant's investors. Many chefs may be satisfied with that as it puts food on their own tables, but clearly many are not and for whatever reasons assume additional responsibility to society. If that is vanity, then three cheers for vain chefs!

BTW, I do not begrudge those cooks or chefs who are either unwilling or unable to assume greater responsibility. I have come to understand that for the vast majority of cooks out there, the job is a difficult one with little thanks. For most there is more than enough responsibility just surviving doing their basic jobs. That is why, though, that those chefs who are successful and assume greater responsibilities toward society should be lauded as going above and beyond as should be the case for those who do so from within any profession.

It strikes me, that it is difficult for many people to toot their own horns. I would be curious to hear of examples of chefs or cooks who have gone above and beyond like Chef Duarte and his "green" work at Taranta. Some have done so by mentoring, others by sharing their creative processes and still others by serving sustainably harvested food. If you are a chef or a cook or simply know of some, who has inspired or impressed you with what they have done in this vein?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Feh.

Call me a cynic (I prefer pragmatic) but after 30 years in "The Life", I can say without qualification that the only responsibility of a chef is to provide a profit to his masters.

All else is sheer vanity.

Why not take this argument to the logical conclusion and say that as a human being, your only responsibility is to your own needs and desires-- and all else is sheer vanity.

It could be so, but then I'm grateful to all the obscenely vain charlatans who stroked their egos by making the world a better place ... like Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Lincoln, M.L. King Jr., the Dalai Lama ....

Looking at mere chefs, we risk being blinded by the vanity of someone like Alice Waters, who works as hard to improve the food people eat in inner cities as she ever did at her restaurants.

Notes from the underbelly

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Feh.

Call me a cynic (I prefer pragmatic) but after 30 years in "The Life", I can say without qualification that the only responsibility of a chef is to provide a profit to his masters.

All else is sheer vanity.

Why not take this argument to the logical conclusion and say that as a human being, your only responsibility is to your own needs and desires-- and all else is sheer vanity.

This is of course an obvious non sequitor. Ones responsibilities as a chef ( a professional title, nothing more) are by definition limited to the professional arena, while ones responsibilities as a human being are far more wide ranging.

It could be so, but then I'm grateful to all the obscenely vain charlatans who stroked their egos by making the world a better place ... like Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Lincoln, M.L. King Jr., the Dalai Lama ....

Again, another obvious non sequitor as all the above, with the exception of Lincoln, were religious leaders whose job were by definition to improve the human condition. The same argument could be applied to Lincoln as well, in his role as President.

Looking at mere chefs, we risk being blinded by the vanity of someone like Alice Waters, who works as hard to improve the food people eat in inner cities as she ever did at her restaurants.

But is her charity work, as admirable as it may be, a direct responsibility of her job as a chef, or simply the altruistic leanings of a socially conscious individual? To me the answer is rather obviously the latter.

Edited by The Apostate (log)

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Not a non-sequitur at all (maybe what you mean is that it's a specious argument? But it's not that either).

The general premise of a question like the one this thread is based on might be summed up as this: your greater responsibilities as a human being are often best realized through the skills and opportunities afforded by your profession. So what are you going to do about it.

I don't want to speak for Alice Waters, but I'm willing to bet she considers her public service work as integral to her career as chef, not as anything extracurricular. And I think a big part of her mission is to get other chefs to think similarly.

It should be obvious that the question implies responsibilities beyond the most basic contract of the job, and ones which are likely to be the subject of some debate. No one host a seminar on a question that could be answered by one sentence.

Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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