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#chefsunite

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'Opinions are like a?%£holes; everybody has one.' (Unknown)

And..?

'What chefs have to realize is that the people judging them know less about food than they do.' (Marco Pierre White)

Arguable: at least some of the people doing the judging are fellow chefs and others who are equally knowledgeable.

Regardless of the truth of the statement, it is irrelevant.

Seriously, stop and think about it: The chefs are preparing food for which they wish others to pay. If these 'others' don't consider the food worth seeking out and paying for, then this process comes to a halt.

Cooking for the unappreciative/clueless can be unbelievably frustrating and disappointing. Even I know this, from personal experience, which is one of the reasons I'd never, ever even consider being a chef. If I'm cooking for a bunch of people who simply stuff their faces with food, chewing without even pausing in their conversation, automatically pouring a flood of Heinz's over a reconceptualized, deconstructed Beef Wellington, that's not going to happen twice.

I know that people don't really change (neither the diners or the chef).

Surely, professional chefs must know this too, having lived on this planet amongst their fellow humans for several decades.

The fact that a chef may know more about food than the diners is not relevant, because the restaurant exists for the diners, not the chef.

It would be wonderful for chefs if virtually all the diners in a restaurant were dining out because they were interested in thoughtfully conceived, skilfully presented dishes, but that's never going to happen, since most people don't devote much conscious thought to food and eating. And some diners are unquestionably self-important ego trippers, just like some chefs.

However, even if it is apparently unbearable, you bear it if you're a restaurant chef, because unfortunately, this is what you signed on for: restaurants are full people, and, well, people can kind of suck.

Hurling babyish abuse makes no sense (and if we move past its putative shock value, calling someone a 'cunt' is as infantile and unintelligent as calling someone a 'poo head'). At best, no one will care. At worst, it alienates the small number of people who genuinely care about and appreciate a chef's efforts, but find screaming tantrums and public scenes so distasteful that they wish to distance themselves from its source, which is sad, because these are the diners are the restaurants should be paying attention to, the ones they want to attract.

'I'm off an a rampage because I'm standing behind my commitment/integrity' doesn't hold up as an argument, either, since that is accomplished by doing one's best job (i.e. they've probably already done that). If it really comes down to defending one's restaurant, fine, but credibility is only going to be maintained if the defence is couched in language that doesn't suggest a fight between small boys at a playground.

Is the possible relief of blowing off steam in public really worth the longer-term cost to the restaurant?

It would make more sense for chefs to form local supper clubs, where they could dine out on diner horror stories: the chef with the best (i.e. most appalling) diner story doesn't have to pay for his or her share of dinner that time round ;)


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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I like this idea mjx - like poker players getting together to discuss bad beats. They would have a great time I'm sure. In fact they'll probably televise it and stick it on BBC2.

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And..?

I don't think this really needs explanation. Anyone can be a blogger; there's no barrier to entry. There's no mandated qualification. Of course, the same thing could be said about someone who cooks food for others. At least chefs have to obey by local food handling and preparation laws; there are some minimum standards. A blogger just needs a keyboard.

The fact that a chef may know more about food than the diners is not relevant, because the restaurant exists for the diners, not the chef.

Marco was referring to Michelin Star judges, not ordinary diners. I thought the quote was totally relevant when it comes to food bloggers, too.

I think you make some great points and, actually, I agree with you. Chefs must consider the diners. Nobody will eat sand, regardless of how many awards the chef has earned.

All these things aside, it is hard to argue that the chef was out of line with their response and they language they used. They just failed to realise that the opinions of one meaningless little blogger are not worth getting upset about.

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