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Chef/Writer Spencer

Four-Star Chefs/Buffet Masters

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I'm having an indentity crisis. I aspire to greatness like my heroes...you should know em by now...Thomas Keller, Boulud, Adria etc.....but I'm dying a slow painful death in a private business club. I'm up to date on the newest techniques, trends, products but the corporate types who pay my bills are telling me to worry more about the appearance of my buffets than the substance of my plates. The obvious response is to tell me to quit and get a job that fits my desires. Well, fuck, I make waaaaayyy too much money, do very little hard labor and the job market is in the toilet. Does anybody have an inspiration for a chef who's about to hang himself with overcooked linguine (my day cooks are truck drivers). Can anyone empathize......

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I think the key here is "identity." Meaning, just how much of your identity is really tied to what you do for a living? I am not a chef and I understand completely what it's like to be forced to produce work that is clearly substandard because the "one who must be obeyed" (i.e. flaming idiot), has deemed that it be so. Isn't it ironic that in fields requiring any real creativity, people always wind up taking orders from those less skilled than themselves? It's not always easy for intelligent people to check their brains at the door when they go to work, but it seems to be a requirement for many jobs, regardless of the industry.

All this being said, if you do as little work as you say, is there time in your schedule to pursue something that would allow you to express your expertise? An excess of both money and free time sounds like a Godsend to me! :laugh: Quitting would only destroy that delicate balance! :laugh:

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I think the key here is "identity."  Meaning, just how much of your identity is really tied to what you do for a living?  I am not a chef and I understand completely what it's like to be forced to produce work that is clearly substandard because the "one who must be obeyed" (i.e. flaming idiot), has deemed that it be so.  Isn't it ironic that in fields requiring any real creativity, people always wind up taking orders from those less skilled than themselves? It's not always easy for intelligent people to check their brains at the door when they go to work, but it seems to be a requirement for many jobs, regardless of the industry.

All this being said, if you do as little work as you say, is there time in your schedule to pursue something that would allow you to express your expertise? An excess of both money and free time sounds like a Godsend to me!  :laugh: Quitting would only destroy that delicate balance! :laugh:

I write. That's what I do to pass the time and get my mind off of pumping out shrimp cocktail, quesadillas and crab salad stuffed into an avocado. I write about my travails in the biz. I write because I can pour that artistic energy into it. My life was ten years straight of wine dinners, creating menus, and getting recognition for the fruits of my labor. Now, the only way I can think to satisfy that need for acceptance is to write about my life in the restaurant world. I know it's been done before, and probably better than I'm doing now but I think it'll pan out if I keep it up.

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but the corporate types who pay my bills are telling me to worry more about the appearance of my buffets than the substance of my plates.

Because in restaurants, appearance is more important that taste.

(Sorry.)

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but the corporate types who pay my bills are telling me to worry more about the appearance of my buffets than the substance of my plates.

Because in restaurants, appearance is more important that taste.

(Sorry.)

Well my plates have appearance and taste. I'm eschewing buffets here. Those botulism ridden bastians of Americana. They're right. I could give a shit about the buffet. It's a dumping ground, a means of controlling my food costs by schleping leftovers and bits and pieces off on the members of this club. If by not giving a shit about my buffet presentation that makes me a candidate for least likely to reach the Beard House then so be it.

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I think the key here is "identity."  Meaning, just how much of your identity is really tied to what you do for a living?  I am not a chef and I understand completely what it's like to be forced to produce work that is clearly substandard because the "one who must be obeyed" (i.e. flaming idiot), has deemed that it be so.  Isn't it ironic that in fields requiring any real creativity, people always wind up taking orders from those less skilled than themselves? It's not always easy for intelligent people to check their brains at the door when they go to work, but it seems to be a requirement for many jobs, regardless of the industry.

All this being said, if you do as little work as you say, is there time in your schedule to pursue something that would allow you to express your expertise? An excess of both money and free time sounds like a Godsend to me!  :laugh: Quitting would only destroy that delicate balance! :laugh:

I write. That's what I do to pass the time and get my mind off of pumping out shrimp cocktail, quesadillas and crab salad stuffed into an avocado. I write about my travails in the biz. I write because I can pour that artistic energy into it. My life was ten years straight of wine dinners, creating menus, and getting recognition for the fruits of my labor. Now, the only way I can think to satisfy that need for acceptance is to write about my life in the restaurant world. I know it's been done before, and probably better than I'm doing now but I think it'll pan out if I keep it up.

Of course it's been done before. There ain't much new under the sun.

I too write. Sometimes for $$, other times as a form of therapy. I've heard it said by some very successful people that no matter what you do for a living, it eventually becomes just another job. Sad but true. On the up-side, sometimes years of routine allows one to make some very pointed observations, which is where the writing outlet will serve you best. :smile:

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I could give a shit about the buffet.

Couldn't give a shit. Sorry, I love ya, but it's a pet peeve of mine. The madness must stop.

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I could give a shit about the buffet.

Couldn't give a shit. Sorry, I love ya, but it's a pet peeve of mine. The madness must stop.

Hey Pix, love ya too but uh, I've been slangin' "could" give a shit for as long as I can remember. Maybe you could be my copy editor though.

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I have yet to write for money.  :sad:

Really? Just out of curiosity, do you submit articles to websites, etc? It's not a bad place to start. Not always easy to come by, because of the fact that much content on the Internet is free, many websites feel that paying writers is unnecessary. (yeah, really) No wonder there's so much crap written online!

But I digress... If you want to write for money, it can mean starting out with some freebies, just to get clips, but it may be worth it to you in the end. Thing is, I am not sure how many QUALITY online food publications there are. There are the obvious ones like Gourmet, etc, but their first born is really print. Web is used as promo for them. Toss something out there and see what sticks. :smile:

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I have yet to write for money. :sad:

Really? Just out of curiosity, do you submit articles to websites, etc? It's not a bad place to start. Not always easy to come by, because of the fact that much content on the Internet is free, many websites feel that paying writers is unnecessary. (yeah, really) No wonder there's so much crap written online!

But I digress... If you want to write for money, it can mean starting out with some freebies, just to get clips, but it may be worth it to you in the end. Thing is, I am not sure how many QUALITY online food publications there are. There are the obvious ones like Gourmet, etc, but their first born is really print. Web is used as promo for them. Toss something out there and see what sticks. :smile:

Thanks for the tips. In fact, I've been PMing my French Laundry piece to all takers. Fat Guy's looking at it today and giving me his opinion (rather intimidating to tell you the truth). For the most part, the feedback received has been encouraging. I'm hoping someone has the fortitude to see my potential on this website and make the right connection for me. In reality though, if I don't write for money it won't devastate me. It's a great escape. When it becomes another grind is when I bow out. I'd love to get The French Laundry piece published and go from there. But I think I'll need to condense and edit before I ship it off to the rags. Thanks.

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I have yet to write for money.   :sad:

Really? Just out of curiosity, do you submit articles to websites, etc? It's not a bad place to start. Not always easy to come by, because of the fact that much content on the Internet is free, many websites feel that paying writers is unnecessary. (yeah, really) No wonder there's so much crap written online!

But I digress... If you want to write for money, it can mean starting out with some freebies, just to get clips, but it may be worth it to you in the end. Thing is, I am not sure how many QUALITY online food publications there are. There are the obvious ones like Gourmet, etc, but their first born is really print. Web is used as promo for them. Toss something out there and see what sticks. :smile:

Thanks for the tips. In fact, I've been PMing my French Laundry piece to all takers. Fat Guy's looking at it today and giving me his opinion (rather intimidating to tell you the truth). For the most part, the feedback received has been encouraging. I'm hoping someone has the fortitude to see my potential on this website and make the right connection for me. In reality though, if I don't write for money it won't devastate me. It's a great escape. When it becomes another grind is when I bow out. I'd love to get The French Laundry piece published and go from there. But I think I'll need to condense and edit before I ship it off to the rags. Thanks.

Hmmmm. French Laundry... Doesn't sound very foody.... May I have a look?

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I have yet to write for money.   :sad:

Really? Just out of curiosity, do you submit articles to websites, etc? It's not a bad place to start. Not always easy to come by, because of the fact that much content on the Internet is free, many websites feel that paying writers is unnecessary. (yeah, really) No wonder there's so much crap written online!

But I digress... If you want to write for money, it can mean starting out with some freebies, just to get clips, but it may be worth it to you in the end. Thing is, I am not sure how many QUALITY online food publications there are. There are the obvious ones like Gourmet, etc, but their first born is really print. Web is used as promo for them. Toss something out there and see what sticks. :smile:

Thanks for the tips. In fact, I've been PMing my French Laundry piece to all takers. Fat Guy's looking at it today and giving me his opinion (rather intimidating to tell you the truth). For the most part, the feedback received has been encouraging. I'm hoping someone has the fortitude to see my potential on this website and make the right connection for me. In reality though, if I don't write for money it won't devastate me. It's a great escape. When it becomes another grind is when I bow out. I'd love to get The French Laundry piece published and go from there. But I think I'll need to condense and edit before I ship it off to the rags. Thanks.

Hmmmm. French Laundry... Doesn't sound very foody.... May I have a look?

The French Laundry doesn't sound very foodie? I'm confused. If you'd like the piece--which I'd be more than happy to pawn off on all unsuspecting takers--PM me your email address and when I get home tonight I'll email it to you. Thank.s

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I have yet to write for money.   :sad:

Really? Just out of curiosity, do you submit articles to websites, etc? It's not a bad place to start. Not always easy to come by, because of the fact that much content on the Internet is free, many websites feel that paying writers is unnecessary. (yeah, really) No wonder there's so much crap written online!

But I digress... If you want to write for money, it can mean starting out with some freebies, just to get clips, but it may be worth it to you in the end. Thing is, I am not sure how many QUALITY online food publications there are. There are the obvious ones like Gourmet, etc, but their first born is really print. Web is used as promo for them. Toss something out there and see what sticks. :smile:

Thanks for the tips. In fact, I've been PMing my French Laundry piece to all takers. Fat Guy's looking at it today and giving me his opinion (rather intimidating to tell you the truth). For the most part, the feedback received has been encouraging. I'm hoping someone has the fortitude to see my potential on this website and make the right connection for me. In reality though, if I don't write for money it won't devastate me. It's a great escape. When it becomes another grind is when I bow out. I'd love to get The French Laundry piece published and go from there. But I think I'll need to condense and edit before I ship it off to the rags. Thanks.

Hmmmm. French Laundry... Doesn't sound very foody.... May I have a look?

The French Laundry doesn't sound very foodie? I'm confused. If you'd like the piece--which I'd be more than happy to pawn off on all unsuspecting takers--PM me your email address and when I get home tonight I'll email it to you. Thank.s

Forgive my ignorance. I just don't know what French Laundry refers to. I just got my brain back from the repair shop yesterday and it seems the reinstallation didn't go as planned! :laugh:

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I have yet to write for money.   :sad:

Really? Just out of curiosity, do you submit articles to websites, etc? It's not a bad place to start. Not always easy to come by, because of the fact that much content on the Internet is free, many websites feel that paying writers is unnecessary. (yeah, really) No wonder there's so much crap written online!

But I digress... If you want to write for money, it can mean starting out with some freebies, just to get clips, but it may be worth it to you in the end. Thing is, I am not sure how many QUALITY online food publications there are. There are the obvious ones like Gourmet, etc, but their first born is really print. Web is used as promo for them. Toss something out there and see what sticks. :smile:

Thanks for the tips. In fact, I've been PMing my French Laundry piece to all takers. Fat Guy's looking at it today and giving me his opinion (rather intimidating to tell you the truth). For the most part, the feedback received has been encouraging. I'm hoping someone has the fortitude to see my potential on this website and make the right connection for me. In reality though, if I don't write for money it won't devastate me. It's a great escape. When it becomes another grind is when I bow out. I'd love to get The French Laundry piece published and go from there. But I think I'll need to condense and edit before I ship it off to the rags. Thanks.

Hmmmm. French Laundry... Doesn't sound very foody.... May I have a look?

The French Laundry doesn't sound very foodie? I'm confused. If you'd like the piece--which I'd be more than happy to pawn off on all unsuspecting takers--PM me your email address and when I get home tonight I'll email it to you. Thank.s

Forgive my ignorance. I just don't know what French Laundry refers to. I just got my brain back from the repair shop yesterday and it seems the reinstallation didn't go as planned! :laugh:

A virgin French Laundrian. WOW! You've got to get up to speed my good friend. Plug that name into a search engine and explore the unknown. It's the best restaurant in the world some say. Check it out....

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I have yet to write for money.   :sad:

Really? Just out of curiosity, do you submit articles to websites, etc? It's not a bad place to start. Not always easy to come by, because of the fact that much content on the Internet is free, many websites feel that paying writers is unnecessary. (yeah, really) No wonder there's so much crap written online!

But I digress... If you want to write for money, it can mean starting out with some freebies, just to get clips, but it may be worth it to you in the end. Thing is, I am not sure how many QUALITY online food publications there are. There are the obvious ones like Gourmet, etc, but their first born is really print. Web is used as promo for them. Toss something out there and see what sticks. :smile:

Thanks for the tips. In fact, I've been PMing my French Laundry piece to all takers. Fat Guy's looking at it today and giving me his opinion (rather intimidating to tell you the truth). For the most part, the feedback received has been encouraging. I'm hoping someone has the fortitude to see my potential on this website and make the right connection for me. In reality though, if I don't write for money it won't devastate me. It's a great escape. When it becomes another grind is when I bow out. I'd love to get The French Laundry piece published and go from there. But I think I'll need to condense and edit before I ship it off to the rags. Thanks.

Hmmmm. French Laundry... Doesn't sound very foody.... May I have a look?

The French Laundry doesn't sound very foodie? I'm confused. If you'd like the piece--which I'd be more than happy to pawn off on all unsuspecting takers--PM me your email address and when I get home tonight I'll email it to you. Thank.s

Forgive my ignorance. I just don't know what French Laundry refers to. I just got my brain back from the repair shop yesterday and it seems the reinstallation didn't go as planned! :laugh:

A virgin French Laundrian. WOW! You've got to get up to speed my good friend. Plug that name into a search engine and explore the unknown. It's the best restaurant in the world some say. Check it out....

Oh thank God. I thought it was a new braising technique! LOL :laugh:

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The succession of quotes above just made me dizzy. ^ :blink:

As for your piece on TFL Spencer, I totally loved it. Great style. It reminds me of Bourdain, for sure. No nonsense, and not afraid to throw a few "fucks" in the mix for flavour. Good job! And God, how I must get to that restaurant like.. yesterday.

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The succession of quotes above just made me dizzy. ^  :blink:

As for your piece on TFL Spencer, I totally loved it.  Great style.  It reminds me of Bourdain, for sure.  No nonsense, and not afraid to throw a few "fucks" in the mix for flavour.  Good job!  And God, how I must get to that restaurant like.. yesterday.

Thanks Pixel. I'm almost afraid it's too Bourdain though.

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The succession of quotes above just made me dizzy. ^  :blink:

As for your piece on TFL Spencer, I totally loved it.  Great style.  It reminds me of Bourdain, for sure.  No nonsense, and not afraid to throw a few "fucks" in the mix for flavour.  Good job!  And God, how I must get to that restaurant like.. yesterday.

Thanks Pixel. I'm almost afraid it's too Bourdain though.

Not "too Bourdain" at all, C/W Spencer. You have a similar style, true; your syntax, however, is distinctive enough to prevent you from creating over-Bourdained prose.

Well, I think so . . . :cool:

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The succession of quotes above just made me dizzy. ^  :blink:

As for your piece on TFL Spencer, I totally loved it.  Great style.  It reminds me of Bourdain, for sure.  No nonsense, and not afraid to throw a few "fucks" in the mix for flavour.  Good job!  And God, how I must get to that restaurant like.. yesterday.

Thanks Pixel. I'm almost afraid it's too Bourdain though.

Not "too Bourdain" at all, C/W Spencer. You have a similar style, true; your syntax, however, is distinctive enough to prevent you from creating over-Bourdained prose.

Well, I think so . . . :cool:

Xan,

Thank you for that. I've got more...chapters I've composed to be put into my book under the title The Food Fighter Stories and Admissions of a Bridge Burning Chef. I'd be glad to ship a couple of those off if you're interested....God, I feel like such a whore...


Edited by Chef/Writer Spencer (log)

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Not "too Bourdain" at all, C/W Spencer.  You have a similar style, true; your syntax, however, is distinctive enough to prevent you from creating over-Bourdained prose.

Well, I think so . . . :cool:

Xan,

Thank you for that. I've got more...chapters I've composed to be put into my book under the title The Food Fighter Stories and Admissions of a Bridge Burning Chef. I'd be glad to ship a couple of those off if you're interested....God, I feel like such a whore...

Fire those chapters at me, C/W -- I'd be pleased to take a look at 'em! And you needn't feel like a whore, ya' know; we've all been there/done that.

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Chef/Writer Spencer ~

I have another idea for you to consider. This may harken back to your chef skills and your frustration at not getting to use the finer/fancier latest techniques etc.

Why not teach groups of foodies the latest and greatest things? In your spare time? There are so many ways to try this. You could do workshops based on your favorite cuisines and charge attendees for reimbursement of costs on materials etc....demos or small group hands on sessions.

Then donate the food to charities and nursing homes. All those places eating yucky institutional food. This idea would go down well in general with potential participants, surely.

I was in a nursing home for physical rehab. Those poor folks could stand a good meal. Food is life.

Just an odd ball idea thrown out for you like a spare catnip mouse! :wink:

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Chef/Writer Spencer ~

I have another idea for you to consider.  This may harken back to your chef skills and your frustration at not getting to use the finer/fancier latest techniques etc.

Why not teach groups of foodies the latest and greatest things?  In your spare time?  There are so many ways to try this.  You could do workshops based on your favorite cuisines and charge attendees for reimbursement of costs on materials etc....demos or small group hands on sessions.

Then donate the food to charities and nursing homes.  All those places eating yucky institutional food.  This idea would go down well in general with potential participants, surely.

I was in a nursing home for physical rehab.  Those poor folks could stand a good meal.  Food is life.

Just an odd ball idea thrown out for you like a spare catnip mouse!  :wink:

Interesting idea. How would I get the thing started? I enjoy when people think for me... :biggrin:

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Chef/Writer Spencer ~

I have another idea for you to consider.  This may harken back to your chef skills and your frustration at not getting to use the finer/fancier latest techniques etc.

Why not teach groups of foodies the latest and greatest things?  In your spare time?  There are so many ways to try this.  You could do workshops based on your favorite cuisines and charge attendees for reimbursement of costs on materials etc....demos or small group hands on sessions.

Then donate the food to charities and nursing homes.  All those places eating yucky institutional food.  This idea would go down well in general with potential participants, surely.

I was in a nursing home for physical rehab.  Those poor folks could stand a good meal.  Food is life.

Just an odd ball idea thrown out for you like a spare catnip mouse!  :wink:

Interesting idea. How would I get the thing started? I enjoy when people think for me... :biggrin:

Even if you can't locate charities to donate the food to (and yes, I do agree that it's a fabulous idea), you could have the workshops and then sell the meals inexpensively. Effectively what you would have is your own cooking workshop/restaurant. Naturally you would have to find someplace to hold these workshops but it would be really cool. Here in Montreal, the cooking school is open for lunch and dinner and for a fixed price you can get to taste what the students are learning. If you have the patience and temperament to teach, it could be the start of something big. :wink:

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