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"Chef" -- Who is? Who ain't?


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What about Chef Tony? THe guy who sells the knives on infomercials. If this guy can call himself a chef, I say anybody can. :wink:  :laugh:

He's got a hat.

Exactly. :wink:

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I'm a Pastry Chef (thank's Michael ); I worked very hard to become one. People sometimes introduce me as a baker my response is, "well yes, that is part of what my job encompasses". A recent culinary school graduate is not a Chef because he or she could not do the job. They would not be considered if they applied for a "Chef" position. They would be hired as a cook (and probably start as a prep cook or pantry cook). This cook would gain experience and try to work every station- working on skill, technique, speed, cleanliness, and organization. Years and restaurants later perhaps this cook will be promoted to sous chef. Many cooks never make that step and remain line cooks for their entire career. Many cooks don't want the added stress and responsibility- plus the preasures of creativity, scheduling, costing recipes, dept budgets, sick employees, hiring and firing, ordering smallwares, ordering and checking produce etc...

There are many culinary school graduates that never become professional cooks; a professional kitchen is not an easy place to work!

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Thanks KarenS for an intelligent response. Been in kitchens for a long time. Am old and tired. Yes, I am a chef, as far as you guys seem to think that word is worth shit. The best quote I ever got was from Andre Soltner when he told me that he always was a cook, never a chef. The word itself used to reserved to the corporate honcho of a big hotel chain (e.g. Escoffier). The rest of us are cooks and proud to be.

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This has been a very interesting discussion for me to read, both as a newbie to the forum and as a culinary student. I am a career changer - 40 years old - and will be graduating from a well-respected school in Canada at the end of April. Will I consider myself a chef? No way.

The woman I work for has operated one of the most respected restaurants in Western Canada for 23 years and counting. She has a degree in mathematics, and before turning to foodservice had been an industrial engineer, a government IT person, and a computer consultant. She hadn't previously worked in the industry, or gone to cooking school. Do I consider her a chef? Hell, yes!

As for the corporate guys, well, they usually need to have some serious chops to get that position. Like, say, that former "corporate hack" named Metz, who runs the CIA.

Admittedly, the general public ("great unwashed," laypersons, civilians, whatever term you prefer) has a pretty unfocussed notion of the term. I cringe whenever I'm introduced as a "gourmet chef" by some well-meaning acquaintance.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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