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Stone

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

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There are architects and people that execute the architects blue prints.

There are chefs and cooks who execute his recipe.

Viejo


The Best Kind of Wine is That Which is Most Pleasant to Him Who Drinks It. ---- Pliney The Elder

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,

Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --- Homer

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It would be unfair to place Ferran Adria and some cooking school grad or even a guy like Bobby Flay in the same league.

Even Bobby Flay? Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Bobby Flay have two restaurants in New York? Would that not make him a chef? If he's not a chef, why not?


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Even Bobby Flay?  Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Bobby Flay have two restaurants in New York?  Would that not make him a chef?  If he's not a chef, why not?

Did you see that idiotic display on Iron Chef?

Even copious quantities of drugs would not excuse or explain that behavior. Pure Hollywood and thus... no Chef for you.


fanatic...

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It would be unfair to place Ferran Adria and some cooking school grad or even a guy like Bobby Flay in the same league.

Even Bobby Flay? Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Bobby Flay have two restaurants in New York? Would that not make him a chef? If he's not a chef, why not?

Two words, iron chef.

Disgraceful.


Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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Is Bourdain still a chef?

yes. he paid his dues according to the right people.

But he no longer runs a kitchen? Does he? Or does one only have to pay once for lifetime membership?

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Is Bourdain still a chef?

yes. he paid his dues according to the right people.

But he no longer runs a kitchen? Does he? Or does one only have to pay once for lifetime membership?

Welcome to the club, how much was your membership?


Edited by inventolux (log)

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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Anyone think the guy that invents Wishbone salad dressings deserves to be called Chef?  Or Chemist?

Yeah, but more importantly, does anyone think that the guy who invents Wishbone salad dressing deserves to be called a muff magnet?

:laugh::laugh:

Hell, that's funny.


Noise is music. All else is food.

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It would be unfair to place Ferran Adria and some cooking school grad or even a guy like Bobby Flay in the same league.

Even Bobby Flay? Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Bobby Flay have two restaurants in New York? Would that not make him a chef? If he's not a chef, why not?

Two words, iron chef.

Disgraceful.

Two words:

Allez cuisine!

Which of course makes no sense, really.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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It would be unfair to place Ferran Adria and some cooking school grad or even a guy like Bobby Flay in the same league.

Even Bobby Flay? Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Bobby Flay have two restaurants in New York? Would that not make him a chef? If he's not a chef, why not?

Two words, iron chef.

Disgraceful.

Two words:

Allez cuisine!

Which of course makes no sense, really.

Now im going to make two more cents and donate both of them to fighting cutting board abuse.


Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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Even Bobby Flay?  Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Bobby Flay have two restaurants in New York?  Would that not make him a chef?  If he's not a chef, why not?

Did you see that idiotic display on Iron Chef?

Even copious quantities of drugs would not excuse or explain that behavior. Pure Hollywood and thus... no Chef for you.

If possible, I was perhaps more outraged by/contemptuous of Flay's behavior than Morimoto-San. Cutting board abuse should be punishable by demotion; no Chef for Bobby sez malachi -- and I'm in agreement!

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I think we could have performed some really serious medical research:

How soon does it take to notice obsurd behavior after being hit with a dose of 240 volts on live television?


Edited by inventolux (log)

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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Alas, we're back at the point where we ascribe value judgments to the title chef that are not part of the job description. One may be required to command the respect of his kitchen crew to take the title of chef, but one needn't command the respect of a TV audience. I too was appalled by the kitchen table as pedestal, but it has occurred to me that Flay might have thought he was on a TV stage and not in a kitchen. In fact I'm quite inclined to think a real chef might not have felt that was a real kitchen. Is there someone here who thinks Iron Chef is a cooking show more than an entertainment show. I guess none of you grew up watching professional wrestling as a kid. I see no one's questioned the magnetism aspect here.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Perhaps there is a lawyer surfing this forum that could elaborate on the strange world of law making.

To retain respect for sausages and laws, one must not watch them in the making.

Otto von Bismarck


Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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Alas, we're back at the point where we ascribe value judgments to the title chef that are not part of the job description.

But I think the point many people are trying to make, and the point I wanted to discuss when I started this, is that the title "Chef" does include a value judgment. There are many words, titles, etc., in our language that carry a connotation well beyond the dictionary definition. That's why I would think Bourdain is and will remain a chef even if he never entered a kitchen again; but a guy who graduates CIA and then goes to work developing new sauces for Quiznos is not.

And from what I can tell, there's a whole lot more cooking to Iron Chef than there ever was wrestling to professional wrestling.


Edited by Stone (log)

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Maybe, but when I stayed up until midnight at the age of nine just to watch my favorite wrestler, no one could convince me it wasn't real. On the other hand when I watched Iron Chef, no one could convince me this had much to do with real restaurant cooking. It's all relative.

The guy developing sauces for Quiznos is not likely to be heading a professional kitchen brigade, so he's not likely to fall under my definition of chef, but even if he was, there's a difference between being chef of a three star Michelin restaurant and being chef of a lesser known one. That however, doesn't make one a better person than the other. There are any number of qualifications one can make in life. An ambulence chaser and a guy who's arguing a case in the Supreme Court are both lawyers. One may be an unethical jerk and the other a distinguised legal scholar. They are both lawyers.

As I've noted, an ex-chef who's retired or teaching, is still Chef, just like a retired president is still President.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Stone--I have not read the entirety of this thread. I will try to catch up. But, when you say "But I think the point many people are trying to make, and the point I wanted to discuss when I started this, is that the title "Chef" does include a value judgment." I have to disagree, gently. There's not much value or judgement involved inherently. I tend to side most with Bux on this when he speaks of prejudice clouding our perception and with inventolux when he says "Respect for everyones position is the first step in anything professional." I also agree with the tenor and tone of posts by Chef Fowke and my "pastry cook" colleague Michael Laiskonis. Guess it's a good thing for us Malachi is in the middle of nowhere. The title "chef" seems to include misunderstanding and narrowness--to a degree tempered by that person's limited experience and awareness. If anything is connoted it stems from our inability as a culture to embrace fully how diverse chefs are. But I guess your point could be that that is in itself a value judgement, a poorly formed or erroneous one. Chef is multi-faceted like artist or designer or programmer or any number of titles that in and of itself do not connote or infer any value. Chef is not like M.D or J.D which is regulated or certified at some basic level of achievement or schooling which the public can look up in the dictionary.

And I'd suspect that the chef developing sauces for Quiznos has a serious restaurant/hotel/foodservice track record behind him, is pulling down a six figure salary or the equivalent as a consultant and industry insider. It's not some punk 20 year old kid right out of the CIA. Most kids out of the CIA disappear down the foodservice pipeline of career disappointment, never to be heard from again and without a more practical or a more diverse college degree to fall back on to pursue a career outside foodservice. This Quiznos guy--and tons like him in many other corporate situations--are most certainly chefs--as Holly noted on page one of this thread "in fact a very smart chef - coming up with a 9-5 corporate gig, megabucks, full benefits, company car and fat expense account." Just because there aren't as many of these chefs around as there are chefs running restaurants--and that the media rarely highlights these chefs--doesn't mean they are not "chef." They're just not the typically perceived romantic, artiste or warrior-type chef personas. Which just adds up to more misunderstanding of what it means to be "chef."

It also shouldn't come as a surprise that chefs morph into entertainers and personalities--and become more well-known as entertainers and personalities. When they do it doesn't mean their track record as a chef is wiped out. It means they made a choice, took a detour, just like anyone else. And if we somehow manage to overlook that a putz on TV also happens to oversee a restaurant that just got 3 stars from Grimes in the NY Times, that just supports my sense that the title chef connotes misunderstanding more so than any value judgement.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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Klc, thanks for a great post. As they say: WORD.

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I've now caught up with this thread and would just like to add that the following mentioned or participating on this thread are all most certainly chefs:

Basildog, Pepin, Emeril, joiei, Trotter, Ferran, Jean-Georges, jinmyo, Bourdain, Ripert, the corporate chef behind product development for Mrs. Paul, Keller, TGIFriday's corporate chef, whoever is behind the food served at any Colin Cowie style dinner party, whoever is supervising the kitchen of the guy grilling pizzas at Otto, invento, Fowke, Spencer, Flay, Morimoto, Peter B. Wolf, Michael, me, the feel-good Quiznos founding chef and any current Quiznos consulting chef, many "kitchen managers" disparaged by some on this thread (and F&B directors) were chefs at one time and/or still are. If I've left any chef off it is inadvertent, borne out of unfamiliarity and not a value judgement.

We all are just not necessarily working as chefs according to the same definition. We're applying our culinary skills and training and experience but not necessarily in the same way as we once did or as someone reading along expects us to. In fact, accepting the diversity of this list might help define a more inclusive standard of what it can mean to be a chef or be called chef.

Further threads could explore what it means to be a trained, talented, passionate, inspiring, successful, respected or certified chef. But those are value judgements, criteria to be applied to what should be, at least initially, an inclusive definition.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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Whenever we try and lump a guy like Thomas Keller and Bobby Flay in the same category as "Chef", tensions will run high. Youre dealing with a profession that encompasses artistry, respect, dignity and passion. Most chefs will never fit that bill like TK. So in comparing you begin to water down the beauty of the meaning. Its like comparing Van Gogh to a company that produces thousands of Monet reprints.


Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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Whenever we try and lump a guy like Thomas Keller and Bobby Flay in the same category as "Chef", tensions will run high. Youre dealing with a profession that encompasses artistry, respect, dignity and passion. Most chefs will never fit that bill like  TK. So in comparing you begin to water down the beauty of the meaning. Its like comparing Van Gogh to a company that produces thousands of Monet reprints.

Hey Electrolux, even I lump Keller and Flay together. Come on bro. They're both quality chefs. Maybe Keller could cook Flay into ash but that's a question of metier...Compare Keller to, oh I don't know, Keith Famie and I'll sit on your jury bench with a load of tnt.

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Maybe, but when I stayed up until midnight at the age of nine just to watch my favorite wrestler, no one could convince me it wasn't real. On the other hand when I watched Iron Chef, no one could convince me this had much to do with real restaurant cooking. It's all relative.

why do you keep suggesting that iron chef has nothing to do with "real cooking"? is it all just smoke and mirrors? are these not talented chefs created dishes that actually taste good? or are the guests on the "panel" forcing down crap just for the "theatre"?

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