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Why a Chef?

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I wonder about some of the young kids starting culinary school these days without first working full time in a kitchen. Are they sure they're following their passion? Do they know what's in store for them, or have they been bamboozled by the glitz and glamour they see a select few chefs enjoying on The Food Network?

I totally agree, thats why I am working in a restaurant before culinary school and I love it. Even as a prep-b#%ch,/dishwasher I love it.

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Fantastic, accurately depicted posts both fryguy and Sleepy Dragon.

Gifted Gourmet is correct. It is pure passion.

I *know* what zilla means. I've experienced the same feeling and situation.

bbqchef, chromedome and eatrustic seems to be well on their way to job satisfaction. :smile::cool:

Franky2Times: I do know many an out of shape chef doing quite well. :wink:

Sort of why I'll never call the kitchen "Back of the House." They are the Heart of the House.

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I'm a cook, and the word chef is getting somewhat overused, and has different meanings in every kitchen you walk into; a chef in one kitchen migh be a suitable prep cook in another.

There are chefs, and the there are chefs.

Same for cooks I suppose, but I'm doing fairly well and by that I mean I don't get complaints, or comped meals, and the chef lets me do my own specials.

I'm not sure why I got into this at age 44.

Certainly not the money.

I just feel in my element in a kitchen, like nothing is beyond me. I'm comfortable there.

Something about it appeals to me as intrinsically important, down in my bones.

In the kitchen, I have powers.

I can make you smile with pleasure, I can make you barf (I could but never will).

There is something primal and basic about it.

I am much more unnerved and intimidated by the world outside the kitchen I.E. paying my bills is much more a bitch than knocking out a twelve top.

Sure it's hot. Very Hot.



Some say stressful, but not for me, though I can believe that is the case for many.

But I go home feeling like iv'e done something good.

Iv'e done a lot of hard jobs, worked in ditches, on assembly lines, and without a doubt, professional cooking is the hardest work Iv'e ever done save for my stint in the army, where I was an infantryman.

It takes it's toll but right now I can handle it pretty well. I intend to keep doing it until I can't anymore.

Maybe someday I will be a chef, maybe not. I know I'm behind on the normal timeline, but I don't care.

Being a cook is one job where over-identifying yourself with your job is not a problem.

Not to be confused with egullet veteran Ms. Ramsey

Webmaster, rivitman's daily axe:

My Webpage

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I'm suprised this hasn't been mentioned.

Chefs are crazy.

Not in the "im-going-to-kill-you" way (though some are)

Not in the "look-at-the-pretty-green-faries" way (though, some are)

Not in the "just-bumped-a-line-lets-rock" way (though....some are)

Not in the "overstressed-im-going-to-cry-in-the-corner" way (uh, actually...)

Most chefs are just crazy about the kitchen. They love the hectic life, the raw power of taking sharpened steel, fire, and raw ingredients and making food. (to take a page from Bourdain)

Being the chef gives you control over your own little world, in a way that being a CEO doesn't. Most kitchens operate on a completely different time zone than regular companies.

If you're really interested, and you haven't done so already, read Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain (one of our forum celebrities). It's got dozens of pages on the subject.

Andrew Baber

True I got more fans than the average man but not enough loot to last me

to the end of the week, I live by the beat like you live check to check

If you don't move yo' feet then I don't eat, so we like neck to neck

A-T-L, Georgia, what we do for ya?

The Gentleman Gourmand

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Well, I missed this thread the first time around so here are my two cents:

I think that with most it begins with a job. Maybe your first job. Maybe in high school or a summer job. You wash dishes, bar back, prep salads, bus tables-whatever. During your daily duties you see lots of fast moving, seemingly oblivious and impervious to pain and fatigue workers behind the line doing what looks like an amazing number of tasks at one time and communicating in a strange and clearly secret code.

Sometime later you start working in the kitchen. Running a fryer, working salads, whatever. You begin to learn the code and start to feel that amazing feeling that is only available with mind altering drugs, serious love, or a good night in a fast moving kitchen.

Slowly you become one of them. The few, the proud, the line chefs. From there you can go in many directions-school, bigger and better kitchens, your own place, or just remain the world's best oven, sautee, fry, or expediter man.

There are very few feelings as good as working in a kitchen making seriously good food on a smooth night. It is something that is hard to duplicate in any other job.

Also, for some at least (me for one) there is the opportunity to meet lots of like minded individuals who understand why you are doing what you are doing. Some of the best friends I've got came out of my first few rest. jobs. I married a floor manager (a really, really good one incidentally) and many of my best friends now own and operate restaurants in South Louisiana and New Orleans.

It's also a great way to meet chicks. :wink::laugh: That has a certain appeal, as well.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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

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