What is the definition of a chef? What skills should a chef have?
Let’s start with what a chef isn’t.
A chef isn’t someone that works for two years in a decent kitchen then somehow ends up on Top Chef cause he or she will make good TV.
A chef isn’t a guy that has charisma but no real experience, and works the media and a few wall street dudes until they all back him.
A chef isn’t a guy that writes a good book about the “inner workings” of NYC kitchens but never actually runs a kitchen, then does TV well.
Let’s move to what a chef is.
A chef is someone who has a full working knowledge of every tool available to him to prepare food.
A person with the presence of mind to keep every dish being produced in his kitchen on his mind at once with the 6th sense to direct it.
A chef is a person capable of managing and leading large groups of people towards the goal of a flawless food experience for every client.
A chef is a person who, as soon as she enters a room, the entire room vibrates from her passion and presence.
A chef is teacher whose primary goal is to improve the palates of everyone around him by juxtaposition of flavors nuances and language.
A chef is a person who dances through a kitchen striking all the right beats and all the right cords on his way to a perfect service.
A real Chef finds all the satisfaction he needs on the face of a happy diner.
A real chef doesn’t use any pre-prepared foods. He doesn’t trust anyone but himself and his crew to prepare his mise en place.
A real chef loves to discuss and defend his methods and shares them openly because he is constantly trying to improve cuisine.
A real chef is completely transparent and is the best salesman for his own cuisine.
A real chef has an immense amount of natural stamina and energy. Their passion can literally knock you the fuck over.
He can be thrown into any real kitchen situation and kick motherfucking ass immediately and without any excuses. A real chef can design a menu that wastes nothing and doesn’t have a single unsuccessful dish.
A real chef has a style that is all their own that comes from years and years of hard labor in other great chef’s kitchens.
A chef is an ambassador of food, cuisine, nutrition, sanitation, craft, method, history, labor, equality, equipment and service.
A real chef would never sell out cuisine, world nutrition or agriculture for TV ratings, more money, more notoriety, or more sex.
A real chef works in complete harmony with their surroundings and engages his local community as much as possible. He or she would never be a spokesperson for a diet soda or any soda because he is food/drink role model condoning a false food system. A real chef takes on apprentices and guides them, tutors them, and encourages them for the rest of their lives. Chefs are mentors, always.
A real chef designs and creates his own methods and tools to get the results he dreams and obsesses over every night.
A real chef maintains a realistic food cost, doesn’t self-promote at the expense of others and makes money for his partners.
A real chef is a shepherd of the earth’s bounty while at all times keeping in mind her limits and her sustainability.
And that’s all I have to say about that… (for now…:)