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kitchen confidential kinda question  

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Now im not being racists but im sure you guys have read kitchen confidential by anthony bourdain.... do you guys believe mexicans ecuodorians salvadorians can cook americans under the table?
post #2 of 26
I think that is a pretty broad generalization. Wouldn't you agree?

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post #3 of 26
While overall I do think that that is an overgeneralization, I will say this. I think many hispanics have a stronger work ethic than many Americans. They are used to 6 day weeks and long days. When I traveled to the Yucatan last fall, everyone there worked 6 days, 10+ hours a day. So they come here with a different mindset about what a work week consists of. Add on top of that, we pay time and half for OT while down there they don't. I have also found that, in the lower paying, less glourious jobs such as dishwashers, many of the American kids I interview are slackers, trying to find a job to "just get by". These kids often only last a few weeks and I have to stay on top of them constantly. They have no work ethic or pride in their work. Most of the hispanics I have worked with have a strong sense of pride in what they do, whether it is cooking or washing dishes. Earn their respect and loyalty and you will have a great employee. Again, this is a generalization, based on my experiences. I can't (and won't) claim that this is true across the board.
post #4 of 26
Also what does "cook Americans under the table" mean exactly? That they have better knife skills, can work the line better, have a better sense of what flavors mix and match, etc., or a little bit of everything?
Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
post #5 of 26
we are talkin about anthony bourdane here guys hes a nut probably just his way to keep us invovled with his book dont give it to much thought :cool:
CIAO
CIAO
post #6 of 26
I don't understand most of this thread.
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
post #7 of 26
I have to agree with Pete on this one. Some of the best workers I ever worked with were Hispanic. Very reliable, hard working willing to do whatever. I always trained them to cook and use them on the line, pay them more for their advancement. They in turn would repay me by getting a replacement for them that was equally as good. Again, as Pete said, it's a generalization to an extent, but my experiences have been favorable. Cooking ability... that's up to the individual- black, white, yellow, red, male, female etc.
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My latest musical venture!
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Also
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post #8 of 26
harpua:
anthony bourdain, longtime chef, wrote a bestselling book called 'Kitchen Confidential' which was a gritty, behind the scenes look at his personal life as well as what really goes on in the food business, etc etc yeah yeah yeah. it was pretty entertaining at that...he's a good writer. pretty true, too. he makes the claim stated in the first post. i think it was intended to be deliberately provacative as throughout the book he puts some effort into coming off as very 'edgy' and 'Noo Yawk' (yawn). it's worth reading-also the follow up 'A Cooks Tour-In Search of the Perfect Meal'.
post #9 of 26
Most of the hispanics I've worked can indeed make much better workers/cooks than whites. Same goes for asians - their work ethic is much stronger, and for the most part they take more pride in their work. I'm white but I won't hesitate to say most white people are LAZY (especially those who have gone to school and for some reason think they're a chef when they aren't), and don't have the same mental toughness.

Of course I have worked with a few lazy hispanics and a few hard working whites, but those are the minority.
post #10 of 26
ive traveled this country and worked with chefs and cooks of many different races and id have to say ive found good and bad with all of them!!!! i dont think you can make a generlized statement such as that with out working with every white,black,hispanic etc cook in the country!!!! i think this is nothing more then sterotyping like saying that asian people are beter with knives because you saw martin yen on the food network!!!! yes he is my idol as far as knife use is consened but i have worked with asians that boy you dont want to be near them when they use a knife!!!! i am herby personaly offended by any one that helps to promote these types of myths!!!!!
post #11 of 26
Ya'll are working too hard or something :talk: We need to stop using the word THEM. The remark was part of an entertainment ploy. Take it as that, and that's all. It's a rediculous statement to catch you. You're treading on racism just by refering to it. Hey!!! Did you hear the Presidents comments today on Roe VS Wade. He said that he really didn't care how the evacuees left New Orleans :D

edit (sorry)
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
well me personally im mexican and ive learned so much at the age of 18 now i dont claim im a professional because i am not... i dont claim to know everything but i have seen hispanic men and women in the industry come and blend in in no time and that is because we know how to work but at the same time my boss he is white but i have the most respect for in the industry....they say bobby flay is the king of the grill bobby dont got **** on my boss who can rock the grill like an apocalypse guys im not being racist and panini there is no such thing as working too hard you best learn that before you retire my friend....
post #13 of 26

minorities cooking??

my two cents.

when i used to cruise the different italian restaurants here in the north beach section of san francisco, you would not believe how many "famous" restaurants that boasted "genuine" italian cuisine used chinese line chefs!!
some of these places used italian "finishing chefs" outside on the floor, but all the prep stuff and all the long cooking / simmering for hours stuff was done in the back using chinese chefs!! i asked the owners why this was and the answers were similar ... hard working, reliable, lower pay, but most importantly, they will cook the same dish again and again and again and not complain. someone who could afford cooking school will get bored and try something new or try something more challenging (their opinion).

some of the restaurants i have been going to lately (nuveau americain) have had an inordinate number of spanish speaking line cooks. those owners say the same thing about them as of the italian restaurants.

like i said ... just my two cents.
post #14 of 26
We have become so dominated by the politically correct mindset in this country that now even making a positive generalization about a group is offensive.

The problem is not making generalizations. The problem is the nature of the specific generalization and the underlying sentiment. There are good and bad generalizations that can be made for every group. Because each and every subgroup on the planet has cultural influences unique to them, they will have some general trends that other groups may not. It's simple psycho-social development. The problem comes in when racist people make INVALID and dergatory generalizations designed to undermine other groups. The goal here is malevolent. The folks here addressing certain group's superior cooking skills and hard work are showing admiration.

It's not a revelation to say that other ethnic groups (generally speaking), have a higher work ethic. There are aspects of their homeland cultures that produce people willing to, and proud to, work very hard.

It's a generalization but it's also a compliment.

All generalizations, and their underlying sentiments are not created equal.

Mark
Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
post #15 of 26
MarkV
Now I'm confused. It's a positive generalization? It may be offensive because we're to PC?

If Racism is an invalid generalization, then that is exactly what that statement is, be it positive or not. I'm not trying to be a butt here. I understand the folks here are trying to show admiration for a certain groups superior skills, but the simple fact is that is an untruth without any proof.
Comments like, I find Hispanics to be harder working then Whites is a localized generalization that may be offensive to someone.
That's why I think it borders racism. For me, it has nothing to do with being PC.
When you speak gererally about certain ethnic groups having a higher work ethic, and cultures producing hard working people,I have to go with MikeFly, it's a myth. There is nothing to back that up.
I'll stop, working too hard today :rolleyes:
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
post #16 of 26
This is a very difficult and touchy subject and we could split hairs forever on this one.

I hear what you're saying, a generalization is a generalization whether it's positive or negative. I agree.

I just feel that we have to go deeper than how people categorize their world, meaning making generalizations or not. It's the underlying sentiment that identifies one's position as prejudiced.

Someone who makes a positive statement about a particular group may be just as guilty of making an unproven generalization, but his heart is in a different place than the person who is malicious.

Just because one says that hispanics are hard working doesn't mean they have contempt for people who aren't, (whether the original premise is true or not).

You can have admiration for a group, (even if it is an unproven generalization), and still not have malice toward others.

But I guess you could argue that even without malice, positive generalizations are just as racist.

But for me, "racist" implies hostility.

With all that said, I truly hope I am not offending anyone.

Mark
Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
post #17 of 26
MarkV, I don't think anyone has offended anybody. I was not trying to battle, you're much more in tune with psycho social developement then I will ever be.
Ya know what Mark, you're absolutely right. After thinking about it, if it is nt malicious, I shouldnt be criticle about it. If it's true or not.
Being criticle on my part, or disputing it, shows prejudicy on my behalf. I guess all I really wanted to say is that agree with MikeFly thinking that that generalization is myth and probably generated from an area where Hispanics are a minority. I'm in an area where Hispanics are the majority and know that the statement is myth, so I'm prone to dispute it.
You did'nt offend me, you woke me up :smiles:
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
post #18 of 26
i think mr.bourdain is getting exactly the response to his statement that he wanted
post #19 of 26
Oh yea,
That's why I refered to the statement as a "ploy", "catch"... actually it borders malicious :rolleyes: :D That cigarette smoking racist! Guess that's why I like him.LOL
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
post #20 of 26
Good point Mikefly.

Panini: Thank you for an objective discussion on the topic.

Apparently chefs are more reasonable in their thinking, "generally" speaking.

Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk

Mark
Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
Salad is the kind of food that real food eats.
post #21 of 26
When I wrote my previous statements, I clearly stated that these were my impressions and experiences, but I also feel that I gave very real, legitimate facts to back up my statements. And I am sorry, but I do believe that immigrants, whether they be hispanic, russian, Asian, etc. are harder workers than many (if not most) young American kids, especially when it comes to lower paying jobs. Too many young kids, feel they are owed a job, that they are doing you a favor by just showing up, that you owe them something. These are not myths, these are facts, that have played out time and again, in many restaurants I have worked at.

My other concern is about this whole PC thing. Political correctness is going to destroy the diversity of this world. Nobody can be different. We all have to be the same. We are not, and we shouldn't ever be! Class, culture, nationality, sex, and race (yes, even race) make a mark on who we are, and make us different. Yet, we shy away from any conversations pointing out differences, because someone might be offended. So instead of jumping the gun on this issue, and saying it is offensive, let's look at the situation, and discuss it rationally. There is obviously something to that initial statement, though it may be hyped and blown out of proportion. There must be some thread of truth in it, or why else would so many restaurants in this country carry such a large percentage of hispanics and other immigrants in the kitchen. Sure, it is the wage issue, but I don't think that is enough. There has to be another reason.
post #22 of 26
Pete,
I'm sure your experiences are real. The generalization was that hispanics can cook whites under the table.
The sad part here is that the hispanics and other ethnic groups perform well in the lower end jobs for most of the time that is all that is available. Young Americans have much more opportunity, they really don't have to dip so low unless they are slackers with poor work habits. Our younger generation is truly remarkable in their advances in technology. Most are just As dedicated to what they are doing as the dishwashers or cooks. In some situations the respect one gets from these ethnic groups grows from fear. My son will never work in the hospitality industry. It is so antiquated and primitive in nature. It's not an acredited or respected profession as in some countries.
The United States is really made up of ethnic cultures. I absolutely agree and understand what you are saying when it comes to our younger generation, but keep in mind, we, the older generation(not you Pete, old farts like me) created and let this happen. Those qualities you see in other ethnic groups were here, the family structure, the respect, the compassion,the hard work... we're letting it slip away.
As far a PC, I'm not afraid to tell you that in my area there are more hispanics working our system ie: SSI, dissability, workmans comp, wic, food stamps, school vouchers etc. then any other race or culture here. They are the majority in population so the numbers dictate more slackers per cap.
The dishwashing and work chores are way beneath them, most of our good finds come from the younger american crowd, though most food service places prefer to go illegal. Something I won't do. That is where you get the respect/fear thing. It abuse.
I'm also blessed to be associated with many hispanics to grow our business. Fortunately we are able to treat everyone equally. Everyone owns a piece of the pie and are responsible for sucess or failure.
I'm going to bow out gracefully now. Luv you all!
pan
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
if you all think about it though me who am a hispanic am in college and not just that my boss gave me opportunities to move up in the restaurant world...panini if you do the stats and think about it they are always saying that we take the money but we take lower end jobs and triple that money that was needed for us to get where we are now... if there wasnt any hispanics in the system you white folks would be in the slums of an economic depression so i would be more appreciative and not so jealous cause the brown man can over cook you guys all and not to mention we got a better brain...according to recent studies the normal human white brain measures 1000to2000 cc while the brown man goes up to 2500cc making us capable of knowing more..
post #24 of 26
Gosh, I bowed out of this BUT.
Bijoink. you seem to be offended by my comments. I pray that you are not. The folks I'm refering to don't elect to be in the system. Out Gov't puts them in. This is a way of life. They are born into it. We have babies having babies. The monies dispursed to these people is just a drop in the ocean compared to the monies earned and pumped back into the system through SS, and getting nothing in return. You will always hear stories about the INS, Gov't trying to close our borders from Mexico. I have done the stats and know that illegals pump billions of dollars into the SS system under fake or altered cards and will never draw on those monies. We can't afford to shut the door.
It really has nothing to do with cooking or our brains. I'm the son of an immigrant. My wife is a minority and my partner of 18 yrs is Hispanic. Do not mistake this for "one of my best friends is Blk." I just think I didn't express myself well and I hope I didn't offend you and appologize if I did. Not being PC, just being real.
Pan
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
post #25 of 26
Bijoink, you started this thread. You are the one who threw out quite a argumentive quote, and now you are upset by the way this conversation is going?! I agree with some of Panini's points and disagree with some, but I feel that we were having a good, intellectual debate. I am sorry if you took offense at Pan's last post but you have suddenly brought this conversation down to its basest level creating an Us vs. Them (the brown man vs. the white man) approach. It's too bad, because I really thought this conversation might go somewhere, make some people really think about some tough issues and their own thoughts and ideologies, but it looks like it will deteriorate from here. So I, like Panini shall leave this topic.
post #26 of 26
On day one, this topic made me as nervous as a long-tailed cat in room full of rocking chairs.
This forum is for the creative opinion, professional expression and personal insight of chefs and non-chefs, alike. That said, the nature of this discussion has changed and, before there is any further damage, I will lock this thread. I am leaving it posted because it started with a decent exchange of ideas grounded in an educational inquiry. It, however, has evolved, through no fault of anybody, into something other than that. Let's all just shake hands and call it a day.

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

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