"Deli Chef" kinda like my camera has a wizard. Phht. Years ago I gave up on considering myself a chef. So I let my certification lapse and decided to hide in the FOH. If I remember correctly this took place when I saw a piece on the local news in Atlanta about the "Chefs" at a WaffleHouse. Then I had a change of heart after reading some things and a visit to Baton Rouge to open a restaurant. I ran across some things and remember parts of a statement by Paul Prudhomme about what it takes to be a Chef. "Passion for food and the craft" is what comes to mind. Actually I'm glad I rediscovered my passion since this is no longer the case yet I'm still very discrete about shouting it from the roof top.
Not to take anything away from someone that works at a Wafflehouse since I've been there often and at all times of the day. You have to admit it's pure art to watch. I often wished I could lure the lead cook away but could never seem to match or compete with the money they made. Then again eggs are a far cry from some of the dishes produced in my kitchens or some of the kitchens I worked in.
My point is that we are too quick to throw around the title of Chef and we have the media to thank for that and believe me the media is the sharpest of "double-edged swords". Being called a Chef is something that is and always was meant to be earned. Just as with a Doctor, you don't call the Chef of a kitchen by his first name. Most folks want to be called a Chef but don't have the slightest clue of what it means to BE a Chef. Don't forget the words that came on that piece of paper you recieved when you finished classroom studies. You know about the Creed!
They are real, have meaning and are not open to "interpretation". Unfortunately for us this doesn't translate into ratings.
Now for the "clowns" they audition to be on the show. These folks are being handed a "never in the average lifetime" opportunity and they are not even of average caliber or at the least they haven't shown it yet. So you have a PR firm, publicist , good talent agent, just plain luck or (on the truly rare occasion) are truly just that talented. If your the later what the heck are you doing on the show in the first place? I watched the show last night and none of them belong there. Not now and I don't even believe 10-20 more years experience will do them any good. You can't teach Character.
About the show last night...First off, who in their right mind as a restauranteur is going to allow 100 screaming munchkins into the dining room to wreek the havock and disorder that they did. No where but in a "reality" show. The parents of those kids should be slapped themselves for raising them that way. But that's another subject entirely. I could see the look on Chef Ramsay's face. It was that this is really ridiculous and I'm going to have to laugh now. There the Sous Chef throwing the cake on the floor the petty bickering, running for ice and earlier things got about as real as I've seen so far. The backstabbing. This form or worse has been going on since I don't know when and unfortunately for me I have fallen victim all too often as the Exec. More personally the Big Tree Inn will never be the same again because of a former Sous Chef/Exec Chef wannabe.
Now for Chef Ramsay. Character? Yes! Talented? Yes! Foul-Mouthed and Tempermental? Yes. Is he any different from anyone I worked for in my youth? Yes! Since he has an audience of 10 million +-. Is his behavior acceptable by standards? No...yet sometimes necessary. But there is a fine-line that has been crossed so frequently that it's been blurred into obscurity. Is the show entertaining? Yes! Am I embarassed or insulted? No. Although I was more insulted by the show on NBC than anything else. Is Chef Ramsay a good role model for future Culinarians? No and Yes.!?!? Attitude may be Media created to a degree but sends the wrong message. His standards are impecible, drive is noteworthy, pace and intensity are off the scales and execution is outstanding. Heck Three Stars? I could only drean although that was once a goal of mine.
We've all had or are going to have our moments. Personally I've had more than I would ever care to admit. But it's what you take away from those moments is how you correct things. Unfortuantely as long as we are a media based society things will only to continue to get worse.
Well look at that I managed to ramble on forquite a while. I guess I'll step off my soap box now and join the peanut gallery once again.:D