Billionaire's chefHello Caren. I worked as an estate chef to a multi-billionaire once listed by Forbes Magazine as one of the "Ten Richest Men in the World". It was here where I first learned the art of ironing newspapers! I kid you not. One of the butler's daily tasks was to iron the newspaper so our Master could enjoy it w/o wrinkles. Believe it or not, this is considered an industry standard; most professional butlers do indeed iron newspapers.
I did the gig for three years and both loved and hated it. How can I explain this, I wonder? Are you familiar with the notion of a cult mentality? Sometimes we hear stories of people who are delivered from a cult and they appear somewhat dazed, like deer peering into the headlights of an oncoming car. That was my experience with the other domestic servants. I felt like I was in a cult.
Chefs are a bit rough around the edges. Simple truth. Maybe it's the heat, or the stress, or the fact that we are hidden behind stainless steel all the time. Chefs are more like mechanics or artists or craftsmen or whatever you think us to be. We are more about making things happen and have little patience or use for foo-foo and haughtiness.
My relationship with the other domestics was often strained (especially the butler- the butler is the head servant. The butler writes the schedules and signs the paychecks). For the butler and others, our master was an Avatar of sorts. For me, he was a diner to cook for.
It usually happens that the family loves the chef while the service staff tolerates the chef (and vice-versa). It is a hard dynamic to explain. A domestic chef is anything but domesticated. Cooking is about control and execution. Domestic servants are about... uh, servility. Does that make any sense at all? Don't get me wrong, I'm a real sweetheart. Whenever I quit a job many cooks seek to come with me. I'm not an ego-maniac by any means whatsoever. It's just that a certain mind-set is required to be a domestic servant and the chef rarely if ever holds that mind-set.