or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Defining yourself

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Interesting thoughts.....how do you define yourself?

When I managed farmers market, essentially I was the voice of the market....when chairing a group, again I spoke for the group....not necessarily my personal opinion.

Recently a local leader of a national food group has taken to "critiquing"restaurants and chefs many times harshly and playing very select favorites with the hip popular 5......leaving all the stalwarts that have been around for many years in the dust. His blog/forum (also has links and at one point threads about his organization) in my mind not only reflect him but the organization......as he is the voice for the local chapter. He thinks differently and says his opinions are just that, his own.

One of the chefs I've recently talked to says that as exec chef he represents the restaurant......I can see that, his public face is not his own.

Thoughts?
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
post #2 of 9
shroom, this is a very deep and IMHPO needed discussion. One that I would like to participate in but to "Define one's self" takes a bit of reflection and introspective thought. I'll be getting back on this one but until then.....This is what I have always used as a base to defining myself.

I may not have succeeded 100% of the time. After all I am human but the desire to always succeed at it was 100%.

It's disturbing when someone, like the person you speak of, feels the need to play God with the careers, lives and livelihoods of the very people that at one time or another most likely recited this oath. Then again, most actions by too many these days are unconscionable. I guess in all reality it's what you aspire to that defines you and how you act or deal with people determines how people view your aspirations.

I have a thought that I used to write on my Mgmt communication board every week;

"The definition of a Manager is to manage situations, operations and people through decisions. How we manage and make those decisions defines us as Managers" ;)

By the way.....Those same words can be applied to someone's life in general, no matter what it is they do in life. Maybe if that were the case....... Ahh.... never mind, too many I have run across have had a hard time following this when working their way up to the role of Exec let alone showing any form of conscience in general.

Maybe I won't need to reply to the question since I think I already have. :D

Rant over, soap box neatly tucked under bed......... for now.
post #3 of 9
Well, we all identify ourselves as Chefs, right? To me, the identity of the restaurant I am Chef of is also my identity, and, should reflect my values and standards -because my public face is my own, so, the restaurant represents me as much as I it. IMHPO, we do not cease to be Chefs as we hang up our toque and go home for the evening. It is our "gourmandism" that does not let us turn off our though process just because we are grocery shopping for a quick dinner at home, or showing up to a weekend bar-b-que
-we still think like Chefs, we still are Chefs -it is part of us, and (to me) is our public face.

When I was out of work for 4 months I was really strugling with this, It felt like because I was not working in a restaurant, maybe I was not a "Chef" anymore? -I started to panic for a few weeks.
Though the difined meaning of "Chef" is to be the chief of the kitchen, is the true meaning possibly something more?
nel maiale, tutto e buono!
Reply
nel maiale, tutto e buono!
Reply
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
One of my exec chef friends who has worked with me as sous, talked about the local chefs as a community. We share information.....who's growing what, techniques, generalized recipes, what the health dept is searching for now.....we don't publicly slam other chefs/cooks. Privately with close friends maybe, but not in public forums.

Same goes with restaurant reviewers and writers, what is discussed as friends is kept between us.....the public gets a revised version.

That's why it's so shocking to have the convivium leaders voice damaging information in public forums.
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
post #5 of 9
I don't understand that "circle the wagons" mentality, Shroom. If there's a real problem, why shouldn't it be discussed publicly.

Look how many years the medical profession supported incompetents by following that keep-it-in-the-family path.

Look how many years the sportswriters never said anything negative about a team or individual players, because they confused boosterism with industry support.

Look how many years....well, you get the idea. Why should the food arts industries be any different.

To be sure, there's a difference between fallacious slamming and legitimate criticism. But, so long as that line isn't crossed, a healthy discussion of real problems and their possible solutions only improves the industry as a whole.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
it's not chefs discussing amoungst themselves, but a group of twenty somethings who are board members of a national food group posting on the local forum of that group that are slamming/bashing restauranteurs.

If it were a non-connected individual's blog that would be one thing, but he's connected closely to a national group, and has their forum on his website.
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
post #7 of 9
Some thoughts on restaurant blogging in general:


It's the slamming of other places that really get to me.

It "used to be" that critiques would only come with newspapers, and if you wanted a good critique, you had to purchase some form of advertising from the paper. (Well, in Vancouver, anyway) Many operators leave the whole scenerio alone, and only the very aggresive restaurants make the "top 10". Granted, some of these establishments do earn the right for good reviews with good product and service, but it really irks me that many do not, the food is poor, but the marketing excellent.

In the last 5 years however, it seems like everyone and their dog is writing a blog about their restaurant experiences, and these blogs are read by far more people than a newspaper could ever reach. The rules for fair critiquing are along the lines of : Critique without any pre-determined attitudes, stay sober, know what you're eating/drinking, and write without any baggage. Many blogs do not follow these rules.

Now I'm not stuck in the past, the future is here but I don't know quite how to deal with blogging and people's views on restaurants they visited. I've had both positive and negative feedback from blogs. One member from E-gullet loudly blogged on the building I'm located in--had a lot of negative thigs to say about the building, but only put in a passing work about my chocolates and pastries.

In the end, I guess people will take to heart only what the "professional restaurant critiques/bloggers" write and not what Joe Schmoe writes, then again alot of people will not. A Chef with links to professional bodies and a slick website may be considered as such a professional.

Vancouver is home to many celebrity Chefs. Most media darling Chefs don't last more than 5 years and then quicly loose the command they had on the general public. The ones who do last, usually follow the "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it" rule.

How we deal with bloggers--use them, avoid them, fight them, or love them, will probably figure in the outcome of how succesfull our busineses are.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
KY, total mother hen mentality on my part. Most of the chefs in town that use local products have at one time or another worked with me, donating their time & energy for various projects. What can I say, but loyalty is important.
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
cooking with all your senses.....
Reply
post #9 of 9
At the end of the day, i wouldnt worry too much about bloggers. If everyone was to voice their own opinion, then nothing would get done.

To those who blog about restaurants, how bout you invite me over for a meal, and then I shall critique your results. Have you any experience in catering/commercial cookery. Are you a pretender to the masterchef franchise?. What do you think the results would be?.

Either way. No knowledge = An invitation to total mediocrity
"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
Reply
"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs