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post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I don't expect to be famous, the next ramsay or marco, the next big celeb chef but I want to put myself out there. I want to build a bit of reputation to my name and wonder how to go about it. From entering competitions which I cannot seem to find in my area etc.


Any advice on how to build myself a good reputation?

post #2 of 14

The best way to go about this is to start your own business as a Chef/Owner and start something innovative in your area. If you truly have a product and service that draws the crowds then the media attention will follow. Getting your name in the newspaper and on local TV should be your goal. On the other hand, you can do a similar approach by getting a job as a Chef for something new and hip, possibly a startup, and getting your name out there the same way. Only you have less control. 


I don't feel competitions are a very good bet. There's plenty of talented cooks out there with no financial backing that want their name out there and don't feel like being a leader.  


Just for example, I got a good taste of the first example with my food truck. I had my name in two different newspapers within the first 2 months of opening my business. It doesn't take a lot of money to get recognition. Just a solid goal and some talent.


I have a good friend that is an example of the second scenario. He was put on the local TV news, by his company, as one of their regular reoccurring chefs that would do the cooking segments. (I should add that his restaurant wasn't even new or hip!)   

post #3 of 14

I've won a bunch of competitions ... it makes me known among the other people in competitions, it doesn't make me a living.  I've worked in a number of big-named places with/for a number of big-named chefs.  Yeah, that's real cool too.  Almost all of the best chefs I know work in really good places.  The places are known to people, the chefs are not.  Great chefs are known to the people writing the pay-checks, not so much the people ordering the food.  Can you name any of the chefs working any M* places in or around Aberdeen, Scotland?  It's probably easier to name the places but not the chefs. 

post #4 of 14

^Very true and a real good point you bring up. And I agree with you. But, those "big-named chefs" do have a name in their area, do they not? Sure, any average joe can name dozens of good restaurants in the area and none of the chefs that run them. But, the "foodies", other cooks, chefs, and those who care about that type of stuff probably could name several to dozens of good chefs around their area. 


Those are the people who you're trying to get your name out there to. Those are the people who are thinking for the average joe and influencing their choice of restaurants.  

post #5 of 14

Good point backatcha Vic.  But let me ask you, do you think you're going to make a living off "other cooks and chefs" that know you're really good?  How much do they get to go out and eat? ... and how much are they gonna spend on you?   "Foodies" are only good for a while, and usually it's a short while.  Unfortunately they're big bananas most of the time anyway.

post #6 of 14

Haha, Ok I guess you got me there! I guess what I meant was the people who influence journalists, yelpers, and other random loud-mouths to stop by your place. LOL

post #7 of 14

OK.  Just for fun.  Here is a little name recognition quiz.  Without looking any of these chefs up, who do you know? 



Joanne Chang    Barbara Lynch    Marc Vetri    Mourad Lahlou   


Matthew Accarrino    Vitaly Paley    Suzanne Goin    Nancy Silverton   


David Myers    Paul Kahan    Gale Gand    Cathal Armstrong    


Matt Neal    Danny Grant    Blaine Wetzel    Cormac Mahoney    


Corey Lee    Bryant Ng    Jenn Louis     Karen Nicolas    Dan Kluger


Rich Torrisi & Mario Carbone       Erik Anderson & Josh Habiger    

Edited by IceMan - 4/17/13 at 2:02pm
post #8 of 14

Press releases and social media. Facebook with paid promotions. YouTube videos. Pinterest and Instagram. Personal website with a blog. Then more press releases.


More imporant than anything, do something no one else is doing, or do something controversial. I know a chef from my hometown that put out on Facebook that he was going to serve lion at a special dinner at his restaurant. It wasn't long before the animal nuts had called the news stations, radio and newspapers for him. He eventually backed out but gained a lot of notoriety from it. Two months later and he's been on a food network show and a restaurant show on Bravo.

Brandon O'Dell


Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service


O'Dell Restaurant Consulting




Brandon O'Dell


Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service


O'Dell Restaurant Consulting



post #9 of 14

Do a great job where ever you are., it follows you Treat staff fair. Volunteer for charity gigs and ladies luncheon meetings..Develop a style as you own. Get your name out there.

post #10 of 14

What are you ready to do for "a bit of reputation" you talk about? This world demands you to desire everything to get "a bit", that's how it works, unfortunately.


Invest your free day, some of your money and start cooking randomly for the poor people in your area, city by city, place by place. Talk to them and try to provide the something they'd never came across before, cook the best you can and serve them good wine, for free. Ask them for recipes! Start writing unique cookbook! Make them escape from their trouble for a couple of hours and make worlds come closer at least for a while.. I bet you'll go to bed tired, happy and proud getting the best possible reputation very soon. Hopefully this could become popular path in the name of solidarity and humanity first of all. Imagine politicians or companies choosing your path.. As a humans we always choose to walk over the bodies desperately trying to reach that bright star and almost everyone finish in the dark shade of someone else.


You can always choose a path no one walked before, in good way.

post #11 of 14
Cool ideas there Zoran. As it is, I cook in and work for a number of homeless shelters in Chicagoland. I've got great rep for doing that, among all the homeless people I feed and the other volunteers that I work with. That will for sure help me get into Heaven, but it doesn't help me pay for anything. I've gotten a number of perks from other people and businesses involved, but nothing that can be called income. All still, you've got good ideas.
post #12 of 14

IceMan, you made me sit for a while.. I have great respect for what you do. What can I say., I was all unprepared to hear that. Deep in my heart I'd love to do that on my own and I'm constantly thinking of my club restaurant "independence" plan where membership and part of the profit would go to the poor people. I already have future customers who'd be happy to be involved in that manner and I'm dreaming of serving certain kinds of people filtering everything else trough membership. Other restaurants must survive too :)  I'm struggling in one of the most collapsed economies today to set up a strategy for such a place and make my dreams truth and it's not easy. I'd like to go home happy, that's all. I admire what you do IceMan, honestly, must say that once again.


As of Teylor94 "Reputation???"


I was thinking of high reputation and a lot of the money :) look at him, he's so young! If Teylor do not sleep few years and keep focusing he can do anything. (here I'm VERY serious)


Superb Victorian table on the street..


Pouilly-Fumé in crystal glasses, beeswax candles, luxury China, hell red smoking lobster and elegant Chef capable of doing everything including service of his confused but precious guests.. No one else, no friends helping, no manager or girlfriend around! First day : 25-50 people taking amateur shots and videos - guaranteed! As local TV would happen very soon best is to ignore them as much as possible and keep words for someone who'd recognize pure beeswax on the table. Be patient! They'd not come with a crew before their agent get in touch by dropping plans on the table.


The condition is that any great project must have great idea and philosophy in the background. I'm absolutely sure, whatever being served, that this would not be the best lunch those guests ever had! That could be the point! Street dinner could culminate in great conversation and digging out "precious" information about any "lady Maria's bean soup" using this unfortunately ignored layer of society.. Action would begin with yourself running being followed by famous channel crew and their logistics desperately trying to find Maria, talking to her and making that bean soup together. This could be the 43rd page of cookbook that would be sponsored by someone else from now on.. "Street cooking" or whatever..


For some personal reasons I'd never do this but I am excited by all possibilities "I could see" in something like that. Reputation? As much you want, you'll cook unique Maria's bean soup from now on!


This rough fantasy should not be taken seriously because it died at the moment I pressed "SUBMIT". Real thing, if planned, which makes all magic possible is hidden deep in our brains and if you don't see it- dig it out! Moral and future dedication must not be forgotten. "I used" poor people as a vehicle to bright stars in this fictional reputation strategy.. Personally, after all, I'd buy a house in some forgotten Detroit and make superb restaurant where I'd wait airplanes from Las Vegas for a cool part of the game, they'd love temperature difference. Part of the profit would go to the homeless and poor people, of course.


Thinking about my "reputation" and (once again) avoiding brutal execution by my wife, I'll better wash those plates now.. Have a nice day!


PS. I cannot understand what "a bit of reputation" really means if someone is setting up the target BUT accepting local TV in initial part of the plan would probably help "freezing" career somewhere there :) Good luck Teylor!

post #13 of 14

There are so many definitions of reputation in our industry. All I want is to be known as a great cook, a great guy, and a great chef one day by the people that know me. Never get reputation and fame confused.










"Serve God, serve people, serve great food."

-F. Tiess-

post #14 of 14
Originally Posted by NorgeBishop View Post

 Never get reputation and fame confused.


Great point!


Reputation is earned and I'm speaking of a good, solid or positive reputation. Then again, the same could be said about a bad or negative reputation. I don't believe anyone just stumbled into a good or bad reputation, either would require a conscious effort. However.......ones personality does dictate a great deal which it will be.


I also believe that a good, solid or positive reputation may not always equal success but it does provide the opportunity for a longer duration of success.  As an example.........If you're a stand-up guy surrounded by a bunch of ninny, gossip driven, back-stabbing "buttholes".....chances are you won't be too successful...and quite miserable to boot.


Fame? Someone once told me that,  at best would be fleeting and should be considered a short lived reward. Looking at how much more you live under a microscope and have your whole life out there compels me ask....what reward?  Since haven't figured that out is probably one of the many reasons I'll never be famous and honestly, I can live with that.


Plus I personally believe it's inevitable...........at some point, fame will ask you to sacrifice your reputation and threaten to take away your success.

Edited by oldschool1982 - 2/17/14 at 1:02pm
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