My names Jon. I'm young chef building a career in Orange County, California. I'm currently at a new fine dining concept in central OC specializing in fresh fish, prime aged beef, and oysters. The restaurant was opened by a two Michelin Star chef, and is now building a staff to solidify plans for further future success. That's really all I'd like to say about me personally for the time being.
Opening a restaurant with a very accomplished chef brought me to the realization the general attitude of next generation of chefs seems to be different than that of what one might consider the "old school." It's hard to sum up exactly how in a short version of what for me and some of my other young colleagues have made quite a long and continuing conversation; but it seems true none the less. I thought I would put the idea out there, and see what other people had to say about it.
One thing I seem to notice in some of the younger chefs still building a career, is that in general there more involved with a lot of different things other than cooking. Allow me to explain. A lot of the more seasoned chefs I have worked with in the past seem to be very immersed in cooking. It's what they've always done, what they do best, and what they tend to focus on the most. Sure, like anyone else they have hobbies, things they do to relax, and maybe some non cooking related ventures on the side; but for the most part, chefs tend to be chef through and through. As I meet more and more young chefs, there seems to be this eclectic nature about the group of peers as a whole. I seem to meet more and more chefs that just kind of "fell in" to cooking, and never stopped. They found what they love to do on accident. I certainly was one of those. That tends to leave a plethora of unrelated facets to there own personal skill set. I myself was cooking my way through college, and left school on the verge of finishing a degree Health Science to pursue cooking full time. Even for those that chose cooking as a career early on, in general there seems to more and more young chefs with serious talents elsewhere. Musicians, artists, computer techs, graphic designers, multimedia specialists, former bartenders and servers, scholarship granted athletes, and just crazy nomadic characters that seem to have been everywhere. All of this weirdness seem to end up on the plate in one way or another if you take the time to really dissect different cooking styles.
Write back. Tell me if you agree or disagree, and how so. What else does anybody see that's strange and new in the younger generation of chefs, and, most interestingly, how do you think food is going to change in the next 10, 20, 50 years.