“Chef” is pretty ambiguous, it could mean “ one who is judged by the food they put on a plate” which is a cook by definition, or it could mean “ one who is judged by how they handle the resources of their kitchen”, which is by definition a “ Chef” or chief.
In any case, I am currently employed by a large resort hotel as banquet Sous-Chef,
Previously I was employed by a downtown Hotel as a pastry Chef.
Previous to that I was self employed with my own catering company
Previous to that I worked as chef de partie in various hotels and clubs in Europe and South east Asia.
Our organization, did BBQ style catering from small 10-12 peeps to dinners for over 500. Specialties included whole hog and beef all cooked low an slow. I considered myself a Chef, my job was to manage my people, to ensure quality and health/safety. To teach and learn the most stressful frustrating hot sweaty crazy exhausting exciting rewarding satisfying enjoyable jobs around thats a Chef
Started dish washing in the family business at a young age (Italian Resaturant) worked my way up the ranks and took over the business at age 25.
I'm now 54, I do mise en place in the morning and the lunch, I have a team of talented young guns, one of wich is my son, to do the dinner service.
I still go to work every day with a smile on my face and feel the same excitement when suppliers bring in fresh products as 30 years ago.
I did everything from truck stops flipping eggs to hotels to high end retirement centers to 4 star/5 diamond places in hotels and worked with a few Michelin boys from France. Also did stints in country clubs and my own place. (And yes, I was in charge in some capacity at all if not the entire brigade)
I'm itinerant by nature....I like to move around.
I never did cruise ships or guest chef tours in Russia or PRC....I was invited but I was nervous about doing it. Kinda regret that today but considering some of the stories....I don't regret it too much.
I was not a moral rock then and those places had way too many temptations.
Today....I just finished extracting myself from the coffee shop/bakery partnership. So its time to move. My stuff is in boxes and the movers will be here in a few weeks.
I have no idea what is in the future....don't really care.