Sunday, September 6, 2009

You're a What?

Me during  Trustess and my partner getting on my nerves just before serving 200 ppl. let me set one thing straight.

So you have just spent $732987327847 at Culinary School. Nice going. Now if it was before 1994 i would have said ,"if  you went to one of the big schools, you done good."
But not today.
No offense to my school(C.I.A.) BUT culinary school is not the same as when i went there.
First ,chefs instructors have to be all PC and warm and fuzzy. Really? cause thats how they are in the real world?I dare anyone to ask any of the great American chefs; the Peels, the Bourdains, the Kellers ,etc if the chefs they trained under gave them a huge when they messed up the samething three times during a busy service . Probably they were yelled at or something was thrown at them as they waddled through their first years perfecting the craft.
It is a craft by the way. Some say skill, Ok , i might point was actually this: Just because you were dumb enough to  spend that much money for 21 months of "training" and with 7 months at Applebees under your belt does not, and I repeat DOES NOT, make YOU  a "chef". Nor does it make you a better cook than someone who had the forsight to do it the old fashion way and apprentice his way up. There are many many days I wish I had  had the balls to run off to Europe and work for free(cause thats what truely passionate freaks like me do , to gain the experience***
Chef or Chef de Cuisne is the head person in the kitchen. In America , we call them the executive Chef. They are usually, as i fondly like to call them, the pencil pushers of the group. 90% of the time they spend their time  bored out of their minds with paperwork when really they just want to be cooking.
Some EC love paperwork...I don't and never will. But i spend to much of my time doing it and taking meetings. Such as my life as an EC.
And just because you run a kitchen of 2-5 people doesnt make you the Chef either. Head Cook: go for it.
Chef is a respectful term that is part of the culinary history given to us by the great  Escoffier(if you dont know who they are, put the knife down and find a different profession/...shame on you) and the Brigade System. Most of us that have been around the "biz" long enough have manged to work our way up it.  i can probably say with some accurace that 89 to 93% were dishwashers or prep whores when they were 15-16 years old. Oh the good old days of P&D 300LBS o f shrimp a day in the middle of i miss those days sometimes.

and last little tib bit...... My team doesn't go around calling me chef anymore. They call me Gretchen most days to my face, Probably "that bitch or c#$t" behind my back other days. I don't want to be called chef. It is embaressing on a day to day basies because I don't chef for a living.......


I was born a cook, I live like a cook and I shall die a cook...thats who I am.
And I am proud to be one.

*** I am in no way bad mouthing my formal education at the C.I.A. It is a great school and i truely believe i have gone further because of it. But given the choice of apprecianting in Europe and formal the ticket Dan-o. And i dare say the chefs i had would say the samething though i doubt they get the Hawaii 5-O reference.

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