A guy calling himslf a chef and is NOT

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Joined Dec 4, 2009
Whoa Duckfat!

NONE of my posts were directed at you.

Did you read between my lines somewhere?

I'm trying to make a logical point about who can call themselves a chef.

I used "James Beard" as an example (was that me "quoting you"?).

Please re-read my posts and let me know if anything I said was directed at you -- or was directed at anyone here.

Sheesh and Thanks,
Joined Jul 31, 2000

I agree with you.
You do not have to attend a culinary school or be certified by the ACF to be a chef.As you said in your post. almost all cooks in a classic brigade have "chef" attached to their designation.

Just to add to your list.

Pierre Gagnaire
Andre Soltner
Fredy Girardet
Gerard Boyer

BTW, what does "OP" stand for?
Joined Oct 18, 2007
As we are at your narrowminded viewpoint.
Had you not made the claim that you need a formal culinary education I might see where you're coming from.
As such, I've already wasted a part of my life on this thread and I'll never get it back, and am left wondering why.

Good luck to you in your endeavors.
Joined Sep 16, 2009
Very hot discussion you got here. Well on my own opinion baldguy is that, you don't need to earn title in order to be called one. I'll give you examples, can a title help you with your performance? Which would you prefer a title or skills? As long as your skill enough to handle the word "chef" and capable to handle kitchen. Then its not necessary to take title.
Joined Aug 7, 2008
Did I read between the lines?? You are quoting me and talking about ruining some ones reputation and "Chef's" that need to loose their title. Just a thought but if your going to quote some one and then drop a bomb like that in the same post it might be nice if you were a bit more succinct about who you are talking about. If that bit about ruining some ones reputation wasn't directed at any one here who was it directed at? Some one not involved with the conversation?
Sheesh indeed.
As I said I'm not the OP (original poster) so nothing I'm posting in regards to being a Chef is about any one person.
Back to the topic at hand. I have no idea where others are getting that there is a strong opinion that you have to go to school to be a Chef. I only see one poster that feels that way. You don't have to go to culinary school to be ACF certified or be a Chef.
Joined Aug 21, 2009
this thread sooo reflects my day today....

I will post it new but I must say that I am self taught for the most part and well. I was the kitchen at my last job as I was THE cook....
Joined Dec 4, 2009

I quoted you two or three times. And used those quotes to continue my point about what constitutes a "chef". It had nothing to do with you.

The reality is that there are many posts here, all dovetailed in amongst each other. Sometimes it's hard to attach one post to the post to which it was intended to respond. it does get confusing as to what is directed at whom.

"Ruining one's reputation" is directed at no one specifically; it is directed at anyone who would go after "The Singing Chef" because he chose to use the word "chef".

No "bombs". "Points".

I accuse you of nothing, I've said nothing bad about you (certainly not intentionally) yet if you feel that any of my posts were truly personal attacks on you, DuckFat, please say so and I will apologize.

I'm not sure this is the kind of forum that I'll find intellectually relaxing.

Joined Dec 28, 2009
Ok..well according to these previous post here.... even though I've never had ANY culinary school I am now going to start calling myself a Chef.
Joined Sep 18, 2008
Whether or not you have "formal culinary training" is irrelevant as to whether or not one can be referred to as "chef".

To me, IF you are the chief of your unit, station, kitchen, workplace, etc., you might be considered a "chef", whether you arrived at that point by formal education or through the "school of hard knocks".

If you want to call yourself a "chef", go ahead, those in the "trade" will either agree or disagree. When someone else calls you "chef", bask in the momentary glory ;)

And if you just graduated from culinary school or are not the "chief" of your unit, station, kitchen, or workplace, don't expect anyone to agree with you.
Joined Oct 18, 2007
It's obvious Baldguy thinks if he goes to culinary school he will come out a Chef, and those who don't go, no matter how many years in the business or who they train under, never can call themselves Chef.
He is mistaken on both counts.

I blame the media, and the aggressive culinary schools.
Joined Sep 5, 2007
You can call yourself a "chef" when you successfully run a kitchen, you may have to attach "sous" to it, but chef none the less.

I'll try and prove a point here:
Am I a Chef?,
-my toque says CDC, I work the line every night and write just about all the recipes
-twenty years in the industry
-opened 4 restaurants (not all my own), working on the 5th
-two trips working in Italy with Master Chefs
-not one hour of formal culinary school training, ****, I didn't even finish high school.

Now let's take an acquaintance of mine I worked with for a very short time,
-full culinary education
-opened a few notable hotel restaurants
-been on tv, food mags, the whole deal (15 years ago)
-wears a stained polo shirt to work
-does nothing except piss-off his CDC
-hasn't opened his knife bag or come up with a recipe in years
-"works" about 20 hours a week -sitting in an office, surfing the web or harassing the servers.
-couldn't work the line if his life depended on it.

....So, even though it says "Chef" on his business card, I dont consider him one


Joined Oct 12, 2009
WOW 31 posts in 9 hours!
It sure must be slow between Christmas and New Years!
What can I say? I'm not sure if you need my input but,
I always considered the title CHEF an honorary Title
bestowed on the top person by the respectful employees of a very busy kitchen. Although I have worked in busy kitchens (for a short time I might add) that the top person was not even a good cook. In those cases you could address that person as Mister or Hey ***! etc. For it is the staff that makes a kitchen productive.
You can go to school and learn the concepts of volume feeding.
To be a pilot there are "flight simulators", there is no such thing in Culinary Arts. You have to get behind "The Line" hopefully with a good experienced Chef because there are alot of things you just can't write down, you have to experience it. Once you get enough
experience your peers will let you know when earn the title Chef.
You can call a spade a spade, that dosen't say you are playing cards.
( You could be gardening! ) :thumb:
Joined Oct 28, 1999
It appears as though the topic has been explored to its extent and has taken a left turn. Let's lock it up and move on.

If you are interested in this particular topic, the definition of chef as well as chef vs. cook, it has been exhaustively discussed over the past 10 years here on ChefTalk. Use the search tool to find older threads.
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