At a professional level, are some parts of a chefs abilities genetic/physiological?

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Joined Aug 24, 2018
I'd like to ask this to professionals if I may.

Beyond the home cooking level, and beyond a base level of skills and knowledge, are some chefs simply born with better palates and intuition than others?

I play music for a living. While anyone can learn the basics of playing an instrument, I can clearly see that some musicians are born with intrinsic abilities that others are not. In the same way that some athletes have physiques and eye-hand coordination that is much higher than an average persons.

So apart from personality, work ethic, business acumen, income class, and personal issues etc..., have you guys found that some of your colleagues are just more natural chefs than others?

If your answer is yes, then what makes a 'natural born chef'?

In sports a born advantage often pertains to muscular structure and size. In music its often related to a persons neurology. What genetic factors would set someone apart from the average person in your field?

Thanks!
 
5,551
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
For me, a Chef is the leader of the kitchen, and yes, some people have better leadership skills than others.

For cooks, I personally feel that a desire to learn, and to master skills is what separates a great cook from a mediocre one. Again, some people have this built in thirst to learn and master skills, and for others it has to be learned.
 
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Joined Mar 1, 2017
Definitely. Just like music, the ability to cook is something that anyone can learn. Like music, a person does not have to be good at it to enjoy it. Nonetheless, some people are just born with exceptional aptitudes for certain things like cooking.

I also agree with foodpump foodpump . Just like music, much depends on the cook's work ethic, enthusiasm, attitude, willingness to learn, opportunities to learn and the quality of teacher that is doing to the teaching. However, if a person simply does not have at least some measurable ability or talent, all the enthusiasm and work ethic in the world is not really going matter very much.

Then again, the only rule in the culinary world is sometimes the rules don't apply. Once you understand that, everything tends to fall into place. :)
 
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Joined Feb 24, 2015
One is not simply born a cook - one is destined to become one...

Seriously thought, as stated above already, the actual cooking part is training and experience. Hard work and determination will allow you to master the technical part.
Leadership - well, this part cannot really be learned. It can be improved upon, and some classes / books maybe can help, become a better leader (chef), but definitely part of it is the persons personality
Last but not least - Taste
Now - taste cannot really be learned as such - you can however improve upon your taste / smell (i.e. sommeliers train their noses using scent kits)...
 
3,318
738
Joined May 5, 2010
I'd like to ask this to professionals if I may.

Beyond the home cooking level, and beyond a base level of skills and knowledge, are some chefs simply born with better palates and intuition than others?

I play music for a living. While anyone can learn the basics of playing an instrument, I can clearly see that some musicians are born with intrinsic abilities that others are not. In the same way that some athletes have physiques and eye-hand coordination that is much higher than an average persons.

So apart from personality, work ethic, business acumen, income class, and personal issues etc..., have you guys found that some of your colleagues are just more natural chefs than others?

If your answer is yes, then what makes a 'natural born chef'?

In sports a born advantage often pertains to muscular structure and size. In music its often related to a persons neurology. What genetic factors would set someone apart from the average person in your field?

Thanks!


To use one of your examples here...
Lets take a musical band for instance.
Every member of the band either plays, reads, or composes the music.
Some band members may have musical education, while others learned "by ear."

The band member with the best musical talent might be the leader, as he/she can sing, perform under pressure, and can go with the flow in an emergency.
The rest of the band members back up the lead.
Each one has his or her talent to contribute to the whole.

Their earnest, motivation, experiences brought together to perform their creations for public enjoyment.

mmmmmmmm....kinda sounds like a kitchen.....eh
 
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Joined Jan 19, 2014
Interesting thought. Both cooking and leadership have always come easy to me even at an early age. So, I can see a possibility of genetics at work. Although I was exposed to both early in life as well. Nature....Nurture....a classic conundrum.
 
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Joined Mar 3, 2017
Practice, conditioning and endurance. It all has to be learned on the spot and when you start to get comfortable go to a different establishment and learn a new system and see if you can thrive in that.
 
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Joined May 6, 2010
I'd like to ask this to professionals if I may.

Beyond the home cooking level, and beyond a base level of skills and knowledge, are some chefs simply born with better palates and intuition than others?

I play music for a living. While anyone can learn the basics of playing an instrument, I can clearly see that some musicians are born with intrinsic abilities that others are not. In the same way that some athletes have physiques and eye-hand coordination that is much higher than an average persons.

So apart from personality, work ethic, business acumen, income class, and personal issues etc..., have you guys found that some of your colleagues are just more natural chefs than others?

If your answer is yes, then what makes a 'natural born chef'?

In sports a born advantage often pertains to muscular structure and size. In music its often related to a persons neurology. What genetic factors would set someone apart from the average person in your field?

Thanks!


I was raised in a family of chefs and cooks. My family was in the hotel-restaurant business for years as I was growing up. I started cooking at the age of 7, making sandwiches and stuff like that.
However I do have the ability to taste food in my imagination, i think it’s very important as a chef to be able to do that. I’m now 60 and I’ve been in the business all my life. I love it
 

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