Chef

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by joseph2183, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. joseph2183

    joseph2183

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    Hello I'm Joe from Pa. I was told if you never graduate culinary school you will never earn the title Chef. Thoughts on this
     
  2. chefsing

    chefsing

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    Bull.  Title of Chef is earned by work not handed over once you receive a piece of paper.  Some of the best chefs I have worked for had their GED.  While I did go to school, most chefs seen follow the mantra that it always come through with experience, and that takes more years grinding that pacing through a classroom.  
     
  3. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Aw geez, here we go again....

    Look, a cook is judged by what they put on a plate.

    A chef is judged if his/her kitchen makes money.

    This is the ultimate acid test, real life. No one will hire someone to be in charge of their kitchen if this person can't run a profitible kitchen. Think about it, restaurants are businesses, and if a business can't make enough to stay in business, then they don't.(stay in business)

    So forget all this crap about when you become a chef, if you need years of training and a european accent. When you are responsible for runing a profitible kitchen, you are one.
     
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  4. rndmchef

    rndmchef

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    Really? That's all? Profitability???????

    Wow.

    Ok. That's easy .
    I've worked for owners/kitchen managers who are VERY profitable and run VERY successful restaurants. Yet, the quality of food they put out is on the same level as McDonalds or even below..

    It's not hard to make a restaurant profitable. Running a restaurant that puts out semi decent food while still being profitable , that's a challenge .
    By decent food, I simply mean, not everything comes from out of a can or a prepackaged frozen package.
     
  5. rndmchef

    rndmchef

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    I've worked for "chefs" who have an entire kitchen based on pre-packaged, pre-cooked food. Along with basic cheeseburgers and French fries.

    One of those places was the busiest restaurant I've ever worked in . We were VERY popular and profitable. Probably the most profitable place I've worked in as well. To call the guy running the kitchen a chef? I never thought that was appropriate...
     
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  6. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I would take that with a grain of salt. ;~)

    I certainly think that Thomas Keller is deserving of the title Chef.
     
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  7. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Agreed.

    I have increasingly seen adds for chef positions asking for a diploma or at least some certifications BUT they are mostly for chains.

    If you are the owner/operator or cook who runs that catering biz (juggling the financial as well as menus, labor and inventory) feel free to call yourself whatever you want.

    Looks good to potential clients so knock yerself out and have some biz cards made up ( the kind that have your name and title PRINTED on not a line that you just write it in as the latter will send any potential gigs running for the hills).

    IMO of course ;-)

    mimi
     
  8. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Is this based on personal experience from having accomplished this in your career?
     
  9. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    In yesterdays world I would say you wouldn't have to. In todays world I would say it would be closer to yes, but, not impossible by any means. I didn't go to Culinary school and was real successful as a Chef and business owner. If your in a smaller town it would be easier to get the chance to move up in the ranks. A large city has a lot of competition that a small city doesn't have. Just think of going for an interview and the two people before you have degrees. The degree would tell the interviewer that this person with the degree has proven training experience. This may be the first step in getting into a position of lead cook or Sous. If you can't get your foot into the restaurant you can't prove your knowledge and skills. There's a lot of lies and promises in this business. A degree may be good to fall back on when your working under a Chef that only has their needs and agenda to worry about. The degree won't make the person successful,but, the person can make the degree part of their success.
     
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  10. rndmchef

    rndmchef

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    No , it is not.

    It's based on personal experiences seeing the "chef" sit at the bar 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year without fail. Seeing him know next to nothing about how his restaurant is being run. BUT, again, I've never worked for a more popular or profitable place. I'm serious about that, we were busy everyday and the days we got really busy, the ticket machine was literally spewing out tickets nonstop.
     
  11. foodpump

    foodpump

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    You have a very refreshing opinion.....

    Of course its about profitability.  You don't make money, you don't stay in business, and your position of Chef is gone.  Life is pretty simple, eh?  How do you run a restaurant when you're out of business?

    But I have to assume from your comments you've never priced out canned/frozen convienience product vs. house made. Which is cheaper?  That you've never done payroll and wondered what would happen if everyone cashed their checks on the same day, that you've never placed an order with a broadliner and wondered how much this will affect your food cost.

    When you think abut it, and my first job was at Mcd's, the quality of food there is fairly high quality.  It is low priced, of course, but the quality is there, no cereals/soy crap in the burgers, buns are fresh, local baked, etc. etc.  You get good value for your money, they don't cheat, and for a business model, you can't argue with their success.  Of course it's convienience food, the price reflects that.

    After 35 years in this biz, with almost 20 running my own, I've come to the conclusion that the customer decides what you are going to sell.  It's my job to provide the best quality and best practices, but ultimately, if it doesn't sell, I don't make money.  And I gotta make a buck to pay my suppliers and staff.

    Decent food doesn't just mean that it doesn't come out of a can or blister package.  It means the best possible raw ingredients, the best cooking methods and practices, the best judgement on storage and reheating for service.  Do you have this knowledge and experience, or are you just making something that,-- to use a quote from another thread,  "We're just making stuff that people poop out of their rear ends a few hours later"?  
     
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  12. rndmchef

    rndmchef

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    Personally, I want to be a chef to make good food. Good food that many people will enjoy, not just myself.
    If I wanted to run a restaurant that was profitable and put money in my pocket and the pockets of other people, I personally would not be focusing on being a chef and creating great food. I would have taken different college courses and earned a degree that was different from the Culinary Arts degree that I earned.
    While I did have to take finance and managerial type courses as part of my degree; by in large my degree and courses were 75% teaching me how to COOK.

    So, once I become chef in a restaurant, if the restaurant survives for a few years and then goes under as a result of me creating amazing food, while giving my cooks decent wages along with top notch equipment to work with and top notch food in which to create dishes, and selling it at a decent price.. I will call myself a chef forever; I won't be satisfied nor contempt to call it quits, but I will have earned the title of chef .

    Yes, I said top notch equipment. I'm so incredibly sick and tired of using equipment that is so worn out, broken and beaten up that it is VERY hard to even begin to make decent food with. I know , the best make even [email protected] turn into amazing things, but some of the equipment I've seen "chefs" use in their kitchen, to save a few dollars, tells me they don't really care about the food their putting out, they only care about making the next dollar....
    That is NOT a chef.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
  13. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I commend you for working the minimum of 70 hours a week that is required to witness this phenomenon take place, but you might consider reorganizing your priorities so that you spend less time watching the chef doing this.
     
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  14. rndmchef

    rndmchef

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    And sorry, I didn't realize McD's is as quality as you say... Therefore, I've worked in restaurants with significantly lower quality than McDs (at much higher prices, mind you).....
    I've seen fries blanched one day and then sit in the fridge for 7-8 days before being used . We would just pick off the top layer of moldy fries and all was good!

    Right now, at a kinda upscale restaurant, the "chef" is selling risotto for 20$ a plate... This "risotto" is par-cooked ahead of time(...ok) , BUT, the only liquid it's cooked with is water. No stock , no wine , no saffron , no shallots , no butter , no cheese, no salt . Just a white onion, water and arborio rice. When we get an order, it's just sautéed veggies, some bacon and then throw the rice in with some more water. Then a TINY bit of cheese, is all he wants. Then sell it for $20...
    That's not risotto and any "chef" I know wouldn't sell it as risotto if they had a gun pointed at their head....
     
  15. rndmchef

    rndmchef

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    I was not watching him, but he would be there every time I had a question, took a bathroom break or walked to FOH for something else.

    And my girlfriend is working ~82 hours a week, every week. As a line cook. She's been doing this for a couple years now and has no plans to stop anytime soon. Soooo, yea 70 hours would be a breeze for her.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
  16. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    Wouldn't it be easier if all the people asking questions just e-mail you for the answers? 
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
  17. rndmchef

    rndmchef

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    Not sure what you're saying. This is a forum, right? Forums are for opinions and discussions ; it's not as if the OP was looking for one post and one post only. They have different apps/websites for that sort of thing.
     
  18. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    What part of your 7 posts are answering the OP's question. If your a line cook how can you answer that question? It looks like you like to use some of these posts to achieve getting your own agenda across. I just see a lot of your posts being "Let me tell you how good I am" While knocking the shit out of everyone else around you. I can't see how that helps anyone but you.......
     
  19. rndmchef

    rndmchef

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    Anyways... Back to the topic...

    There are Michelin star restaurants that have horrible food cost and perhaps aren't even truly profitable.

    If I have the luxury of being part of a wealthy family. . And I become a great chef who simply wants to give people great food at great prices, with zero desire for a profitable restaurant .... I would not be a chef?

    Just saying, not every line cook starts as a broke SOB who needs to become a restaurant owner and have great food cost in order to have money . Some people are lucky enough to be born into money....some of us are born into family's who never worry about money.
    And there is nothing stopping these people from starting as a line cook and then opening up restaurants that are simply there for recognition and glamor.

    Some of us simply want the fame that comes with owning a restaurant and calling yourself the chef. Ladies love chefs and guys respect them too. Profitability is not a concern if you already have your money right from other opportunities...
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
  20. fablesable

    fablesable

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    @ChefBillyB  Heya mate, don't worry about the nonsensical posts from @mdmchef. You are talking to a noob in the industry who claims to be a 10 year veteran however when he started posting on this site at the beginning of this year he was a recent grad from culinary school with a couple years in a few kitchens under his belt. Low and behold a few months into the year and he is a ten year veteran (please note he has gone back to edit some of his previous posts to change his length of time in this industry). His posts with the tone, language and inexperience in them should tell you all you need know about the weight behind said opinions so leave him to continue his BS. If you read his posts the way I do it becomes a head shaking chuckle fest most of the time. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif  

    (By the way I calculate his rise and experience in this industry I would have over 150 years worth of industry work and experience by now.....whew!!)
    Back to you @joseph2183  you have an often asked question that varies slightly from person to person however the one constant we all tend to agree on is that to be called a "CHEF" not only do you need to be a good COOK but you also have the added tasks of management of people, hiring, firing, training, scheduling, mentoring, inventory, menu development, R&D, finances, purveyor sourcing and negotiations, computer/paperwork, leadership and a basic hard working ethic. Some "chefs" can do all of these with flair and brilliance, some can only pull off some of these tasks and still be okay at their jobs, others are not so lucky. All in all the difference is that to be a great "CHEF" you do not NEED to take culinary school to be a great chef so much as take some business/financial/leadership/management courses. To be a great "COOK" one needs to get some work experience in kitchens, an appreciation/passion for cooking, an open mind like a sponge, an adventurous soul for life experiences and you have got your pathway to becoming one of the best COOKS out there. That , my friend, counts a great deal in our industry.........much more than the title "CHEF".

    PS: Welcome to Chef Talk!! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
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