Do celebrity chefs cook?

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As a special treat we like to go to fancy restaurants owned by celebrity chefs.  However since they are "celebrities" they're not in their kitchens cooking.  They have a chef de cuisine.  So my question is, how can this be their food when someone else is cooking it?

Just last week we went to Tom Colicchio's Craft and it was amazing as usual but alas he wasn't there.
 
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The open questions are, KK: did the celebrity chef design the menu? Are the dishes being prepared to his/her standards? Would his/her presence on the line actually change anything?

If the chef is worthy of his/her celebrity status than the answer to the first two should be yes, and to the last one, no. In other words, whether he or she is actually cooking is irrelevent. What counts is the amount of oversight the chef is performing.

Turn it around, a little. In a non-celebrity restaurant, would you expect the food quality to be the same on chef's night off? The kitchen, under the sous, should be performing the same no matter who's in charge that particular night.

To my mind it doesn't matter whether it's a celebrity restaurant or the corner bistro. The end result should be the same.

And, just for the record, in many cases the celebrity chef is in the back, doing the cooking. Just not every night.
 

kuan

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The urge is too strong.  Chefs need to cook.  They can't just stand there.
 

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