Has Anyone Ever Seen This Guy Before?

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I saw this guy purely by accident on YouTube. His channel is called "Sam the Cooking Guy."

I watched this video and a few more. It was like driving by a bad car wreck.....I couldn't stop watching. I did some digging and apparently this guy is a rather established figure on television and of course, on social media. He owns two restaurants in San Diego that, from what it seems, appear to be rather successful.

Now, watch this video and watch a few more. The guy's personality is pure money. He's that guy that a restaurant owner would want walking the floor talking to the guests and promoting the restaurant.

His cooking skills and techniques, however, are not what I would expect from someone who's billed as a "pro chef" with books, television shows, two restaurants and 2 million YouTube subscribers. Not to be "judgy" (well, I am being judgy), I wouldn't put his skills really any higher than those of a decent home cook. Let's be honest here. After watching this guy's video, I wouldn't hire him as a cook. In fact, if he did in my kitchen what he does in this video, I would fire him on the spot.

So, here's my point in bringing this to everyone's attention. Does the presence of cooks like this guy who have little technical skill but great personalities benefit our industry as a whole or are they simply a byproduct of the increase in popularity of the "foodie culture" and its intersection with social media where anyone can be a star?


 
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Food network has been doing exactly that for years with their cooking shows. The result is bittersweet, an increase in exposure and interest for the industry but we also get flooded with people like this in cooking schools and restaurants.
 
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That was a very good video. He spoke fluidly and was easily understandable. He did not have any over-the-top craziness but was still enthused in what he was doing. His mistakes showed that he is human. I thought they were somewhat funny because of how real and actual they were. It was interesting how he stuck the product commercial in the middle. This is a video for regular ordinary people at home ... not for any professionals. I think it's a good video.
 
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Not particularly inspiring or entertaining but an informative video. He’s done well to create his “brand” it seems. Now please excuse me while I shave my stubble. :)
 
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Food network has been doing exactly that for years with their cooking shows. The result is bittersweet, an increase in exposure and interest for the industry but we also get flooded with people like this in cooking schools and restaurants.
I think you're spot on.
 
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Perhaps it’s that he didn’t show himself washing his hands, or perhaps it’s how he used his gooey chicken fingers to unscrew the cornstarch container.
 

phatch

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I've been watching kqed's channel the last week.


They've got a fair amount of Jacques Pepin, but what's got me are the old 1980s Martin Yan Yan Can Cook shows. High cheese factor as they've aged poorly, but these and The Frugal Gourmet were my prime motivators to learning to cook.
 
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That was a very good video. He spoke fluidly and was easily understandable. He did not have any over-the-top craziness but was still enthused in what he was doing. His mistakes showed that he is human. I thought they were somewhat funny because of how real and actual they were. It was interesting how he stuck the product commercial in the middle. This is a video for regular ordinary people at home ... not for any professionals. I think it's a good video.
I agree that his videos and his presentation are spot on. Like I said, this guy's personality is pure platinum. But, he is no where's near a pro chef. To call him a pro chef would be like saying I was a pro golfer because I own some clubs and spent some time on a golf course.

Of course we all make mistakes. But, no professional chef in their right mind would ever deep fry anything over an open grill in a pan that shallow filled nearly to the rim with boiling oil. That screams novice. On two occasions he nearly caused a raging grease fire.

Then, there's the addition of garlic powder to the chicken along with the fresh garlic added to the soy sauce. The addition of the garlic powder to the chicken has little value other than burning in the oil and creating a bitter flavor.

Then there's the "reducing" of the soy sauce, which is not really reducing at all. It became thicker as it cooled because of the honey that was added to it. He thought it was because the soy sauce reduced. The proper technique would've been to add the fried wings to a screaming hot wok or pan and then add the soy/honey mixture, toss to coat and plate.
 
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I just want to know if he can make a giagantic crepe or dosa with that Mongolian Wok. If that’s culturally insensitive please forgive since I don’t know what else to call it.
 
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Now, in comparison, here's a young chef that caught my attention because of his skills and because he's from my neck of the woods. Its obvious he's taken the time to learn and his technique is excellent. He, too, has platinum presentation and over 7 million subscribers. But, notice the difference in skills? This guy knows his way around a kitchen.

 
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I do too... but it seems a good thing to me. Restaurants and cooking schools need the business. Neither should be relegated just to snobs. :)
I agree as well. I like the fact that cooking and good food have made their way into the consciousness of the otherwise unconscious public. After all, good food is how most of us have made or are making our livings.

I just think its kinda humorous that a guy with a great personality and literally zero technique can become a celebrity chef.
 
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There are folks that have become both internet and mainstream media celebs who have a lot less talent than that!
 
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I had planned on starting a new thread with a question, but this topic came up and I'm glad.

Here goes....
I get questions from people about cooking all the time. I even write a column in my town's local paper called "ask the Chef."
Someone told me they were going to culinary school before the virus outbreak, and they were working in a restaurant as well. They wanted to know why the things they were taught in school are not being done in the restaurant. I asked for examples and I was shocked from what I heard.
Not getting into particulars, I told the cook that he should continue to practice what he learned and not follow the lead of others. He is correct and they are not.
TV shows, although just entertainment, are giving the wrong impression.
There are many celebrity Chef's out there that are no different than any others. They just got discovered. That's all. I know I could cook rings around some of these guys or gals.
I would have liked to see them in my banquet kitchen cooking and putting out 3,000 dinners on Saturday night, 4 different rooms, with 4 different menus.
 
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I don't think of the two as comparable situations. The skill sets aren't the same.
First, you have to want to be on television/internet and put up with the fame/notoriety and being recognized when out in public. As has been pointed out, you need great presentations skills. In the ad for his master class gordon Ramsey says it's easy to cook on tv, you have all this staff to make you look good.
That's because you aren't there to cook. You are there to present a process for one recipe while doing so in an entertaining fashion. .
I've seen plenty of videos of actual chefs' making dishes. While I can tell I would learn a lot working for them, I can't watch the videos because they are too stiff, boring, stammer, repetitive, hesitate, lose track, and generally don't come across well.
Very few people have the chops to do both well. If there is a problem, its with the media promotion. They need a new term like "culinary presenter" or "tv cook".
Early Julia Child videos are a great example. She was no chef and wasn't called one and her presentations could be unpolished but she was also very endearing and down to earth and you knew she knew what she was doing. Jacques Pepin was the real deal but also a talent in front of the camera.
It seems now it's about entertainment ratings, not culinary accuracy.
 
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