kitchen confidential kinda question

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by bijoink, Sep 15, 2005.

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  1. bijoink

    bijoink

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    Now im not being racists but im sure you guys have read kitchen confidential by anthony bourdain.... do you guys believe mexicans ecuodorians salvadorians can cook americans under the table?
     
  2. jim berman

    jim berman

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    I think that is a pretty broad generalization. Wouldn't you agree?
     
  3. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    While overall I do think that that is an overgeneralization, I will say this. I think many hispanics have a stronger work ethic than many Americans. They are used to 6 day weeks and long days. When I traveled to the Yucatan last fall, everyone there worked 6 days, 10+ hours a day. So they come here with a different mindset about what a work week consists of. Add on top of that, we pay time and half for OT while down there they don't. I have also found that, in the lower paying, less glourious jobs such as dishwashers, many of the American kids I interview are slackers, trying to find a job to "just get by". These kids often only last a few weeks and I have to stay on top of them constantly. They have no work ethic or pride in their work. Most of the hispanics I have worked with have a strong sense of pride in what they do, whether it is cooking or washing dishes. Earn their respect and loyalty and you will have a great employee. Again, this is a generalization, based on my experiences. I can't (and won't) claim that this is true across the board.
     
  4. markv

    markv

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    Also what does "cook Americans under the table" mean exactly? That they have better knife skills, can work the line better, have a better sense of what flavors mix and match, etc., or a little bit of everything?
     
  5. cake girl

    cake girl

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    we are talkin about anthony bourdane here guys hes a nut probably just his way to keep us invovled with his book dont give it to much thought :cool:
     
  6. harpua

    harpua

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    I don't understand most of this thread.
     
  7. chrose

    chrose

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    I have to agree with Pete on this one. Some of the best workers I ever worked with were Hispanic. Very reliable, hard working willing to do whatever. I always trained them to cook and use them on the line, pay them more for their advancement. They in turn would repay me by getting a replacement for them that was equally as good. Again, as Pete said, it's a generalization to an extent, but my experiences have been favorable. Cooking ability... that's up to the individual- black, white, yellow, red, male, female etc.
     
  8. redace1960

    redace1960

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    harpua:
    anthony bourdain, longtime chef, wrote a bestselling book called 'Kitchen Confidential' which was a gritty, behind the scenes look at his personal life as well as what really goes on in the food business, etc etc yeah yeah yeah. it was pretty entertaining at that...he's a good writer. pretty true, too. he makes the claim stated in the first post. i think it was intended to be deliberately provacative as throughout the book he puts some effort into coming off as very 'edgy' and 'Noo Yawk' (yawn). it's worth reading-also the follow up 'A Cooks Tour-In Search of the Perfect Meal'.
     
  9. mikeb

    mikeb

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    Most of the hispanics I've worked can indeed make much better workers/cooks than whites. Same goes for asians - their work ethic is much stronger, and for the most part they take more pride in their work. I'm white but I won't hesitate to say most white people are LAZY (especially those who have gone to school and for some reason think they're a chef when they aren't), and don't have the same mental toughness.

    Of course I have worked with a few lazy hispanics and a few hard working whites, but those are the minority.
     
  10. mikefly

    mikefly

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    ive traveled this country and worked with chefs and cooks of many different races and id have to say ive found good and bad with all of them!!!! i dont think you can make a generlized statement such as that with out working with every white,black,hispanic etc cook in the country!!!! i think this is nothing more then sterotyping like saying that asian people are beter with knives because you saw martin yen on the food network!!!! yes he is my idol as far as knife use is consened but i have worked with asians that boy you dont want to be near them when they use a knife!!!! i am herby personaly offended by any one that helps to promote these types of myths!!!!!
     
  11. panini

    panini

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    Ya'll are working too hard or something :talk: We need to stop using the word THEM. The remark was part of an entertainment ploy. Take it as that, and that's all. It's a rediculous statement to catch you. You're treading on racism just by refering to it. Hey!!! Did you hear the Presidents comments today on Roe VS Wade. He said that he really didn't care how the evacuees left New Orleans :D

    edit (sorry)
     
  12. bijoink

    bijoink

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    well me personally im mexican and ive learned so much at the age of 18 now i dont claim im a professional because i am not... i dont claim to know everything but i have seen hispanic men and women in the industry come and blend in in no time and that is because we know how to work but at the same time my boss he is white but i have the most respect for in the industry....they say bobby flay is the king of the grill bobby dont got **** on my boss who can rock the grill like an apocalypse guys im not being racist and panini there is no such thing as working too hard you best learn that before you retire my friend....
     
  13. hipjoint

    hipjoint

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    my two cents.

    when i used to cruise the different italian restaurants here in the north beach section of san francisco, you would not believe how many "famous" restaurants that boasted "genuine" italian cuisine used chinese line chefs!!
    some of these places used italian "finishing chefs" outside on the floor, but all the prep stuff and all the long cooking / simmering for hours stuff was done in the back using chinese chefs!! i asked the owners why this was and the answers were similar ... hard working, reliable, lower pay, but most importantly, they will cook the same dish again and again and again and not complain. someone who could afford cooking school will get bored and try something new or try something more challenging (their opinion).

    some of the restaurants i have been going to lately (nuveau americain) have had an inordinate number of spanish speaking line cooks. those owners say the same thing about them as of the italian restaurants.

    like i said ... just my two cents.
     
  14. markv

    markv

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    We have become so dominated by the politically correct mindset in this country that now even making a positive generalization about a group is offensive.

    The problem is not making generalizations. The problem is the nature of the specific generalization and the underlying sentiment. There are good and bad generalizations that can be made for every group. Because each and every subgroup on the planet has cultural influences unique to them, they will have some general trends that other groups may not. It's simple psycho-social development. The problem comes in when racist people make INVALID and dergatory generalizations designed to undermine other groups. The goal here is malevolent. The folks here addressing certain group's superior cooking skills and hard work are showing admiration.

    It's not a revelation to say that other ethnic groups (generally speaking), have a higher work ethic. There are aspects of their homeland cultures that produce people willing to, and proud to, work very hard.

    It's a generalization but it's also a compliment.

    All generalizations, and their underlying sentiments are not created equal.

    Mark
     
  15. panini

    panini

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    MarkV
    Now I'm confused. It's a positive generalization? It may be offensive because we're to PC?

    If Racism is an invalid generalization, then that is exactly what that statement is, be it positive or not. I'm not trying to be a butt here. I understand the folks here are trying to show admiration for a certain groups superior skills, but the simple fact is that is an untruth without any proof.
    Comments like, I find Hispanics to be harder working then Whites is a localized generalization that may be offensive to someone.
    That's why I think it borders racism. For me, it has nothing to do with being PC.
    When you speak gererally about certain ethnic groups having a higher work ethic, and cultures producing hard working people,I have to go with MikeFly, it's a myth. There is nothing to back that up.
    I'll stop, working too hard today :rolleyes:
     
  16. markv

    markv

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    This is a very difficult and touchy subject and we could split hairs forever on this one.

    I hear what you're saying, a generalization is a generalization whether it's positive or negative. I agree.

    I just feel that we have to go deeper than how people categorize their world, meaning making generalizations or not. It's the underlying sentiment that identifies one's position as prejudiced.

    Someone who makes a positive statement about a particular group may be just as guilty of making an unproven generalization, but his heart is in a different place than the person who is malicious.

    Just because one says that hispanics are hard working doesn't mean they have contempt for people who aren't, (whether the original premise is true or not).

    You can have admiration for a group, (even if it is an unproven generalization), and still not have malice toward others.

    But I guess you could argue that even without malice, positive generalizations are just as racist.

    But for me, "racist" implies hostility.

    With all that said, I truly hope I am not offending anyone.

    Mark
     
  17. panini

    panini

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    MarkV, I don't think anyone has offended anybody. I was not trying to battle, you're much more in tune with psycho social developement then I will ever be.
    Ya know what Mark, you're absolutely right. After thinking about it, if it is nt malicious, I shouldnt be criticle about it. If it's true or not.
    Being criticle on my part, or disputing it, shows prejudicy on my behalf. I guess all I really wanted to say is that agree with MikeFly thinking that that generalization is myth and probably generated from an area where Hispanics are a minority. I'm in an area where Hispanics are the majority and know that the statement is myth, so I'm prone to dispute it.
    You did'nt offend me, you woke me up :smiles:
     
  18. mikefly

    mikefly

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    i think mr.bourdain is getting exactly the response to his statement that he wanted
     
  19. panini

    panini

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    Oh yea,
    That's why I refered to the statement as a "ploy", "catch"... actually it borders malicious :rolleyes: :D That cigarette smoking racist! Guess that's why I like him.LOL
     
  20. markv

    markv

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    Good point Mikefly.

    Panini: Thank you for an objective discussion on the topic.

    Apparently chefs are more reasonable in their thinking, "generally" speaking.

    Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk

    Mark
     
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