Professional Chefs - How does your job affect people?

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Joined Sep 29, 2015
The question is in the title. How do you think your job, your food affects people? Does it inspire them? Does it make the world a better place? Does it go beyond sustenance and provide a comfort?
 
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Rarely.

How do we know as chefs and restaurateurs that our food is good? Because our dining rooms are filled every night and we stay in business. That's generally the best we can hope for.

People only notice the food we make under 2 conditions. If its very good or if its bad, hopefully, the former. Maybe once in a while, we may receive a personal compliment from a satisfied customer. But, other than that, we just keep doing what we do.

The "inspiration," "making the world a better place" is poetry found only in Hollywood dramas. I have never met a chef in my 40 years in the business whose goal was to make people "sick with longing" by eating their food.

If our dining rooms are filled and we hear the busy sounds and murmurs of happy customers contently munching away on the dishes and delicacies that we prepare, that's what its all about, at least for me it is.

:)
 
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Hi manofgirolles,

Graham Kerr, aka "The Galloping Gourmet", inspired a 13 year old me to want to feel the same excitement and passion for food that he displayed. (I didn't know that his excitement was fueled by copious alcohol consumption before taping his show!) So, inspiring others is definitely possible.

As for the food I cook, I can only hope someone eating the food I prepared is in a "better place" mentally and that could result in making the world a better place. That would be a byproduct of my goal, which is to make someone happy with food! Eating food has many different meanings and impacts on different individuals. If a person associates with food on an emotional level, the impact of a meal could indeed have a significant effect.

Even when feeding world leaders, the impact of a meal on planetary well-being is a bit of a stretch. It was nice to have positive feedback but, was there ever a direct link to a better world? Until someone writes a book and shares "I had a meal that changed the course of history" we can't really know for sure.

I do believe that a person that is satisfied and happy after eating a nice meal is less likely to do something bad.
So, yes, good food does make the world a better place!

(I foresee a funded study of criminals and the last meal they ate before committing their crime!)
 
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You can contribute to making the world a better place by sourcing your products from sustainable rather than industrial agriculture. It's a lot more work than ordering from your local cash & carry, but it's rewarding.
 
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Agree in the sense that cannot keep doing what were doing if there isn't a full happy buzzing dining room, but I disagree on your hollywood poetry comment. We are in the hospitality industry but I have very poor social skills and I use my food as my means of communication to the world. I run it like a business but I view my food like art as well and if it puts me in a good mental place then I believe it totally allows me to open up mentally in making the world a better place; if not doing it right there by just inspiring one customer in my career mentally as well. Contrast as well focusing in buying local and sustainable products and supporting your community in your work is definitely the definition of making strives to make the world a better place.

We are all just working a job in a business, but its scope is far greater than that.

Rarely.

How do we know as chefs and restaurateurs that our food is good? Because our dining rooms are filled every night and we stay in business. That's generally the best we can hope for.

People only notice the food we make under 2 conditions. If its very good or if its bad, hopefully, the former. Maybe once in a while, we may receive a personal compliment from a satisfied customer. But, other than that, we just keep doing what we do.

The "inspiration," "making the world a better place" is poetry found only in Hollywood dramas. I have never met a chef in my 40 years in the business whose goal was to make people "sick with longing" by eating their food.

If our dining rooms are filled and we hear the busy sounds and murmurs of happy customers contently munching away on the dishes and delicacies that we prepare, that's what its all about, at least for me it is.

:)
 
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Joined May 23, 2016
I feel it fills the basic need of "I'm hungry must eat". "Oh that was so good let's go there again". "The food was good but the service sucked so we aren't going back".

Customers vote with their feet, or their butts for that matter if they aren't on your carpet or parked in your seat, then they aren't coming back. If they don't come back, then I guess I'm the one that's starving.

Do we make the world a better place? I would hope so in a sense that we try to utilize the food to the utmost of our ability, meaning, the least amount of waste possible. Less waste, less clutter in the dump, less pop can six ring plastic holders in the ocean for the baby tortoise to get stuck in. Thirty chickens not being stacked on top of each other and the one at the bottom is getting pooped on by all of the others.

I also hope that it does provide a comfort as my goodness if I'm feeling down nothing can perk up my mood like something super tasty. After all there wouldn't be a need to call it comfort food if it didn't provide it.

There's always going to be that one thing that reminds you of your child hood, your Grandmother's cooking, etc. We aren't necessarily trying to give you that experience because we probably don't even know you, so it would be selfish and narcissistic of me to try and even act as if I could play to those senses. We can hope that the food you eat isn't seen as a waste of time for yourself, you work hard for your money, you are paying us to cook for you, the least we can do is make it the most enjoyable. After all you can't get that time back, and we have taste buds for a reason don't we?

I think that food has been lost as of late simply because before it was always a family type of deal, eating with friends, your significant other etc. Now it's about grabbing that burger as we rush out of the door. There isn't a whole lot of romance to it anymore, it's more of going through the motions in a sense. This doesn't go for everyone of course.

Most customers probably don't even understand what we go through to even provide the food that comes to their plates. That's not a bad thing of course either, as we aren't asking for thanks, I'm cooking because I love to after all. So I think we do inspire because the next time they try to cook something, I'm sure they will try and emulate a previous meal they had, even if it's only that they can taste the steak being properly seasoned without identifying any other type of ingredient or seasoning.

Let's face it, if the economy crashed, we no longer had convenience foods or even electricity for microwaves. Most of the worlds population would probably quite literally die because the majority of people just wouldn't know how to cook.

You don't want to have to cook, we do it for you. You don't know how to cook, we do it for you. You want to ask that girl to marry you, I guess the BOH (back of house) is your wing man ain't it? I guess Chefs and cooks are more or less a security blanket for the world then? HAHA
 
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