The use of the title Chef

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What I meant was "If I personally know something that you don't at this point in my career, you don't deserve to be called "chef" in my eyes." Schuster'

Making a blanket statement like this on this site could possibly get you into trouble. Some people on this sight could possibly ask you questions that you may not even have heard of, never mind answering. Ego is both bad and good. No one knows everything.
 
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A few responders to this thread have touched on the "definition" of Chef. I'm a culinary school grad, also with an advanced degree in hospitality management; have 15 years on the line and in the kitchen. Do I call myself a chef? It depends on the job description. The word Chef is French for Chief, or person in charge. Nothing more, nothing less. So, the person in charge of a particular kitchen is the chef of that kitchen; likewise, the person in charge of a station is the chef of that station. Therefore, if using proper grammar, one should ask: Are you THE chef vs. A chef? One may be the chef of their restaurant or kitchen, but once they step into someone else's kitchen, they are no longer "the chef". When I meet people for the first time, and we get to "What do you do?", I am often asked: "So, are you a chef?" If I try to go through my little explanation, I usually lose them. So, I'll sometimes just say "Ya", and save the stress. To answer the question that I posed at the top of the paragraph: "Do I call myself a chef?" Currently the answer is no. I'm now in F&B Management for a resort and therefore not currently active in the kitchen. Even though the entire kitchen staff is under my direction, I don't use the term. Because of my years in the kitchen, some staff refer to me as chef. I try to correct them; sometimes with success, sometimes without. We have a chef de cuisine running our kitchen...we call her "Chef".


For those who dance: Sissonne Greetings.
 
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this has been discussed countless times on this forum, and with nothing new being added. So I won't be adding my 2 cents. But Just want to say hi everybody.
 
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Shuster, we're going around in circles here.

Look, I'll ask a quick question and I need a knee-jerk answer, ok.?

What's the capitol of California?

Knee-jerk answer: Sacremento

No one's asking if Sacremento should be the capitol, or why L.A. or Sanfrancisco isn't.

A Chef is the boss, the manger, period.

In highschool I had some good teachers and some really lousy ones. Ones who couldn't control a class and would hunker down in their desk, afraid to move or talk; ones who had the entire semester of physics on 4 rolls of overhead projector film and would mumble infront of the screen with the lights off--a 15/30/30 record. That is to say, within 15 minutes the teacher had the entire class of 30 students asleep. Yet, I still refer to these teachers as teachers--incompetant as they were. They were hired as teachers, paid as teachers, and expected to teach the curriculum.

A Chef is the boss, the manager, period. Whether they are good or not doesn't affect their title--thier length of employement, sure, but not the title.

Am I making any sense?
 
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OK - there is the chef - generally titiled the Executive Chef. Then there is/are the Sous chefs. Would you call them 'chef' as well??? In many cases the Sous Chef shares responsibilities with the Executive Chef so how can you justify calling one Chef and the other by, say, their first name? Just curious.
 
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Under the Brigade system in the classic French kitchen , the sous chef is in charge when the exec. or chef d cuisine is not there. He is always second in command at all times . He also assist the chef d partie(station chefs) or in some cases he is also the chef d partie depending on size of kitchen. n the classic french kitchen every one in charge of a station is called chef, example. Chef Garde Manger, Chef Potage, Chef Saucier , Chef Poissenierre and on and on, as each one is a recognized specialist in what they do. Each one has assistants depending on volume of kitchen. Hope this helps..:D
 
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In virtually all the places I worked at in Europe--some of them 5 star with the Exec. Chef highly decorated, it was expected for the entire Brigade to address the Exec. as "Herr Gothuey", the Sous, Herr Lichtenberger", etc. In other words, "Mr." no title.

Even after 14 years back in N.America, it still is strange for me to address the Chef as "Chef", Or "Chef Smith". In such cases I usually adress them as "sir", but that's just me.
 
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I work in a small town family dinner. We make almost everything from scratch and do some pretty aggressive specials (for our restaurant type) . I have just been promoted and put in charge of the kitchen. IM NOT A CHEF! I'm not debating the definition, i'm just saying i'm not one.
 
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chef translated from most european languages means chief     ergo anyone who cooks is a cook unless you have the ultimate responsabillity then you are chef. 
 
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this has been discussed countless times on this forum, and with nothing new being added. So I won't be adding my 2 cents. But Just want to say hi everybody.
Hi ChefRaz ...and thank-you ( finally someone said it!)....how many more times are we going to beat this dead horse?

 Have a great day....

Gypsy
 
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In virtually all the places I worked at in Europe--some of them 5 star with the Exec. Chef highly decorated, it was expected for the entire Brigade to address the Exec. as "Herr Gothuey", the Sous, Herr Lichtenberger", etc. In other words, "Mr." no title.

Even after 14 years back in N.America, it still is strange for me to address the Chef as "Chef", Or "Chef Smith". In such cases I usually adress them as "sir", but that's just me.



 
If the guys started calling me Mrs in the kitchen it would make me feel so OLD!  As it is I'm not the oldest one but I'm pretty close!
 
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The Chef is like an artist, He teaches his trade, picks the colors for the paintings, and is responsible for their work. If people like their work, they have a successful gallery. A painter becomes a artist when everyone excepts their work as something they would like to be around, visit offend, and enjoy with friends................................ChefBill
 
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This has been debated in countless forums. Here's my ake:

A Chef is the Boss, the manager of the kitchen. Period.

Forget about Chefs and cooks for a minute, lets talk about hockey. Wayne Gretzky was a good NHL player. Now he's a coach. His job is to hire, fire, train, supervise, encourage, discipline, guide, and mentor his team. He could not do this, nor win the respect of his team, had he not been an NHL player.

The Chef is the one who hires, fires, trains, coaches, disciplines, encourages, frequently cooks, does the paperwork, guides and mentors his team, er... brigade. S/he can not do this if they have not been a cook-- a good cook, can't instruct if they haven't done it a million times themselves, can't earn respect of their brigade if they can't instruct or supervise.

If you can mnore or less accept what I have written, then culinary schools do NOT produce Chefs, they produce culinary school graduates.

In Europe, things are different., It is no shame to call yourself a cook. Indeed, after a 3 year apprenticeship, you are proud to call yourself an apprenticed cook--not a "Chef", but a Cook. And if your head swells too much, you look at your certificate, it states "Cook", not "Chef"


O.K. off my soap box, time to go back to work.....
First off, I like the hockey analogy.  Taking the discussion to another point of reference takes some of the emotion out of it and focuses on the logic behind the point being made.

I also must agree that culinary schools create Chefs no more than accounting schools create CFOs.  You have to put in the work to get the title, respect, and pay grade.
 
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This is a truth that I am slowly beginning to learn.
I imagine it is a lesson that comes with age and experience
(service after service the veil slowly begins to lift)
CHEF: is a title that no matter how interpreted
demands respect in whatever manifestation it is used.
But also can be blasphemy when abused.


/2 cents in the well.
 
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Eep!  A poet among us!

And just when I was going to point out, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, that a popular facebook game (Restaurant City) can make anyone a Chef with just a click of the mouse.

That said, and with a military background, I consider the Chef to be the one in charge of the project at hand (namely cooking) whether by appointment or by merit of achievement... more significantly the latter.  I am the chief cook in my kitchen, but I do not feel am a chef.

I'll still cook for you if you want me to. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/tongue.gif   I'll chuck in a loonie for this one...
 

kuan

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Staff member
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Let me make this crystal clear.

Chefs wash their hands after going to the bathroom.

Cooks wash their hands BEFORE going to the bathroom.
 
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Let me make this crystal clear.

Chefs wash their hands after going to the bathroom.

Cooks wash their hands BEFORE going to the bathroom.

 
  EWWW  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif

Actually you've reminded me of something my husband observed at his office building.  He was astounded at the number of what appeared to be high power businessmen who did not wash their hands after using the bathroom.  These are the guys who shake hands with clients in meetings... bring on the hand sanitizer!
 
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One of the guys was really upset when he came in today and it turns out that one of his friends was riding him about his choice of employment and that he was wasting his time at our place because neither the KM or I have our red seals.  I shared with him alot of what I have learned here regarding the red seal and assured him that he is not wasting his time.. he will have to challenge it if he stays with us seeing as neither the KM or I have it.  I told him too that just because he has that piece of paper it will not make him a head chef.. he is going to have to get to that point through hard work and there are many head chefs out there who have not set food in culinary school and who are not red seals but who are damn good at their craft and that is how they got to be where they are.   I suggested he join this site too.. he will learn alot here and get alot of support!  I hope he takes my advice...
 
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