Rant and rave....

What do Chef's and cook's think of food bloggers? .......................


The smarter one's embrace and brown nose them. As this would be best for business and career. But from my observations most are apprehensive. Cook's by nature, are more introverts. If they prefer and are good dealing with people they would be servers or front of house staff. A good FOH staff is generally more valuable than a peasant cook. Sure there are exceptions. The exception is that the poor bugger looks like crap. Most cooks I've met are miserable SOB's. Let's face it, waiter's and bartender's make better $$$. Only a fool would slave in the kitchen, or a swine.

Sure, there are lot's of progress made in the industry and there are a few celebrity chef's. Even food empire's run by someone that apparently started in the kitchen. You've probably seen, Babe: Pig in the City  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120595/ , you probably thought the pig was so cute. Well it was. That pig was in a freakin movie! How many pigs get to be in a movie. How many cooks even get to be a chef? Not many apparently. Most of the best cooks I've worked with and met, never want to be a Chef. They would rather work in their own domain, where they have more control regarding their daily routine. While many people assume that the primary ingredient to being a great Chef is the ability to cook. The business reality is that a Chef's biggest role is to part of a profitable enterprise. Most of this skills are not covered in your 'Chef school'.

Someone asked me last night upon hearing that I was a chef, if it was true: "is the kitchen very 'military like'?". errr... as in like 'A Few Good Men'? where soldiers have a 'code of conduct', and you never undermine authority. Yes it's true. There use to be lotsa ass kickin'. And cooks crying themselves to bed. But nowadays it's minimal. Sure, we yell at the incompetent nin-kam-poop prep guy. After he messed up on the mise-en-place, AGAIN!. On a Friday evening heading to the busiest weekend of the year. But in today's kitchen any inappropriateness get's dealt with immediately. In other words no abuses are tolerated. If only, the good Ole days were back, when you could give the cook a good kick in the ass when he messed up. Morale in the kitchen would improve dramatically! At least the slacker would really think twice about cutting corners on his prep. And as a food lover, all you really want is good food right? Please take a stand. Down with human rights! Let the kitchen abuses come back in vogue. .....

What give's the right to an utter unknown or anybody that can sign up for a free blog account to make comments about a chef's work. A chef who has worked and risked so much(including some possible flogging). A chef has to endure so much just to get there. Now a 'no name' nobody who thinks they are food lover or presumably knowledgeable in food because they ate better food than their peers. Because they were born with a silver spoon and never gone to bed hungry decide they want to 'share' their food knowledge with the world. Chef's and especially cooks only wished he had your dining budget. Cooks who get by with the restaurant's staff meals' and leftover carbohydrates for years and years. Saving their hard earned paycheques for other necessities like rent, and wal-mart clothing.

So how was your day at work today? Did you a have good day? Sent out and replied to all your e-mails. Made all your calls you were suppose to. File all the documents correctly. Hope you didn't leave any work left undone. Imagine if you did? What would happen. Probably no biggie. Nothing you cant fix when you get in tomorrow, right. Imagine if head office sent in an 'efficiency' expert. And the said 'expert' came and observed your work. It's a long weekend. Stressful week, kids just back in school. Parents visiting. Your basement got flooded. Darn it. Was suppose to get that fix earlier. Now you get home and just realize you forgot to sent the attachment to the bank for a pending loan for the company. Oops!. Never done that before. Sure you figure some way to fix it. But not before the 'efficiency' expert makes note of it and post it on the world wide web so your kids, parents and co-workers know you made an honest mistake.

It's one thing to have a customer make a remark to a server who then passes it on the the chef. But to have a moment of your work judged and immortalized, can be unnerving. IMHO, having a moment of your work judged and immortalized on the world wide web albeit positive isn't really fair. It doesn't really reflect who you are and what you are made of. There are so many factors that come into play when it comes to cooking and food. As is with the variables that come into running a food service environment.

People who think that being a chef is a great career should never be a guidance counselor. It would be like hiring an alms dealer to general an incumbent war. If your kids say they wanna be Chef because they like eating. Tell your kids to be a food blogger instead. They eat better than most Chef's.

So I did ask a chef what he thought of food bloggers. The answer was, "I don't really pay attention to them. It  doesn't make a difference to what I do or make. I have my own standard and accountability". Amen.

P/S rough post. will edit later. gotta go make turkey dinner now...

17 comments:

Ben and Suanne

Enjoyed your rant, TimeToChow! He he he ... what came over you? :-) There are many different types of people in the world. Some people are inherently more critical and judgmental but at the end it reflects on them. Yeah, some even thinks they are Michelin inspectors. Ke ke ke ...

Ben

TimeToChow

hey ben,\\thanks for the comment.
hehe.. just having some fun. really? some bloggers think they are michelin inspectors? wow.. . :-D

Joe.

I'm not sure what brought your rant on but more power to you. Many bloggers do write without thinking clearly about their own critical process and what ramifications or consequence it has. Some are open about this, others hide behind the idea that their blog is some sort of journal. The latter is somewhat more frustrating, in that it negates what responsibility one should have in airing a critical opinion - positive or negative - in public.

As a food blogger, I can tell you that I work hard at ensuring that I give a fair opinion on what I'm observing. I visit places at least twice before writing, I research the subject matter, I take time to craft a sentence... all of which means we don't have posts every day. I do this because there's an art and responsibility in criticism itself, which I take very seriously. This is why I will spend hours researching the history of Cantonese food to organize a coherent dinner, why I will spend hours researching the history of croissants for a mere three paragraph post. I don't know that I'm successful at it, but I suppose what I'm saying is there is variation and breadth to the world of food blogging, even if you've found distaste in most of it.

With that said, much of what you've said here is no different than much of the criticism laid against most critics. Remember that Frank Zappa line? There's no concise way to debate the worth or non-worth of it - particularly not in the comment section of your blog - but I wouldn't discredit the work of critics as a whole even if much of the beauty of it is made ugly in this day and age where everyone can be a critic. It just takes that much longer to find the ones that are worth reading.

In any case, I always do like hearing your opinion. And when's that Shandong dinner?

fmed

Nice Rant!

Most discerning diners will filter out the wheat from the chaff when it comes to reading blogs and following recommendations.

I'm still thinking of silkscreening that line of T-shirts that say: "F@#$ing Food Blogger" on the front.

TimeToChow

hey joe,

i really enjoy VS and think both yourself and Matt are great! actually i really enjoy reading all food blogs.

hey fmed,

you are right about discerning diners. i guess not all food bloggers are discerning diners. whatever that means. :-D
i agree, take the recommendations for what it is worth based on who is coming from.

wow, thanks for reading guys! i took long enough to reply. :-D

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