TL:DR What the hell is a chef and why are they magical wizards.
I’m a chef. This is a hotly discussed title among my colleagues but for me, I know that I’m a chef. There is no real definition of when a cook becomes a chef like when a recruit moves up in rank and receives a new title. No. There’s no defined amount of hours you need to work, nor is there a knowledge test to see if you know how to cook. Though, there are schools and internships that train you to become the title of “Chef,” there isn’t a definition of what a “Chef” really is in the food service industry. It’s truly is a subject of opinion. Sure, you can take tests that give you designations as an Executive Chef and a Master Chef, but, isn’t that just masturbation? Everyone has their own definition of a chef and when they feel they become a chef. Now, before I continue on to my philosophical rant about food I’ll tell you my definition of a chef in case you just want to know that and you’re already tired of reading my bullshit. The difference between a cook and a chef to me is that a cook can take a recipe, follow it and execute the dish. A chef, can take raw ingredients and create a dish. This is my definition at its very bare bones.
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A chef is sort of like a magician. They can take raw produce or protein and manipulate it in so many different ways and transform the raw products into something absolutely delectable. Using fire, water, steam, and smoke to change the state of matter into something that nourishes and revitalizes out bodies and our lives. Chefs in general don’t need recipes. They’ve learned enough to be able to function on-the-fly and create a-la-minute. It’s a skill that I believe is learned through experience. So, there is a specific amount of time you have to put in, it just changes for every individual person. It depends on how much diverse exposure you’ve had and then how it combines with your existing skills. Now, let me back track a little bit. Anybody can take a bunch of ingredients and make something, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will taste good. A chef makes tasty food. That’s sort of the point right? In the back of every chef’s mind is that feeling and that sight of gratification that comes from having someone fawn over how good your dish is. That site of watching somebody take the first bite and seeing them melt or even cry. That sound of pure ecstasy from somebody eating something that blew their mind, it actually is better than sex. A chef is able to do that. I mean, anybody who can take rice, chicken stock, and some cheese and make somebody cry, is a fucking magician. This brings me to my next point.
Food is important. Food is one of the most important things there is. People travel to different cities and countries for food. Some places become destination spots because of the food. You gather around with close family and friends over food. You wait in lines for food. But what is food? It’s a commodity that we pay small and larges sums of our hard income for a brief moment of sustenance but also satisfaction. That’s how important food is. Food can transport you to a different time and place. Food can transcend language barriers and cultures. Food is important. Food is life.