ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Chefs Are Our New Celebrities

Updated on December 29, 2009

Being a chef traditionally never seemed to carry the prestige of so-called white-collar professions. It was, and is, a job with long hours, grease-splattered clothes, stinky clogs, and a semi-permanent rim around the hair where a toque (the classic tall white chef's hat) has been positioned for at least 14 hours of any given day.

Then the Eighties brought a flurry of dining out, an emphasis on nouvelle cuisine and much gastro-hype, making the chef the focal point of the restaurant scene. And subsequently, chefdom became fashionable and respectable. Even as a profession. However, what launched a handful of chefs to the level of the greatest superstars had to be the advent of Food Porn. With nonstop 24 hour a day food programming competing for our television attention, food became the new sex. It is used to sell everything and promoted by the media to be the maximum zenith, the highest paramount, the ultimate end all of human existence.

Most television viewers do not fully comprehend what psychological warfare has been perpetrated on their unwitting souls. When I was young (and not digging into a Brontosaurus Burger) food was an edible product that tasted good and either your mom or a local restaurant served. When the food was really good, you might even pay compliments to your mom or the chef. But you would never think of elevating either one of them to the heights of gods and describe their products as manna from heaven! Well... maybe your mom... but never the corner restaurant cook!

Food was food. It was a product you used. You would no longer wax prosaic about it and make it the center point of your existence any more than you would write love paeans to raincoats or suitcases.

Then came the Food Network. And the world was never the same again.

Some East Coast and West Coast entertainment agents, with the sweet smell of success in the air, jumped on the food wagon and packaged these chefs like celebrities or maybe even rock stars. Heck, more people today can name three top TV chefs than they can name three artists who have chart topping hits! We now have a barrage of round-the-clock television programming with chefs cooking magical meals, traveling to far off lands and preparing local food, even if they can't speak the country's language, and giving words of wisdom on entertaining for family and friends.

We have "star chefs" preparing food for the Academy Awards dinner, and we get to see the food preview along with the jewellery on shows like "Good Morning America". Ordinary people who have never tasted a truffle argue over the relative merits of white over black and how you simply have to be in Piedmont in November to get the best.

Where will this explosion of food fantasy end? And just how far are celebrity chefs and their agents willing to go to make it happen?

Culinary schools will soon need to include Acting 101, stage makeup and stunt pot-handling as course requirements. "Light the lights" (and the stove), "three seconds to air" (stir the soup), "stage left, stage left" (the spoon is falling out of the bowl), "look straight at camera three," "Can you hear me in your mic? ... Are your clothes still on?"

Continued in Chefs Are Our New Celebrities, Part II


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      The Food Network is the Twitter of Cable TV. Whoda thunk it?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)