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How to Know a Good Chef From a Bum Whose Only Cooking Talent is Burning Water

Updated on March 21, 2015
Master chef, Alice Waters
Master chef, Alice Waters


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  • A chef is a person who is a highly skilled professional cook who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation.
    The word "chef" is derived (and shortened) from the term chef de cuisine (French pronunciation: ?[??f.d?.k?i.zin]), the director or head of a kitchen. (The French word comes from Latin caput and is a doublet with English "chief".) In English, the title "chef" in the culinary profession originated in the haute cuisine of the 19th century, that introduced many French words into the English language. In non-English European languages, a "chef" is the head chef; others are "cooks."[citation needed]

Chefs too, have to pay dues

You may not agree with me, but I have a lot of respect for master chef, Gordon Ramsay, whose show, "Hell's Kitchen," shocked me the first time I watched the show. Ramsay, not known for his patience, didn't waste time scolding the chef wannabe's who agreed to appear on his show for a number of weeks, win various cooking challenges with the hope of winning a brand-new restaurant (built by Ramsay)for their very own.

Not a bad gig. And not too many contestants went without an angry outburst or a nasty remark about how ugly and harsh Ramsay acted from week to week, but fact is. It was their own good. On one show he explained, "When you are the boss in your own restaurant, you too will experience a dislike and have no patience with employees who only show-up for a paycheck and not respect you as well as their work."

Some contestants used that nugget of wisdom for furthering their careers. Some didn't.

Female chef preparing a Pulpo Octopus for a lavish meal
Female chef preparing a Pulpo Octopus for a lavish meal | Source
"Soup's on"
"Soup's on"

Good chef's can be recognized

What I am driving at is this: You could tell by the way these future chef's talked, dressed, and interacted with others who would and wouldn't be a good chef when the show was over. I suppose Ramsay had "that" special sense to know how to separate the serious-minded from the silly.

Ramsay's love for cooking is far beyond "just" cooking a good steak for someone. He drives himself to continually-reach higher levels of perfection if possible. I respect that.

I wish that "I" were this powerful

Master chef, Jacky Hayward
Master chef, Jacky Hayward
Wolfgang Puck
Wolfgang Puck | Source
Dario Cecchio
Dario Cecchio
Dungun Morning
Dungun Morning | Source
French chefs at the French Morning Gastronomic Competition
French chefs at the French Morning Gastronomic Competition | Source
Master chef, Andrew Soltner
Master chef, Andrew Soltner | Source
A young chef gets ready to prepare fish for the evening meal
A young chef gets ready to prepare fish for the evening meal | Source
She is a REAL chef. The homemaker of the early to late 1950s cooked the best meals and on mostly a "shoe string budget"
She is a REAL chef. The homemaker of the early to late 1950s cooked the best meals and on mostly a "shoe string budget" | Source

Do you have what it takes to be a chef?

Did you also know that being a master chef requires all of one's self? From knowing something about most of the foods we eat, how to mix the right food with the right spices to make a dish that is extra-delicious to knowing how to handle the pressure that can break the strongest man or woman.

So if you in the process of buying your own restaurant and you are preparing to hire your chef, you are going to need some advice on . . .

How to Know a Good Chef From a Bum Whose Only Cooking Talent is Burning Water

HIS APPEARANCE -- can make or break this chef no matter how talented he may be. If we are judged on our appearance, imagine you hiring a talented chef who was "dressed tp the nines" at his interview, then on his first day of work in your restaurant, he shows up with tobacco juice running out of the side of his mouth and catsup stains on his white uniform. To be safe, you, the restaurant owner, had best take a few cooking courses.

HIS SPEECH -- is just as important as his appearance. An ugly and profane tongue can not only wreck this chef's promising-career, but your restaurant in the process. Do you know anything about selling used cars?

HIS DEMEANOR -- goes a long way when preparing food for the public. If this talented chef gets easily-distracted by every pretty woman customer he sees and serves her half-cooked pork causing her some severe food poisoning, you best tell him right off that making great food is not just his main priority, but his ONLY priority.

HIS KNOWLEDGE -- about everything food-related from A to Z, would be my main concern. I would ask him, "So, 'Chef Benoir Gwen L.,' what cooking institute did you train?" And if his answer is, "Huh?" or "Institute?" Quickly say, "This interview is over."

THIS TOPICS OF CONVERSATION -- should be important to you as the restaurant owner. If all this dazzling chef talks about are his endless adventures at various truckstops, then you best tell him, "We are not going in the same direction as you. So here is your compensation. One-hundred bucks. Spend it wisely."

IF THIS CHEF'S MAIN DISH -- for impressing your customers is meatloaf, then it looks like you got duped.

HIS ATTENTION -- to details while in your kitchen makes a world of sense. If a pattern of him yakking to every employee in sight--allowing dinner orders to back-up and customers leaving, hire another chef.

IF YOU CHECK THE CHEF'S -- background and find out that he has a long "rap sheet" for petty theft; shoplifting; car theft; breaking and entering, then call him and tell him not to show-up at the interview.

IF YOUR HEAD WAITER -- complains about "the golden boy" chef spitting some yellow-looking substance into the food, do not wait. Can you say, "You are fired?"

YOUR "SUPER" CHEF -- is at work one evening. Then as you walk by the kitchen, you hear a dog growl. Upon further investigation, you find a Doberman tied up to the stove, you have a huge problem. And a bigger problem if you ask him why the dog and him knowing that dogs are not allowed on the premises---and his answer is that he is blind. You best get your attorney NOW.

AFTER YOU EXPLAIN -- your restaurant policy about NO alcohol consumption by the employees while on duty and you find your newest chef so drunk that he tries to cook his feet, call AA. You will be doing him a huge favor.

BE SURE THAT -- your new chef's memory is okay. But if he keeps calling you "Tom," when your name is "Howard," get busy and let this guy out your door FAST.

Oh, do you want that hub with or without mayo?

Are you hungry? Okay. Take off and eat and a sincere thank you for reading my hubs. Kenneth


to making sure that her dishes are prepared past the level of "delicious," to something like "scrumptious" and "mouth-watering." It has taken her years of studying as well as trial and error in some areas of her craft to be called a "Master Chef."

" Eating would be so much fun if it weren't for the calories."

— Ken Avery

Would you love to have a job as a master chef?

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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Ghaelach,

      I hope your trip was fun and restful. Thank you for your comment about Ramsay. I would hate to have to work for him. The only person he dreads is the I.R.S. right?

      Anyhow. Thanks for taking time to read my materials and leave such friendly, positive comments.

      God bless you richly.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Handicapped Chef,

      Thank you so much for your kind words.

      Yes, that is reality television and scripted. You are also right about in the trenches where the real cooking begins.

      I have this Great Reality idea: Let Gordon Ramsay be the main chef at an old time truckstop and have to deal with the conditions and attitudes of old time truckers.

      I would watch it.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Morning Kenneth.

      It's nice to come home after a few days away and find one of your hubs waiting. Gordon is a Master Chef alright, but I think at times his choice of words don't belong in a cook show or even in a kitchen.

      There are a lot of these cook shows doing the circuit at the moment and the shows chef's have their own individual talent. ie. Jamie Oliver goes good with young people with his simple to make recipes. His success is plain to see all over the world.

      Enjoyed your look in the culinary world of Gordon Ramsey.

      Jimmy................................aka Ghaelach

    • Handicapped Chef profile image

      Handicapped Chef 

      3 years ago from Radcliff Ky

      Nice article but that is reality TV it is not like that in the trenches were real cooking begins.


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