“So…are you like, a chef?”

“So…are you like, a chef?”

No, I am not “like” a chef. I AM A CHEF.

I am not the stay at home mom that loves food, or the accountant that now has a passion to go out to try new places and feels the need to write a review about how amazing the ambiance is or how wonderful the risotto was or the fact that this establishment actually has real wine glasses. Really?

When I do go out, I have my favorites and let me tell you, when chefs go out to eat, we are solely there to support another chef, or to actually just sit back and enjoy our meal. No one plays a restaurant critic, and I, for one, don’t drop the “I am a chef” card unless I totally have to. 

As friends, we had this conversation the other night, albeit about coffee, but I think it overlaps. Some people are just not “educated” enough about what they are saying or talking about. It’s like me trying to tell you how to balance your books…I know food, so that’s what I stick to. I love coffee, and I know where to get an amazing cuppa, but I won’t go into a lecture about it with a barista, if he/she actually and most times probably knows what they are talking about. 

To all the people that claim to have the “BEST RECIPE” for whatever it is that I made and they are know scoffing down their throats, PLEASE…..don’t think that I am going to drop everything and try your Pavlova or quickly get the ingredients for your husbands curry.

Try standing in a kitchen for 18 hours of your day, in blazing heat, smelling like onions and garlic and trying to remember that you are actually a female. Go to that job interview as a girl to be met by a bulldog of a British head chef that takes you on as to almost watch you fall, but you actually kick ass and are really good at your job. Come to me, when you have to send 6 functions a day, all 4 courses, all for over 100 people, and then again tomorrow. Tell me about your pavlova when you have to start your shift at 4 am and then split and come back to work dinner. 

My first 5 years as a chef, I had no social life, my friends where my fellow chefs in the kitchen, we did most things together, and it remained that way for very long. The normal 9-5 person, doesn’t get it, they have weekends off, they have holidays, they can go out partying. Sorry, I have to work. Yet, I wouldn’t change that for the world.

The passion, the intensity, the joy that goes into cooking. The labor of love, the adrenaline rush, it is like no other. Sending out 300 meals in the space of 2 hours, there is no understanding of that if you haven’t done it. 

Don’t tell me about “that model who is now a chef” or “you know that guy, that is actually a designer but now has a cookbook” or “that singer who has his own cooking show” – if that’s what you associate with the word chef, PLEASE….go do your homework. 

Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsey, The Roux Family, Anthony Bourdain, Wolfgang Puck, Joel Robuchon, Ferran Adria, Thomas Keller, Paul Bocuse, James Beard, Alain Ducasse, Raymond Blanc 

These are chefs, these guys are part of the original old school, bad ass, Michelin Star gaining, cowboys, rock star royalty!

Don’t sit and tell me you are a foodie and you don’t know one of their names.

Don’t tell me you want to open a restaurant and you have absolutely no culinary knowledge or background. 

Stop asking me “what is your favorite thing to cook”  and “No” I won’t cook for you if I don’t know you. 

Have a little respect for the ones that actually have grafted hard for the past few years and probably for the next few as well, when I say I am a chef, don’t think that I float around the entire day in a air conditioned kitchen.

Understand that this is a passion that runs in our blood. It fills our being. It is the purest form of love, to feed someone, to put your heart on every single plate, there are no 9-5’s that could ever come close to that. (correct me if I am wrong) 

So to the chefs, the bakers, the pastry chefs, the head chefs, the chefs making it big or small. If you went to school, studied, job shadowed, qualified, and now you are busting your balls (male and female), I salute you.