Chefs and Foodies

The Difference Between a Working Chef and a Foodie:

  1. You, the foodie, carry the most expensive chef’s knife available, festooned with symbols and blessings from Eastern Gods, the keeper of all things sharp. It is sharp, too. You’ve never sharpened it and have no idea how.
  2. A chef MAY have an expensive knife in his kit he reserves for personal carvings. The rest of the time he generally uses an inexpensive kitchen knife, which he sharpens many times a day, as needed, usually on the back of a cleaver.
  3. You probably don’t have a cleaver, unless it came with a kit.
  4. A chef’s cleaver is worn, stained and razor sharp.
  5. A chef wears a plain white or black kitchen issue apron. Generally with no logos, initials, or advertisements.
  6. Your apron probably came from Williams and Sonoma. Designer color, initials embossed. Or from an Italian gift shop while you hiked around Capri looking for the “perfect little spot for lunch.”
  7. The chef has not been to Italy, except one time, on his own dime, while he worked a month for free in the kitchen of a truly badass, devil-may-care, abusive, hates you because you are American Chef. He rested on the car ride back and slept through the layover in Germany. What was he supposed to do? Go look at stuff?
  8. The chef is generally widely traveled, yet has seen little.
  9. You’ve widely traveled, and you too have seen little. Tourist lines, tour leaders with signs leading the way, like cattle being herded towards the next eat-until-you-burst gorge fest of “Authentic” cuisine.
  10. The chef has barely had time to eat, unless you count staff meals once a day or so. They count. More than any meal you’ve ever had. Anything hot, made by others, placed in a bowl, and slurped down in mostly a giddy silence is probably as close to God as a chef will ever be.
  11. You count dinner guests by name, reason they’re there, and position at the table.
  12. A chef counts in tops. “Two Four tops, Eight Two Tops and the House Table all seating at once, chef. He doesn’t, except on rare occasion, really give a shit who is seated at his restaurant.
  13. You take a moment to greet each guest, take their coat, offer wine and make them comfortable, all the while making sure that the right guest is talking to the right person.
  14. The chef must make a moment, wrenched from the kitchen by the manager or maître d, suffering through the awkwardness of yet another greeting he likely will not remember.
  15. You relax after a dinner party with a glass of merlot, a little blues, maybe, and a fine cigar. Your master bedroom awaits you after you place your chef’s knife of glory back on it’s stand.
  16. Chef relaxes after a shift with half a bottle of tequila, a pack of unfiltered cigarettes, and debates the merits of laundry. He falls into bed without a trace of worry.
  17. You slide into bed after you walk the dog, check the timer on the sprinklers, the wind on the clock and set the alarms for the house, garage, safes and guest house. Then you can’t sleep for worrying about the next day, when you will essentially do the same thing again.
  18. The chef gets up five hours later, without an alarm, and does it all over again.
This entry was posted in Food.

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