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Super Chefs: From Servitude to Superstars

by  Chef Dana Herbert on August 31, 2014
Super Chefs: From Servitude to Superstars

 The title chef has been a term used loosely throughout history, especially in the 1700’s and 1800’s.  The basic function was someone who cooked.  Now it means someone in charge of a number of cooks.  Chef is derived from the shortened term Chef De Cuisine.

In the early times, people who had chefs were a little better off.  They could afford to have someone cook for them regularly, whether it was for their personal meals or for when they were entertaining.  Today, that still remains.  If you have your own “chef” then you can afford their time and expertise.  Some people have personal chefs who plan their menus, create special diets and so forth.  We are always in service to someone or some organization. 

The life of a chef today is a true mix of excitement, adrenaline, creativity and service.  Times have changed to elevate chefs to the new plateaus you see today. 

Television, social media and other media platforms have placed our industry under a magnifying glass.  Times have also changed where kids rushed home to watch cartoons and instead they rush home to see the latest episode of “Cake Boss,” or watch the Food Network.  Chefs have been profiled and displayed doing amazing things and creating one of a kind signature dishes through competitions or reality television.  The chefs such as Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay and more have opened a door for chefs to go from servitude to superstars.

To be a chef today is like being a rockstar, especially if you are a bad boy behind the burner.  Shows such as “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Top Chef,” “The Taste,” “Master Chef,”  “Next Food Network Star” and more have afforded chefs opportunities like never before.  Launching them into a stratosphere that some of them probably have never dreamed of.   Talents such as Marcus Samuelson, Carla Hall, Tiffany Derry, Tre Wilcox, G. Garvin and others have succeeded in building successful careers on and off TV, many with endorsement deals, national appearances, cookbook deals and more.

With America’s new found respect and appreciation of such a critical occupation, one thing will always remain the same.  Regardless of the climb to stardom and well-deserved respect, the best chefs will always keep a spirit to serve.  It’s that pulse that keeps them going.  We thrive off of it.  We channel all that creativity and passion into that one moment when we see a customer take that bite.  The delight we feel in knowing we put a smile on our customers’ faces.  The same holds true to those foodies that love to cook at home. 

It’s what hospitality is truly all about. That true sense of caring.  If that spirit to serve should ever escape you as a chef, turn out the lights, sheath your knife, fold up that apron and hang up that chef coat, because the game is over. 

 

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