Chef : “A chef is a person who is a highly trained, skilled professional cook who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation of a particular cuisine.” – good old wikipedia
I am but a novice in this trade, and while I’ve been cooking for a long time but can’t say I’ve passed the apprentice level of this craft just yet. In time I’ll become a Journeyman and then work on mastering my profession to perhaps one day earn the Chef title.
I’m not afraid to say it, I don’t know everything about cooking! But I sure as heck am learning and perfecting what I know, taking it day by day, sharing my strengths, working on my weakness and making the most of it along the way.
I’m an apprentice cook and I embrace that, when people call me a Chef I correct them and inform them that to use that title means that you’ve mastered what you’re doing, that you’re in charge and that you can manage the many aspects of a kitchen.
Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but that’s what being a Chef is to me. Culinary school is so short that we only skim a small portion of what there is to know. Graduating only sets you up to enter the industry.
The responsibilities can also go beyond just making food and running a kitchen; as a cook, you should also consider yourself an ambassador to many other topics. Ethical sourcing, health, local responsibility, and environmental stewarship are among many elements that our trade touches. Having a huge impact on how we do things, and what we allow to go around us.
Sure you won’t get thanked by everyone for taking on the extra responsibility, but knowing that you’ve done your best to promote a better way of doing things should be enough at the end of the day.