Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
monavano

What Is A Chef?

Recommended Posts

I love the work in progress.� Little blurbs like "Who's Folding The Napkin"

"Is the Chef in Tonight" are wonderful and hopefully will keep some from resting on their laurels. And for once I feel Washingtonian is right on as to what is going on in restaurants.

No offense meant to the former team, but this "reorganization"� was long overdue.

I was going to mention the "Toque-A-Scope" (although, I would have called this "Toque Toque....who's there?). It is remarkable that Carole Greenwood was in every night. The upside of control, so there you go!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was going to mention the "Toque-A-Scope" (although, I would have called this "Toque Toque....who's there?). It is remarkable that Carole Greenwood was in every night. The upside of control, so there you go!

With the constant bombardment restaurants get for charitable donations including appearances by the chef/owners plus family obligations and business related appearances like book tours, why is it so important that he/she is there every night? The chef de cuisine is there every night. Roger Vergé was once asked who cooked when he wasn't there. His answer was "The same person who cooks when I am there".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
With the constant bombardment restaurants get for charitable donations including appearances by the chef/owners plus family obligations and business related appearances like book tours, why is it so important that he/she is there every night? The chef de cuisine is there every night. Roger Vergé was once asked who cooked when he wasn't there. His answer was "The same person who cooks when I am there".

It was just an observation, Mark. Perhaps a useless comment even. I don't care who cooks my food, really......

Edited by monavano

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
With the constant bombardment restaurants get for charitable donations including appearances by the chef/owners plus family obligations and business related appearances like book tours, why is it so important that he/she is there every night? The chef de cuisine is there every night. Roger Vergé was once asked who cooked when he wasn't there. His answer was "The same person who cooks when I am there".

The Toque-A-Scope was my favorite feature in the section. When you go to a restaurant known for its chef, I think it's fair to know whether or not the chef will be there. When an establishment is named after its chef, you're certainly setting up an expectation, true or not, that the restaurant revolves around that person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Toque-A-Scope was my favorite feature in the section. When you go to a restaurant known for its chef, I think it's fair to know whether or not the chef will be there. When an establishment is named after its chef, you're certainly setting up an expectation, true or not, that the restaurant revolves around that person.

Not in agreement here. That's what the Chef de Cuisine is for, to execute the Chef's dishes correctly and consistently.

And Mark, I had thought Paul Bocuse said that. Thanks for the correct version.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
With the constant bombardment restaurants get for charitable donations including appearances by the chef/owners plus family obligations and business related appearances like book tours, why is it so important that he/she is there every night? The chef de cuisine is there every night. Roger Vergé was once asked who cooked when he wasn't there. His answer was "The same person who cooks when I am there".

So why does the chef ever come to the restaurant at all?

Nobody said anything about cooking. It's about showing up for work.

"Oh, but part of the job is going out and doing PR for the restaurant!"

"The chef has spent a lot of time training his assistants (what are their names again?) to act in his absence."

Yeah, right. Try spending a few weeks in my shoes and you'll see otherwise. What a crock of shit is being fed to the dining public by these absentee chefs.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If Rox is around, apparently so.

Don't paint me as a meanie. Ask yourself what your wine program would be like if you were gone on a regular basis - it wouldn't be the same. I'm not saying "don't tinkle," but we all remember the Citronelle in Baltimore...

... actually, we don't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gone on a regular basis is much different than off for a night (or two).......back on topic, the food & wine section of now attracts my attention every month, whereas six months ago it never crossed my mind.

Far more educational, informative, and entertaining, even if I don't always agree with the reviews or articles position.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don't paint me as a meanie.  Ask yourself what your wine program would be like if you were gone on a regular basis - it wouldn't be the same.  I'm not saying "don't tinkle," but we all remember the Citronelle in Baltimore...

... actually, we don't.

True,,, but we all still have to understand the hardest part about being the "chef" is to teach his cooks how he/she wants them to cook. His or her style, that in itself is the hardest part of the job!!! You try teaching someone how to cook from a completely different country, let alone teaching them the difference between speck and prosciutto... Thats where the chef comes in..hahah.. I agree more than 2 days you lose focus, i take 2 days, sometimes 1, after 2 days i cant wait to get back to the stoves, hell thats where im comfortable. Not doing PR....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
True,,, but we all still have to understand the hardest part about being the "chef" is to teach his cooks how he/she wants them to cook.  His or her style, that in itself is the hardest part of the job!!! You try teaching someone how to cook from a completely different country, let alone teaching them the difference between speck and prosciutto...  Thats where the chef comes in..hahah.. I agree more than 2 days you lose focus, i take 2 days, sometimes 1, after 2 days i cant wait to get back to the stoves, hell thats where im comfortable.  Not doing PR....

....someone has to cook while the chef isnt there...., if the food is consistent than the chef must be doing his job..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don't paint me as a meanie.  Ask yourself what your wine program would be like if you were gone on a regular basis - it wouldn't be the same.  I'm not saying "don't tinkle," but we all remember the Citronelle in Baltimore...

... actually, we don't.

Ask our friend Tom Power about the Citronelle in Baltimore. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel out of the loop here. Was there a Citronelle in Baltimore? It seems that when chef's start to open multiple locations they loose focus or become overwhelmed. I agree that it takes talent to teach other people to cook, but being a part of the kitchen is an essential motivator.

Was Tom Power the chef there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Isn't that what the tree is for?

You are a sick, sick man. I will NEVER be able to look at that tree in the same way again. Don't you have a restaurant to open? :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I feel out of the loop here.  Was there a Citronelle in Baltimore?  It seems that when chef's start to open multiple locations they loose focus or become overwhelmed.  I agree that it takes talent to teach other people to cook, but being a part of the kitchen is an essential motivator. 

Was Tom Power the chef there?

I was a sous chef at the Citronelle in Baltimore for about 6 months before I became the chef of Michel Richard's restaurant in Philladelphia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So why does the chef ever come to the restaurant at all?

Nobody said anything about cooking.  It's about showing up for work.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Warning!! Disturbingly Sentimental and Truthful Post to Follow

On Tuesday, September 11, 2001 I took a Red Line Train part of the way to 1725 Wilson Boulevard to a meeting that never took place.

On Saturday, September 15, 2001 I saw 1725 Wilson Boulevard for the first time.

On Monday, October 15, 2001 I gave my possibly future landlord a non-refundable $50,000 check, each dollar represented by a corresponding reactively protectively thickened skin layer on my kneecaps.

On Thursday, November, 15 2001 I took possesion of the keys to 1725 Wilson Boulevard.

On Wednesday, December 12, 2001 I began demolition. I could afford a plumber, an electrician, a painter, an exhaust hood, a grill, a range, and a single double-door refrigerator, and tongs.

On an impossibly memory-lost day in either February or March, 2002, Ray's The Steaks served its first meal--a steak sandwich (yes, that is correct)--not necessarily to the public, though.

On Sunday, October 6, 2002--some six months later--Ray's The Steaks became a Seven-Day-A-Week Restaurant (from six days a week, Monday through Saturday) in a desperate bid to stay afloat. The kitchen was me and a dishwasher to help, Monday through Saturday. Sundays I washed the dishes too. We did 35 covers that first Sunday (at that point we averaged 40 covers a night weeknights and 55 covers weekends) and I left two racks of glasses and one flat of silver for the dishwasher the next day. I left at 4 AM, too tired to even dream about the nanoLAB.

On Sunday, June 29, 2003--nearly a full year and a half after opening, The Washington Post published its review of Ray's The Steaks, instituting a reign of incorrect-capitalization terror that plagues me to this day.

On Tuesday, March 9, 2004, Mr. Chris Sadler begins a Ray's The Steaks thread on egullet.com, a fact unbeknownst to me as I did not have internet connection until June 2004. Also posting that day was Mr. John Wabeck, whose support was as close to love as any man has a right to feel--or at least that is how it felt at the time.

On Monday May 31, 2004, after twenty months of seven-days-a-week, Ray's The Steaks became a Six-Day-A-Week Restaurant (Tuesday through Sunday), so I could spend Mondays with a girlfriend who, wisely but with some small regret, dumped me four bravely and gruelingly endured Mondays later.

On Saturday, January 22, 2005 my dishwasher-cum-trusted assistant grilled his first shift at Ray's The Steaks.

On Wednesday, February 15, 2006, I am planning my first putative trip further than a 45-minute drive from 1725 Wilson Boulevard, since well before this saga started, but am not really sure where to go or if I will actually be able to.

Why indeed, Don, why indeed?

Do you really think it's about cooking or showing up for work?

Edited by Michael Landrum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Warning!!  Disturbingly Sentimental and Truthful Post to Follow

On Sunday, October 6, 2002--some six months later--Ray's The Steaks became a Seven-Day-A-Week Restaurant (from six days a week, Monday through Saturday) in a desperate bid to stay afloat.  The kitchen was me and a dishwasher to help, Monday through Saturday.  Sundays I washed the dishes too.  We did 35 covers that first Sunday (at that point we averaged 40 covers a night weeknights and 55 covers weekends) and I left two racks of glasses and one flat of silver for the dishwasher the next day.  I left at 4 AM, too tired to even dream about the nanoLAB.

On Saturday October 5, 2002, myself, my wife and my friend ate at Ray's for the first time. We were the only people in the restaurant for almost 45 minutes. I had the sirloin with blue cheese crumbles (a fact that I remember after almost 3 years)...haven't been able to get a damn reservation since. :lol:

Take the day off Michael, take two days...they are well deserved. And one day the three of us will be able to score a reservation and show up again and inhale your wonderful food.

Edited by Escoffier

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Warning!!  Disturbingly Sentimental and Truthful Post to Follow

Do you really think it's about cooking or showing up for work?

Michael,

There are probably few people reading this thread who were unaware of your long and tortuous road to success. It was hard-won and well deserved. Most of us can't wait for your new place to open. (Uh-oh, is this the start of a new CHAIN? :lol: ).

While I certainly can't speak for anyone else, particularly Mr. Rockwell, I can tell you that the road to Perdition is paved with the bodies of people who rested on their laurels.

Take your much-needed vacation. Indeed, take all the vacations you want. Just ask yourself how long your establishments will continue to pack 'em in without any hands-on input from you. Just sayin'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
While I certainly can't speak for anyone else, particularly Mr. Rockwell, I can tell you that the road to Perdition is paved with the bodies of people who rested on their laurels.

And I can say that anyone resting on laurels never earned them. No Apollo, maybe a preening thief in stolen Hermes--at best.

Once caught, my Daphne stays mine:

All but the Nymph that should redress his wrong,

Attend his passion and approve his song.

Like Phoebus thus, acquiring unsought praise,

He caught at love and filled his arms with bays.

--Waller

(Waller's other great poem, by the way, in case anyone's wondering what happened to the real me, is about a guy who desports himself wearing a girdle on his head--written in 1645!! "Ode to a Girdle"--"That which her slender waist confined/Shall now my joyful temples bind!")

Edited by Michael Landrum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...