Do you care if the chef is in the restaurant?

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Lunchbox
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4 years ago

This is a super interesting topic over at Eater L.A. forums...

Do you care if the chef is in the restaurant?

I want to say that I don't care....... But I've seen a noticeable difference in the food when the named chef of a restaurant is not cooking... We all know that when the boss is not around there's a tendency to let things slip... A kitchen is not supposed to be one of those places, but come on, we all know it happens...

This guy summed it up great in the comments:
If you were to see Led Zeppelin in concert and Jimmy Page were not on stage, would you care? (Insert the name of your favorite band to make this meaningful)

So yes, I would like the chef to be involved in making the food.

I think if you look at the la.eater top 38, you will find restaurants where the chef is present.

At this point in time, people like Mario Batali and Wolfgang Puck are more businessmen, than chefs. How many restaurants do they own? How involved are they in each restaurant?
Thoughts? I'd love to get some thoughts from a Chef's perspective... Anyone care to chime in?
-- LBX

Instagram: @zachary.garcia

Twitter: @zach_garcia
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Skillet Doux
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4 years ago

If you were to see Led Zeppelin in concert and Jimmy Page were not on stage, would you care? (Insert the name of your favorite band to make this meaningful)
To me, this is a flawed analogy. You don't replicate Jimmy Page onstage. But not only can a good kitchen replicate a chef's dishes, that's precisely what they're supposed to do. The idea that the chef is back there peeling every onion and tossing every pizza and saucing every plate is wonderfully romantic, but to be blunt, that just isn't the way it works (except in rare circumstances). Some kitchens fall apart when the chef isn't there. With others, you'd never know the difference. The question isn't whether the chef should or shouldn't be there, the question is whether the chef is capable of assembling and training a staff to present his vision on every plate that comes off the line.
Dominic Armato
Dining Critic
Arizona Republic | azcentral.com
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LaPan
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4 years ago

Agree with Dom with the caveat that the head chef might add something to the evening where the staff keep it to the letter of the law.
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Lunchbox
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4 years ago

Here's another great read on this very subject... This time from a Chef's perspective.
When I first opened Gjelina, people would text me and ask, “Are you going to be there tonight?” And I would respond, “It doesn’t matter. You don’t have to worry whether I will be there or not because my staff will be there.”

The staff—not the chef—are the real heroes of a restaurant.
Read more here on Munchies by Vice.
-- LBX

Instagram: @zachary.garcia

Twitter: @zach_garcia
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