Being a chef today is very different than it was even just a decade ago. Chefs used to be invisible workhorses hiding behind a stove, churning out glorious dish after glorious dish without much recognition from their diners. Today that whole dynamic has changed. Chefs are the reason to go to a restaurant. They are celebrated like rockstars. They’ve even become household names.
One thing that hasn’t changed in all this time is the life of a chef — and how very difficult it can be. Chefs work when everyone else is off. On their feet; without breaks; in a hot kitchen. The work is intense, fast-paced and demands perfection every time. Cuts and burns are expected. And yet, their career choice is now revered by many people who only wish they had the courage to devote their life to back-breaking long hours all in the name of good food.
If you’re wondering why this is the case, for you or someone you know, we’ll tell you: it is because chefs are better at life than the rest of us – despite the challenges they face — in so many ways.
Chefs have the best of friends.
When you work in the food industry, you make friends in the food industry. And sometimes, the best of those people get together to throw you a killer surprise party.
They can eat whatever they want, whenever they want it.
If they want Eggs Benedict, they can make themselves Eggs Benedict. In the mood for melt-off-the-bone ribs, they can make themselves that too. It’s a major perk of knowing your way around a kitchen.
Edible art is their craft.
Would you just look at that plate!!
A chef’s life revolves around food and everything that has to do with it.
Most of us think about food or eating in some regard 24 hours of the day. Chefs were brave enough to admit to their obsession and devote their lives to it. And they get paid to do it.
Working 12-16 hour days ON YOUR FEET. Chefing definitely isn’t for everyone, but if you can do it you get to proudly wear the badge of being one badass mother**.
It’s their job to try good food every day.
Tattoos are not a problem.
Neither is cursing.
Chefs have the best toys.
Not just knives either, but Vitamixes, food processors, and sous vide machines too.
They work hard and party harder.
Okay, not all chefs party hard, but some do. And they do it right because when you work late nights, you tend to stay out late too. And all kinds of great things happen late at night (despite what your parents told you).
Two words: staff meals.
In many great restaurants, a meal is put together for the entire staff to sit down to before dinner service. It isn’t usually fancy, but it’s pretty much guaranteed to be good.
Chefs get to play with the best of ingredients.
Truffles, sea urchins, Kobe beef you name it.
But they still appreciate the goodness in ‘low-brow’ foods.
And sometimes they bring it into the kitchen with them, like in the form of Chef Craig Koketsu’s broccoli and Cheeto dish served at Park Avenue Winter.
Butter is their best friend.
They have been highly trained to not be scared of butter. And they use it with abandon. This is a trait many of us could learn from.
Chefs are never bored on the job.
Because they have about a million things to do at once – so the time just flies by.
They know to pay close attention to detail.
Which can only serve them well in every other aspect of their lives.
A suit and tie is not something they have to worry about.
Plus, they get to wear clogs to work. And pajama pants, basically.
The challenges of working with old equipment have made them extremely resourceful.
They’re like modern day Macgyvers.
They get to feed people for a living.
It’s one of the greatest joys in life.
It’s a unique experience
Few jobs compare with that of a chef. Sure, it’s hard work and sometimes the hours can be long, but there really is nothing that can match the buzz that working in a kitchen gives you, and the opportunities that can present themselves. Working in close-knit teams and providing customers with fantastic food, it really is a career that is awesome. That’s why we continue to do it, isn’t it!