Friday, November 7, 2014


This 'blog-entry is not a review of the recent 2014 Summer Comedy written by, directed by, produced by, and starring Jon Favreau. This is more along the line of a full-blown 'blog-entry rant on the use of the word "Chef" as if it is some kinda special honorarium

"Yes, Chef."

"I am sorry, Chef."

"I won't let it happen again, Chef."

I watch a lot of the food network (and it's smarmy little sister the Cooking Channel), and I mean a LOT.[1] (Between MLB Network, ESPN, and a few other selected TeeVee programs, I probably waste more time with all of their stupid programs than any other cable channel.) It has always bugged me to hear everyone using the simple word "chef" as if it is some acclaimed title.

1. the chief cook, especially in a restaurant or hotel, usually responsible for planning menus, ordering foodstuffs, overseeing food preparation, and supervising the kitchen staff.
2. any cook.

Stupid, useless cunning linguist/quasi-culinaristic pointer of the day:

"Chef" comes from French "chef" (funny how that works, huh?). It is short for "chef de cuisine", literally "head of the kitchen", from Old French "chief", meaning "leader, ruler, head". "Chief" in turn comes from Vulgar Latin "capum" (also the source of both Spanish and Portuguese "cabo", and Italian "capo"), from Latin "caput", meaning "head", also "leader, guide, chief person; summit; capital city".

And, just as an exalting lark, here is one of the accepted terms of venery for a group of chefs: "a temperance of cooks".

I don't care what anyone says, chef/cook is a job, it is not a title. Would you ever refer to any other person by their pedestrian professions? "How are you today, Barber Joe?"; "Thanks for the ride, Bus Driver Ralph!"; "Those were some awesome pastries and drumming, Baker Ginger!"; etc. Just because I write a stupid li'l 'blog-thingy, I don't expect people to start calling me "Author Brian". (Though, would it really kill ya to do so once in a while?)

This all hearkens back to when I first joined the Air Force and they made sure to drill it into our pointy little heads to be sure to call all officers by "Sir" or "Ma'am" as a term of respect. However, if any of us poor bastards mistakenly happened to use that honorific on one of the lowly NCO instructors at Basic Training: "Don't call me 'Sir'! My parents were married!"

Most of these "Celebrity Chefs" that they employ as hosts of shows on the food network aren't really classically-trained chefs or cooks even. They are just "television personalities" (again, not to be considered a "title" in any way): exempli gratia, Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis (and, let's be truly honest here, guys, how many of you are really ever even watch a thing that she is cooking?), Alton Brown, Joey Fatone (Really?! He wasn't even the most popular member in his boy-band, and that band wasn't even the most popular boy-band in the 90's, anyway), Guy "Fietti" (This idiot can't even pronounce his own d*mn last name correctly, so, I'll be d*mned if I would ever kowtow to him by calling him "Cheffy-poo"! This fool could easily be a rant for another entire blog-entry, so just don't get me started, Emeril!), etc.

Also, most of the "Judges" that they have on their competition shows aren't even cooks (let alone "Chefs"). They can be either more "Celebrity Chefs"; owners of restaurants (I own and drive a car, but that doesn't mean I am qualified to start calling myself "Chauffer Brian" or "Mechanic Brian".); Executive Chefs (I am only capitalising it hear as I am using it as a specific profession, not some kind of a highfalutin titular accomplishment); and even just stupid food magazine editors (another profession where I would never think to refer to someone as "Editor Such-and-such"; unless, of course, their last name really happens to be "Such-and-such"), writers of cookbooks, or just other stupid food 'bloggers. (And how come those "Cheffy" elitist bastages have never contacted me to participate in judging any of these contests? I love to eat and can pretend to turn my nose up at the production of all the hardworking contestants, too. Maybe that is my real complaint here.) 

Additionally, I have seen many of these contestant "Chefs" competing on several different TeeVee shows, too. Don't you have actual jobs or restaurants that you should be running? And the same can be said for the multitude of "Celebrity Chef" judges, too.

And some of the inane sayings that they espouse each and every time on these programs are equally tiresome: 
"You eat with your eyes first…" Does that also mean "you smell with your ears first" (well, I suppose little Stevie Wonder and Andrea Bocelli might)? Or that "you see through your nose first" (I have been known to look down my nose at some of these stupid "Chefs" before, though)?
"Depth of flavour"? Just what the H-E-Double Hockey-sticks is that supposed to mean? Has anyone really ever fallen victim to a "shallowness of flavour" or drowned in the deep end of the flavour pool? If you ask me, a lot of these "Chefs" seem a bit under-seasoned mentally themselves.

Don't get me wrong, I know that a number of chefs (not "Chefs") and cooks have actually trained at Le Cordon Bleu and other professional culinary institutes. However, just because someone else might graduate from a university with a B.A. or B.S. or M.B.A., they are not expecting everyone to automatically start calling them "Artist Leonardo" or "Scientist Albert" or "Master Bates".

If you ask me (and, even if you didn't ask me, I am telling you, anyway), this may probably be the best use of "Chef". On, they have the slang definition of "chef" as: "A person who prepares opium for smoking." Now THAT may make the most sensible use of "Chef" as an honorary title!

I mean, it's not as if any of these idiots actually have the last name of "Boyardee" or anything…

1. The running joke here is that I hate to cook and people are always asking me, "Why do you watch so many cooking programs when you don't even cook yourself?" To which I usually reply, "Well, I am not expecting to ever score with any Playboy Playmates*, but that doesn't mean that I still don't like to watch them, though."

*(Now that is also one honorary term that makes perfect sense to me.)

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