Waiting for the bus, heading home…the bus’ arrival. I was in front of the San Francisco Public Library when someone stopped with the question…”ARE YOU A CHEF?” I didn’t know what to answer…but nearly nanoseconds before he appeared I was watching a novelty bus line for tourists slow down; it wasn’t the #19. I wanted it to be but it wasn’t. I instinctually ran towards the slow-moving bus in hopes of avoiding more prying questions.
When the bus kept on going I was left in this off and odd feeling. “Wait Waittt!” How do you answer that? Are you a chef? I quickly turned around to try to see if the man was still there. Maybe even give him an answer but, he was gone as fast as he had
appeared. The guy looked like Joe Pesci. Slicked back black hair with a NY Giants jacket, that’s how I remembered him. My bus finally came. The whole time I was on the actual #19 bus I felt this nauseous feeling, riddled with anxiety wondering how the hell do I answer that.
I talked to my chef about it and he had a very abstract way of looking at the question. COOK it’s what all chefs are. CHEF is only a title of a person that would be the one higher grander scheme of control. ‘ simplifying it…I can’t begin to write in detail about how he explained it. It was a bit abstract actually. Here, so that I won’t continue fumble over the whole brigade Wikipedia answers this question:
brigade system (Brigade de cuisine), documented by Georges Auguste Escoffier
That answers MY question but, the majority of people who see someone in a kitchen or carrying a knife bag will automatically associate you with the word CHEF. The hierarchs creates a sense of accomplishment like a notch on your belt. Without worrying about the regal hierarchy of it all, my friends and loved ones consider me a chef, I consider myself a cook and my title is Garde Manger/Pantry. Nothing too complicated with that.