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Old 05-02-2006, 07:46 AM   #1
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This is a thread that was originally part of a different thread, but really needed to be split off as its own...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurora
I don't believe that a chain smoker is qualified to judge flavors or quality of foods.
Many of the world great chefs are smokers.

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Old 05-02-2006, 10:27 AM   #2
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What in the world does smoking have to do with food. Comments like this just make me wonder. If person likes smoking so let him, smoke. I don't, but it doesn't mean I don't know anything about food.

I think they had that show on Food network few years ago. Or maybe it is similar. I like Tony, he is just way cool and food he has eaten I wouldn't dare to touch (and I've had some strange foods, believe me). Unfortunately, I do not have travel channel now to see it.
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Old 01-02-2007, 11:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieD
What in the world does smoking have to do with food. Comments like this just make me wonder. If person likes smoking so let him, smoke. I don't, but it doesn't mean I don't know anything about food.
I will gladly tell you... and by the way this comes from a guy who founded and operated a successful casual gourmet restaurant...

The chefs who smoke have a distorted flavor sense. Over time they tend to use too much salt, and mis-season in ther ways. In other ways a smoking chef is a PITA for a restaurant owner. He/she stinks up the kitchen, takes too many breaks, lets the staff down as a leader, and raises my costs.

Other than that- I don't care if someone smokes or not- just not the guy who is cooking my meal.
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Old 01-02-2007, 11:36 AM   #4
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I think those are over generalizations Hopz. Lots of great chefs are smokers and they consistently put our excellent food that is not over seasoned or anything.

I used to smoke, a pack a day, and it did not affect my taste at all. When I quit I was so excited that food was going to start tasting better. Boy was I disappointed when food tasted exactly the same.

Lets also not forget that what is too heavily seasoned for one person is under seasoned for someone else.
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Old 01-02-2007, 11:44 AM   #5
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having had many reasons to hide certain aromas on my person (from mom and dad , girlfiends , the police , etc. ), the ones that smoked had a greatly reduced sense of smell.
it was much easier to sneak one by them than those that didn't smoke.

i can't answer about seasoning food, tho, but in my experience it would seem to follow.
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Old 01-02-2007, 01:08 PM   #6
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My dad smoked heavily. He always apologized when he over salted something that he had prepared for me, and blamed it on the cigarrettes, which he stated, made it so that he didn't taste the salt as well. With other flavorings, he did well by my tastes.

I have the advantage of being a non-smoker, and a guy who is used to evaluating everything. As I think about my past, and my present, I find that my sensetivity to salt has changed through the years. It takes much more salt to fire my taste buds than it once did. Occasionally, I find that my family says I have over-salted foods. And yet, I dont' and never have smoked. My eldest daughter rarely uses salt in her cooking, and is to me, hyper-sensitive to salty things.

From these observations, I hypothesize that sensitivity to salt is governed by the amount of salt consumed, just as a person can desensitize themselves to the affects of capsaicum. That is, people who use salt tend to need more over a period of time to taste the same level of saltiness. The same may be true for other flavors as well.

I find that foods that were at one time overpowering, and disliked for that reason became favorites as I grew older. Flavors such as carraway seed in rye bread, and horseradish, both of which I truly dispised as a child, are favorite flavors now, and probably becasue my sensitivty to those flavors is diminished.

In summary, though smoking does appear to mess with the nose, flavors that are basic to the toungue, such as minerals and salts, don't seem to be affected as much by smoke as they do by desenstization of the tongue through repeated exposure to the flavor. At least, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 01-02-2007, 01:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North

From these observations, I hypothesize that sensitivity to salt is governed by the amount of salt consumed, just as a person can desensitize themselves to the affects of capsaicum. That is, people who use salt tend to need more over a period of time to taste the same level of saltiness.
That is my observation as well.

I will agree with the others that some and maybe even most smokers will not be able to taste things as well as non smokers. I just think that a good chef knows how to compensate for that. Notice I said "good chef", because there certainly are chefs out there who do not.
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Old 01-02-2007, 02:51 PM   #8
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To contribute my two bits' worth, although I do not have an opinion that derives from direct personal experience with smoking, we used to employ once a chef who was a heavy smoker. It is definitely true that his dishes were often oversalted.
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:36 PM   #9
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A good Chef can still be a good leader, I don't get the comment of " being a bad team leader". If he/she is a professional, they won't be out back puffing on a butt every chance they get, they will wait till the appropriate time.

Like GB, I used to smoke, but do not anymore. I have worked with and for MANY chefs smoke, and in the industry, it seemed like I was in the minority, as a non smoker. I have worked with older chefs who didn't smoke and tended to be very heavy handed with seasonings, in part that their palate was shot, not due to smoking, nut just age and eating habits.

Though I choose not to smoke, there will ALWAYS be smokers, regardless of the health issues. And so long as there is a restaurant industry, there WILL be smokers(among other vices), and if they can get my food out, it tastes great, and the wash up after smoking, it won't bother me. And i would rather smell the smoker in the kitchen then the all ways hung over guy that stinks like day old beer, and body oder.
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Old 01-02-2007, 04:10 PM   #10
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I smoked for years, and now I have not smoked for years, and I never ever experienced the wonders that people said I would of being able to taste food better after quitting. Food never tasted one bit different after I gave up the habit, so there is no reason to say that a chef who smoked should not be "qualified" to judge the quality or flavors of food. I'm sure some have experienced a difference, but as one who has not, I say that no one can "judge" one smoker against another.

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