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Old 05-12-2008, 10:40 PM   #31
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I am not a chef, never have worked in the food prep industry except when I was going to college, and I was actually a darned good waitress. And I enjoyed it. Often made me wonder why I ever went to college (but that's another story....)

I am a good cook, and my friends know that and they enjoy coming to our home for a meal. I was raised to believe that hospitality is very important, and that it is a privilege to entertain your friends in your home. I don't use cake mixes or Cool Whip or Cream of Mushroom soup. I bake my own bread and I even make my own tortillas. But I don't look down on people who do it differently. I have the luxury of time in my life, but when I was a single mother working 60-70 hours a week, you can bet that when I got home to feed my kids, I'd pop open a can of mushroom soup to make a tuna casserole. No time to make a bechamel sauce. If using brownie mix meant the difference between treats or no treats, that's what I'd use. Everyone has a different comfort level, and every effort at home cooking should be encouraged, never ridiculed.
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:39 PM   #32
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I really believe that some cooks are naturals, have a great love of food or have instinctive cooking abilities they just seem to know what to do. I'm talking about basic cooking but these are the ones that with a little training or teaching them selves thru books turn into awesome chefs. I also believe if you don't have the gift no amount of cooking school will make you a great cook. And yes if you have access to the finest of ingredients it is much easier to pull off a great meal but if you don't or don't have a lot to work with it takes a lot more of finesse to pull it off and to me that is a great cook.
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Old 05-13-2008, 01:52 AM   #33
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I think I'm in with Constance... though I don't mind being served pre-fab food in a restaurant, what I definitely mind are half-***ed attempts that are way overpriced. If I'm at a sit down but still casual type of place one thing I like to get is a buger, b/c it's predictable and fairly difficult to mess up. What I hate is when I get the side of fries that's been hanging out in the basket for 10 minutes and is now lukewarm and soggy. Even more than that, I hate when I get my great juicy, hot off the grill burger, with a piece of ice cold cheese on it. Come on! I know you have a salamander back there! 5 seconds under the Sally is all I ask!

I guess what it comes down to, is that I hate seeing laziness and sloppiness when I'm at a restaurant. Cooks know when food isn't as good as it should be, and they definitely should know better than to send it out anyways.
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:04 AM   #34
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I think the idea of food snobs has been amplified by the Top Chef programs. The contestants always seem to have trouble with the challenges involving "everyday" stuff like when they had to make something from vending machine food or go through the neighborhood and raid average people's pantries for ingredients. You always hear them gripe about only using "the best" ingredients to be successful.

To be fair, these chefs are used to a whole other style of cooking than alot of the folks on these boards are familiar with. They train and work in the fine dining style, where you always have to be mindful of every element of the plate, separately and as a whole. This means that not only are they concerned with making the food taste great, but it has to smell great, it has to look like a photo from a foodie magazine, every bite has to be great, full of flavor, but not too heavy. There's a lot to think about, and in their world, they don't ever really have to worry about ingredients so much as the quality of ingredients they receive. When you take a cook that uses foie gras and truffles in one of his signature dishes, and tell him to make a dish that's just as good using chicken and potatos, it's bound to do a number on him.

When I was cook at a fine dining spot I used to gripe about it when we were sent crappy produce or meat, and the reason is because our customers came in and laid down $40 a plate. When your customer is paying that much money for food, you have to think about food in a different way than when you're cooking at home.
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Old 05-13-2008, 06:18 AM   #35
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College Cook makes a great point. It's important to share cooking information with people. A lot of my friends just have me work as a consultant when they are cooking for a crowd or a big event. I share what I know. That's it. Not that I know everything, but I know something. That's good and kind.
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:00 AM   #36
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To be fair, these chefs are used to a whole other style of cooking than alot of the folks on these boards are familiar with. They train and work in the fine dining style, where you always have to be mindful of every element of the plate, separately and as a whole. This means that not only are they concerned with making the food taste great, but it has to smell great, it has to look like a photo from a foodie magazine, every bite has to be great, full of flavor, but not too heavy. There's a lot to think about, and in their world, they don't ever really have to worry about ingredients so much as the quality of ingredients they receive. When you take a cook that uses foie gras and truffles in one of his signature dishes, and tell him to make a dish that's just as good using chicken and potatos, it's bound to do a number on him.

When I was cook at a fine dining spot I used to gripe about it when we were sent crappy produce or meat, and the reason is because our customers came in and laid down $40 a plate. When your customer is paying that much money for food, you have to think about food in a different way than when you're cooking at home.
+1

I think some people misinterpret a person who may have higher standards and higher expectations as food/cooking snobbery when it simply isn't the case. There's a fine line between someone who's strictly a food snob vs. someone who strives to use the best ingredients possible, and to perfect the techniques in which to use them.

To me, a food snob is someone who looks down on people who use certain products. For myself, I don't look down on people who say, might use a boxed pre-fab mix with their hamburger. Personally, I just would never use it, but that's my thing. When I go shopping, I'm going to buy the $6/lb. vine ripened tomatoes vs. the $1.19/lb. regular tomatoes. I'm going to buy the $14/lb. sashimi grade tuna vs. the $4/lb. albacore. I'm going to buy the $25 bottle of imported Spanish EVOO vs. the $4 Bertolli.

Some people might say that anyone could turn out good food if they also bought high end products. I say bull and challenge them to do so. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to screw up that Sonoma duck breast or Mountain Meadow lamb, and it's makes you even more sick when you remember how much more you spent on it.

With that being said, I love it when people cook for me, even if it's the most simpliest dish using pre-fab ingredients. If it was made with their thoughtfulness and care, and then appreciate that. On the flip side, would I ever cook something like that? No, but I also don't expect everyone to be able to work with the same products and produce the same results that I do. Friends and family members tell me that they stress out sometimes if they're cooking and I'm coming over to eat. All I can tell them is that after cooking for 60 hours a week, I really don't care what it tastes like. I don't think they believe me.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:27 PM   #37
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some cooks look down their noses at ones that don't make every little thing by scratch.

some cooks however just tell u how they do and u can take it or leave.

i certainly don't know everything about cooking by a long shot. i like getting advice if it is presented well.

yes there definatly food snobs.


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I had a cooking class last night with Certifide master chef Helmut Holzer from Austria, and he used premade biscuits from dough boy. it was pretty cool
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:49 PM   #38
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Well, as my dear friend, Emeril, would say, "it ain't rocket science!" As one of my good teachers would say, "whatever works." Life ain't that hard. Cooking shouldn't be either. We cook. They eat. Hopefully, they weep with gratitude. If not, they still got a belly full of something.
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:08 PM   #39
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Well, as my dear friend, Emeril, would say, "it ain't rocket science!" As one of my good teachers would say, "whatever works." Life ain't that hard. Cooking shouldn't be either. We cook. They eat. Hopefully, they weep with gratitude. If not, they still got a belly full of something.

I love it!! I just love it!!
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:19 PM   #40
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Snobbery is a pervasive attitude in all areas of life. It generally reveals itself thorugh an intolerance of things considered beneath said snob and involves the put down or dismissal of those people/things.

exceling at somthing or having knowledge about something does not make you a snob. Sharing that does not make you a snob. Believeing you are inherently better than someone else because of this skill or knowledge does.

I do enjoy 4 star restaurants (on the very rare occasion that I can go to one) I prefer to cook from scratch and do not buy or cook box or premade foods but and I still enjoy food from street carts and the occassinal Big Mac.... and while I wouldn't choose to go there if I end up at TGI Fridays with a bunch of friends I enjoy myself and drink Bud and eat the chicken fingers happily... ketsup makes anything taste good and after a few beers who cares if the breadcrumbs on your onion rings are artisinal.
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