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Old 06-12-2007, 04:35 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefJune
Julia Child was not a chef, but she in NO WAY was an amateur cook. There are many of us who are professional cooks but are not chefs. Chefs run restaurants or catering businesses. Julia was the consummate teacher, on screen and off, and a fine food writer... to say nothing of the fact that she was also a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, Paris.
ChefJune, Did you think I meant any offense to Julia Child? Or do you think the word amateur is pejorative? I think she was almost 50 when her first cookbook was published and, if I'm not mistaken The French Chef began shortly thereafter. I chose to name her first TV show because if you insist on calling her professional at that point, at least, you would have to concede that she had only very recently become one. If she cooked professionally before that I'm unaware of it but if you say it's so, I won't argue. For what it's worth, in 1776 I think Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and George Washington were all amateur politicians.
As to differentiating professional cooks from chefs I won't quibble with you there either. In fact, I'll go you one further. Without doubt, there are many professional cooks who cook better than some chefs. While I'm at it, I'll go you two further and say there are some amateur cooks who cook better than some chefs.
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Old 06-12-2007, 04:55 PM   #32
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FYI. Daisy Martinez may look like a home cook on the set of her show, but here is an excerpt from her bio: "Prior to entering the food world, she was an actress and model. A surprise birthday gift of culinary school from her husband Jerry led to her matriculating at the French Culinary Institute in 1998.

Shortly after graduation, she worked on the set of PBS' Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen as a prep-kitchen chef, and as a private chef in New York City. In addition, she managed a small catering business, “The Passionate Palate”, which she continues to operate. "
Whatever it was about my compliments of Julia Child that upset you, it must apply to Daisy Martinez as well. I hold both of them in very high esteem and I can only conclude that you consider "amateur" and "home cook" to be insults. I doubt if Daisy would be at all insulted by the comparison to Julia Child, or vice versa.
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Old 06-12-2007, 05:00 PM   #33
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I think the bottom line is that a person's answer to this question will be totally dependant on their cooking skill and interest.

For example, I learn things or get ideas from Top Chef, Iron Chef, Iron Chef America, Emeril Lagasse once in a great while, Mario Batali, Ming Tsai, etc. Others may not because the food is too intimidating to cook, it's beyond their skill level, they have no interest in eating or cooking high end food.

I learn practically nothing from Ina Garten, Giada, Rachel Ray, Sara Lee, etc. because for me, what they make is so basic. I can walk into a kitchen that I've never been in before, look around in the pantry for 5 minutes, and put out a similar meal or dish. For others, the ease and simplicity of what they make is much more appealing and much less intimidating.

With the term "chef", the problem is the same problem that plagues many terms, words, ideas, etc.: the media. Unfortunately, mass media can take something, even though it's wrong, and make 50 million people think it's true. Chef is a title. It is something that is earned, much like attaining a black belt in martial arts. If you advance to say, a brown belt in jiu jitsu, you don't get a black belt just because you get a tv show teaching people how to do it. It's the same with being a chef. You earn your title by leading a kitchen.
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:07 AM   #34
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While I'm at it, I'll go you two further and say there are some amateur cooks who cook better than some chefs.
I agree wholeheartedly, SL, and I'd be honored to list my Mom among those! No question that cooking well, day in and day out takes more than just skill. When love is factored in, it trumps skill every day of the week!
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:49 AM   #35
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If you have watched any of the profiles of each of the celeb. chefs, you would of seen all of them have a tough time getting in to the field. They have paid their dues and there isn't a single one that I haven't learn something from.
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:11 AM   #36
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What do I think of celebrity chefs? I first base my like or dislike on their personality, and second would be their cooking abilities.
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Old 06-15-2007, 12:30 PM   #37
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they annoy me like gnats. alton is great. wolfgang puck, too. a couple others. those others, well.....
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Old 06-15-2007, 01:37 PM   #38
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Well since T.V. Food Show and Celebrity Chef bashing is prohibited here,.....
By definition so is fair and proper critique/opinion, which doesn't help the forum any.

Most of these shows are entertainment first and last; with little to be learned - only the illusion of substance. Alton Brown is one of the most notable exceptions.
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Old 06-15-2007, 02:39 PM   #39
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By definition so is fair and proper critique/opinion, which doesn't help the forum any.
How, by definition, is "proper critique/opinion" not allowed here? If that is what you think then you have a serious misunderstanding of the rules here. Please feel free to PM any other the admins or mods if you would like a better understanding.
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Old 06-15-2007, 03:16 PM   #40
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Most of these shows are entertainment first and last; with little to be learned - only the illusion of substance. Alton Brown is one of the most notable exceptions.
Your observation is interesting, because it proves how good the food network is at smoke and mirrors. Alton Brown, while a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, has fewer credentials for what he does than the much discussed Rachael Ray! He is, indeed, an actor who went to culinary school so he could "get a show," and he sold his concept because he is geeky looking, that he was some kind of scientist. The scientist on his show is Shirley Corriher. Doesn't she make Alton look GREAT? He's fooled a whole nation into thinking he actually has all that knowledge, when in reality he's reading a teleprompter!
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