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Old 03-22-2011, 01:27 PM   #1
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Chef -Respect or Arrogance?

We have a gentleman who owns several restaurants and occasionally dines at the establishment I serve at. He seems a wee bit cocky, but is polite and friendly as long as everything is going his way, so his attitude is fairly typical for someone his age (late 20s) who is successful and reasonably good-looking. Here is my question. Our owner knows him by first and last name, as do our manager and a couple members of our staff who went to high school with him or have waited on him several times, yet he always insists on his reservation being listed as "Chef Firstname." (it's probably obvious, but just in case, Firstname is not his real first name)

I'm truly curious. Is it typical for a Chef to use the title outside of work? And in another's restaurant? I would venture to guess that at least half of our regular clientele is made up of people who could make their reservations under "Dr. So-and-so," but we rarely see formal titles on the reservation list. Is it a matter of respect for him to carry the title everywhere, or arrogance?
Just curious to see other's opinions, especially from other chefs!

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Old 03-22-2011, 01:36 PM   #2
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I think he just wants to be noticed. He is there as a diner. Nothing more.
Not to be too negative here, but there is something about the culinary arts that can bring out the arrogance in people. I find many chefs to be like this. But, to be fair, there are many talented and down to earth, modest chefs out there. Although it takes time, effort and commitment to be a chef, so do most other trades or careers. Maybe next time I make a reservation I will make it under Musician/certified cook Roch.
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Old 03-22-2011, 01:41 PM   #3
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Maybe next time I make a reservation I will make it under Musician/certified cook Roch.
Think I should mention my CPR certification under my next reservation? JK
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Old 03-22-2011, 02:10 PM   #4
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Maybe he is being considerate and giving everyone a "heads up" that a chef is coming. Maybe the chef in the restaurant would like to know if she/he is cooking for a chef.
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Old 03-22-2011, 02:27 PM   #5
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Maybe he is being considerate and giving everyone a "heads up" that a chef is coming. Maybe the chef in the restaurant would like to know if she/he is cooking for a chef.
Why should that matter? Shouldn't a chef cook the same for every one of their customers regardless of their profession?
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Old 03-22-2011, 02:29 PM   #6
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Not to be too negative here, but there is something about the culinary arts that can bring out the arrogance in people. I find many chefs to be like this.
Not only in the culinary arts, as I find this to be true in several other professions as well. Take hair dressers for instance. I don't do hair but I am in the salon business and deal with arrogant stylists (my employees) daily.
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Old 03-22-2011, 02:30 PM   #7
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Why should that matter? Shouldn't a chef cook the same for every one of their customers regardless of their profession?
Well I think so. Maybe the chef will want to plate it a little more carefully.

Maybe ask the restaurant's chef what she/he thinks of it?
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Old 03-22-2011, 02:46 PM   #8
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In the old days he would be called a stuffed shirt. These days he'd be called arrogant.
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:20 PM   #9
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Our owner knows him by first and last name, as do our manager and a couple members of our staff who went to high school with him or have waited on him several times, yet he always insists on his reservation being listed as "Chef Firstname."
Based on that sentence alone, I'd bet he must be really full of himself. Ack..whata pita.... If he's only in his 20's maybe he just has some growing up to do, or his Mama didn't teach him well.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:15 PM   #10
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Yes, it is the same in may professions, but has to be irking when someone insists upon it with his peers. And people think the military was bad! I've seen worse rank consciousness in education and in science than I ever saw a general insist on!
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:43 PM   #11
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For many years, I have belonged to an organization that includes a predominance of members with advanced degrees and professional credentials. Quite a few of them list all the alphabet soup on all the membership lists, reservations, etc.

The editor of our newsletter thought it was getting so ridiculous that she started listing herself on the masthead as Firstname Lastname, BFD.

It caused more than a minor commotion.

Every group has people who are very impressed with themselves.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:50 PM   #12
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For many years, I have belonged to an organization that includes a predominance of members with advanced degrees and professional credentials. Quite a few of them list all the alphabet soup on all the membership lists, reservations, etc.

The editor of our newsletter thought it was getting so ridiculous that she started listing herself on the masthead as Firstname Lastname, BFD.

It caused more than a minor commotion.

Every group has people who are very impressed with themselves.
I don't understand the "BFD".
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:51 PM   #13
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Big F'n Deal
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:57 PM   #14
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...lol...
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:36 PM   #15
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Boston Fire Department?
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:15 PM   #16
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It is just my opinion but I wonder if perhaps he is just a little unsure of himself. I find that people who have earned a title but who have not spent a lot of time proving themselves seem to be very insistant about the use of the title. The old timers who have nothing to prove tend to be less insistant.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:18 PM   #17
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Big F'n Deal
Thanks.

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Old 03-22-2011, 10:37 PM   #18
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How arrogant, it's just ridiculous.

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Old 03-22-2011, 10:59 PM   #19
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My wife recently earned her Phd in plant genetics. When she makes reservations, she makes them as DR. So-and-So.

Her reasoning is that she put 6 long hard years into earning the degree and the title,
and she damn sure is going to use it when she can.
(Also, a title before or after a name does cause a mental shift in most people's thinking... it does command a bit more respect.)

However, if she ends up being booked as Mrs., she doesn't much worry about it.

So, although I tend to agree it is rather arrogant if one INSISTS, I can understand it.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:14 PM   #20
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i think what's bothersome to me is that it's typical for successful, young guys to be arrogant.

i see it in almost all of the group of 20 somethings with whom i work. i guess it's the "jersey shore" generation. you don't need class or too much intelligence if you make good money and work out a lot. unfortunately, young women facilitate that - feeding right into it, so they're no better.

the few young guys in my job who are decent, relatively humble people are already slated to be the future managers and supervisors, but we can't tell them that or it might go to their heads and ruin everything, lol.


as far as the "chef" goes, i guess he feels that he'll get special service in some way if his background is known by the waitstaff and cooks/chef. i'm sure it's worked at times, so why not try?

the real question is does he call himself chef outside of the restaurant biz where it might mean less. i mean, i work with a lot of "engineers". some do nothing more than push a button or two once in a while, when told to do so. some have multiple degrees and many years of experience and run a television network. the term engineer losses it's cachet after a while when you compare the two.

in the real world, a chef might be a talented, rising culinary star, or could be a burger flipper extroadinaire, you never know.
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