Five Things Movies Get Wrong about Being a Chef

Movies tend to glamorize chefs in so many different ways that people will end up thinking that they’re high strung, always easily insulted, and possibly the worst person in the kitchen unless they’re talking to a customer, a critic, or anyone they deem important. The truth about chefs is that they are in fact hardworking individuals and are the head of the kitchen. What gets missed however is that they don’t often work harder than anyone else unless they’re very hands on and like to be in the mix with their people.

While chefs are the brain of the kitchen their coworkers are the nervous system and the beating heart that keeps it running.

5. They typically don’t have just one specialty.

Don’t ask a chef for their specialty, because chances are they have more than one dish they like to make. There might be one dish they favor in particular but it could be that they make this particularly well because it has some emotional attachment for them and not so much because they’re the best at it. A specialty dish is usually something that chefs have several of to be honest.

4. They’re people just like anyone else.

They’re not the unapproachable tyrants or the rockstars of the kitchen. A lot of them do want you to know that they have a refined sense of what they’re doing and are experts at their job. But as far as being able to talk to them and communicate in the kitchen it’s more important that a chef always be a little bit down to earth when dealing with their people than be seen as a diva that can’t be bothered.

3. They’re not walking cookbooks. 

Many chefs might have a few recipes stored in the back of their minds that they can pull forth without much trouble, but that’s where it usually ends. They tend to need recipes and cookbooks just as much as anyone at times in order to get the ingredients and the measurements right for any meal. They’re not walking Google engines that can pull a recipe out of their head and know exactly what to do.

2. They aren’t experts on where to eat.

There’s an advantage to being a chef and it’s that you might get the skinny on new places opening up and where a certain type of cuisine is considered to be very delectable. But this doesn’t mean that they know what other people are going to like or can guarantee they’ll enjoy. They can recommend pretty much any place to dine, but that won’t mean that the person listening will like what’s being served.

1. Reality TV cooking is not how cooking is in the real world. 

On Reality TV the chefs, all of them real for the most part, are playing to the camera and are therefore not focusing entirely on the dish at hand at all times. Plus on TV the shows tend to require more than one take to get the right angles. In reality chefs need to be on the go constantly and focusing on their dishes and not the reaction of anyone else.

Being a chef on the Food Network is about exposure, being a chef in real life is a job.

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