I was talking with a chef friend of mine recently about what his favorite things are about being a chef. As we spoke, the conversation ended with us agreeing that the best part about being a chef is the communal aspect.
Chefs are a breed apart. They are head strong, opinionated, stubborn etc., but when you get a group of them together, there is nothing they cannot accomplish. Chefs will come together for a number of causes, but the one thing they have in common is food. All chefs love food, are passionate about food, and want to know everything about the products they use. Chefs are all about educating people on food, showing them food is passion and art not just sustenance. Food is a way to bring people and culture together. Food is the one thing that binds everyone on this planet.
Being a chef is like joining a fraternity, as you do different events or go out to eat at different places, you start to meet each other and form a bond. One of the great things about this fraternity is having other people that inspire you to be better. When you go to one restaurant and see a chef doing something, it makes you want to go back to work and experiment.Because of this,the fraternity becomes better and it raises the quality of the food in the area.
Now, I know that this seems normal in places like OC and LA, NY and Chicago. But in some places I have found that the chef fraternity does not exist. In some places they are mortal enemies.The thought of a group of chefs getting together is non-existent, resulting in food not of the same caliber as the places where there chefs are friends and get together regularly.
I feel bad for the chefs in these areas. They are missing out on the best part about being a chef. They are missing out on the bond that is formed when a group of people with equal passion get together. They miss out on having someone to bounce ideas off of. They are truly just missing out!
Having said this, the thing I like most about being a chef, and there are many, is the bond that is formed with other chefs.