Our first chef instructor was a man of clear distinction and significance. His list of accolades, accomplishments and credentials was longer than the length of my right arm (which is significantly longer than my left).
He commanded the kitchen when he first walked in. He demanded respect. He deserved it. He was able to rattle off recipes for the French mother sauces and the derivative sauces without stopping to take a breath. I’m convinced that of the hundreds of derivative sauces in the French repertoire, that he had committed most to memory, without a doubt. Never once in my 22 lessons under his tutelage, did he ever consult a recipe. They were all living as embedded templates in his head.
He started working in a kitchen when he was 15. Now, 40+ years later still working in the Food Services Industry, and having worked in some of the finest food establishments on the planet to date, I have had the exceptional pleasure and the most intense pain of being his student.
The word ‘CHEF’ translates to ‘BOSS’ or ‘CHIEF’. Yes, the capital letters are necessary. There was a definite philosophy in his kitchen. There was only one way; HIS way (capitals continue to be necessary). Our purpose as culinary students in HIS kitchen was to learn it HIS way, learn it right, and learn it well.
Yes, Chef. I agree!