Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Home Cooks vs. Professional Chefs

I have been watching The Next Food Network Star. At the moment I am quite annoyed with Paul. He thinks he's quite a big shot, and not only is he condescending to the other contestants, he disparaged home cooks! Just because you aren't a classically or formally trained chef doesn't mean you can't prepare excellent food. And being a home cook doesn't mean you aren't capable of fixing food to serve hundreds of people, like the recent challenge of catering for Colbi Calliat's Grammy after-party. Anyone who has ever planned a wedding, a ward party, missionary welcome home, or has done food for a funeral is capable of feeding a large group. Basically, if you've ever been involved in anything concerning a church function you can pull that off.

I'll give you that home cooks differ from restaurant chefs. Unless you are out of your mind a home cook only prepares one meal at a time, not a different meal for each member of the family. From watching Supernanny I know there are a few exceptions out there, but for most of it there are two choices for dinner, which are take it or leave it. That's how it works around here.

And at home we have to wash our own dishes, so there isn't a never-ending stream of clean pots and pans appearing before us. And more often than not the home chef, aka Mom, ends up cooking the whole meal herself. There is not always a sous chef to help pick up the slack. Sometimes there is a little helper who insists on mixing the food or hanging on to your pant leg, but that is more of a hindrance than a help.

Home cooks are no strangers to food critics. Although a key difference is that we can opt to send the critic to their room without dinner, while a chef just has to take it.

I like the Food Network. Although there a few chefs I really can't stand watching, namely Rachel Ray-she's just too dang perky-I have learned a lot of new techniques and gotten a lot of ideas to try. The favorite waffle recipe in our house is Emerils.

So while I haven't picked a favorite chef to root for on this seasons Star, I definitely do not want Paul to win. And it's doubtless that a lot of other home cooks, which is most of the demographic for Food Network, agree with me.

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