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Always a sous-chef, never a chef

22 August 2009

Paul Campos (Lawyers, Guns and Money) on U.S. television celebrity chef, Rick Bayless:

… it struck me that in a country where the actual cooking in high-end restaurants is dominated by Latin Americans in general, and Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in particular, the “celebrity chef” doing the Mexican cooking against his French and Italian-American competitors was a very WASPy-seeming fellow. Nothing wrong with that of course — it’s not like you have to be a member of an ethnic group to be a great cook in that genre — but it also reminded me of the point Anthony Bourdain makes in Kitchen Confidential that almost none of the thousands of superbly skilled Mexican and Ecuadorian and Peruvian etc, cooks manning the lines ever seem to end up as head chefs or sous chefs at the fancy places they work, let alone with TV shows on the Food Network.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Mary O'Grady permalink
    23 August 2009 12:47 pm

    Coincidentally, “Bill Moyers’s Journal” last week featured a documentary about three uninsured families trying to negotiate the hell of the American health care system. One of them was a former Mexican national, now a naturalized American citizen, with a young family. He works as a chef at a fancy French restaurant in L.A. but has not been able to afford health insurance for himself or his family for years.

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