Real life of a chef

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It is 44 years since Delia Smith published her first recipe and in that time the British public’s attitude to food has changed radically under the auspices of a wave of celebrity chefs and fly on the wall documentaries.

From channels dedicated to food and the culinary arts, to television shows such as MasterChef, Hell’s Kitchen, and the Great British Bake Off, to the fun side of shows such as Come Dine With Me, reality TV has created an interesting avenue for average people to gain insight into the hospitality industry.

The cons of such shows are that it is not really reality and the viewers do not see what happens behind the scenes.

I am sure that we all have watched Gordon Ramsay go into an empty restaurant to help them out, only for the restaurant to be full the following day.

What viewers don’t see are chefs working long hours, missing family gatherings, cooking for huge numbers of guests at once, cleaning dishes or scrubbing benches. They don’t get a real sense of the time and preparation that really goes into running a restaurant.

The rise of TV celebrity chefs has also changed the way we think about food.

Jamie Oliver introduced young people to the concept of cooking, Nigella Lawson added “sexy” to the menu, and the sharp-tongued Gordon Ramsay went from studying hotel management to becoming one of the most famous chefs worldwide.

As a young chef wishing to give my best in the kitchen, I often thought “Why are they shouting like that?”

This suddenly became clear to me within the high pressure of running a busy kitchen, in which every second of every minute of every hour would be intense.

On a brighter note, we have all watched the fun side of cooking shows like Come Dine With Me and Ready Steady Cook thinking what are you really doing with that food, what fun it looks like.

With no stress, cooking and serving food is fun and enjoyable.