This is just a blog. It is not a structured thesis. I will not claim it is by any means, a complete social diagnostic. This is just a blog. Buy this, I mean it is just my personal, social observation at this point in my writing I don’t even know if I will reach a conclusion. But I’ll persevere.
We work in an industry where the job we do, most people can do for themselves and often do for themselves most days. By this, I mean we feed people and most people are capable of preparing a meal for themselves even it’s beans on toast, making a drink or a sandwich. We are just trained (usually) to be able to do this job professionally, quicker and hopefully tastier. This puts us in a strange position where we are open to criticism buy anybody. They’ll compare against their own ability, previous experiences and their expectations. There are very few industries in which the simplest and menial aspects of your job can be scrutinised by the general public. From the crispness of your ironed shirt to the flakiness of your pastry. There has even been criticism from people complaining about other guests being “too noisy”. Like, that’s the fault of the venue!!
It’s been said several times by several different people, that being a chef, takes a special type of person. Whether you work in the high-end fine dining or are a grill chef in a fast food restaurant. It takes a special kind of person to maintain longevity in this trade, while retaining their sanity and physical health. Being able to graft for twelve hours a day consistently for several days in a row. All while also trying to function as a normal human being.. It takes a unique person to be able to work front of house for hours upon hours on their feet. Either being objectified, look down upon or just plain ignored as a member of the same species. Most of us chefs love what we do but we wish for the better balance. Lots of employers talk about offering a better work life balance. But the practicality but being able to fulfil this from a business point is very difficult. As chefs we’d love to work, the mythical, four day week but we all want to be paid for a seven day week. Food industry habitually and globally underpays and under values chefs and hospitality workers. Part of the problem here is that we are guilty of undervaluing what we do. We can take for granted, that what we do in just normal. Whereas, the general public would look at us like we are magicians. Like I mentioned earlier in this blog. There are a lot of things the public can do and replicate for themselves at home. But when we get it right! Oh boy! We can blow minds. We can unlock emotional experiences. We ARE magicians!
So, I suppose what my summary would be, that we need to know our self-worth. We really need to value what we do and be valued for our role in society and Humanity. Because, like my mum told me when I first told her I was going to enrol as a chef at college “People will always need food!” I like to believe that people will always go out for something to eat/drink. We are one of the last future proof industries. When the banks and governments are all run by Artificial Intelligence. The chefs will still be going strong….Until Jeff Bezos buys and clones all the chefs for Amazon!