As much as people like me and others (most famously Anthony Bourdain in Kitchen Confidential) espouse that kitchens are full of criminals and pirates I am often struck by the dedication that cooks have to our craft. A cook will burn, cut and scrape herself to make sure that people enjoy there dinners.
That much dedication can be overwhelming to some personalities. Some chefs have even been known to sacrifice not only their bodies but also their very lives to the pursuit of the craft of cooking.
Francois Vatel, a famous 17th century chef, was cooking for King Louis the XIV. The story goes that Vatel was expecting a shipment of fish that was late. The longer the delay, the more stressed out he became. Finally when he could not bear the pressure any more, he impaled himself on a sword and took his own life. The fish arrived 15 minutes later. Vatel will go down in history as the guy who should have waited a little longer.
I do admire those chefs for their passion, but those guys were idiots. One thing that both of them can teach us, however, is that chefs need to be a little bit more patient.
Randy King is the Executive Chef at Sysco Food Services of Idaho. He has served as the Executive Chef at several locations in Boise including Richard’s in Hyde Park, Crane Creek Country Club and the Doubletree Riverside Hotel. Randy is a member of the American Culinary Federation and has been awarded the elite status of Certified Executive Chef. He can typically be found behind a stove making a mess ... and something delicious to eat.