I stumbled upon this little gem : http://corp.klout.com/blog/2011/10/10-most-influential-chefs/ - a ranking of the top 10 most influential “chefs.” Included in the list is Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, etc along with Paula Deen, Giada, and several other TV Personalities.
The term Chef de Cuisine translates, to my knowledge, as “head of the kitchen.” yet in the age of food network, we now seem to define a chef as anyone who has some sort of authority on cooking. Martha Stewart is not a chef; she is someone who cooks on TV. Rachael Ray occasionally cooks on tv, but mostly is just a Dr. Phil wannabe. Even Anthony Bourdain is the first to admit that he is not a chef. He was, at one point. Now, he gets paid to travel around eating at the best restaurants in the world. Doesn’t sound much like the life he described in Kitchen Confidential.
I am aware that most (perhaps all) of the personalities on the Food Network come from a restaurant or catering background. Many have trained at top schools and worked in great restaurants, albeit very early in their careers. But to refer to them as chefs now seems like blasphemy to me. They are TV personalities.
But that’s just my opinion. What do you think?