Hot on the trail of my celebrity chef weekend extravaganza at the 2009 Vegas Uncork’d festival, SmartMoney.com has a great list of Ten Things Celebrity Chefs Won’t Tell You.
While I’ll be the first to tell you how fun it is to get to know ‘celeb’ chefs, it’s long been a complaint of mine that most ‘celeb chefs’ really aren’t chefs at all. Sure, they’re nice and friendly, and they’re familiar with the kitchen to a certain extent, but most fans would be surprised at how few really have experience in a restaurant kitchen.
“It’s not necessary that there are professional chefs on the Food Network,” says Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential author and a celebrity chef in his own right. “But what they really need are good cooks, and they have precious few of those.”
Perhaps it’s my experience in catering that makes me a bit of a stickler with that regard, but I’m always more interested in the chefs who actually put in the hours in the kitchen – the Bartolottas, the Bourdains, the Buscaglias – vs. the Rays, if you will. I’ve noticed that even some of the more local celeb chefs aren’t always working the line. Nonetheless, the list of ten is certainly interesting to peruse.