Celebrity chefs of today have inspired many young people to consider a career in culinary arts. Even the not-so-young working professionals have been observed to be showing incredible interest in the field. This may be due to many reasons but it is quite clear that immense financial possibilities and popularity form the core of this renewed interest in cooking careers.
Steps in Training to Become a Celebrity Chef
1. Get the Required Education
Enrolling in a Culinary Arts Program provides advantages in terms of the basic and “academic” learning that may be needed by chefs. Available programs range from certificate courses to master’s degrees. The appropriate program would depend on the skills and education already acquired prior to the program.
2. Get the Experience
Graduates of cooking schools do not automatically become good cooks or chefs. Experience is probably the single most important factor in determining whether a chef is destined for greatness or not. There are actually several famous chefs who have gone on to stardom on the strength of their extensive experience rather than by virtue of academic honors.
3. Identify the Career Path Desired
Celebrity chefs have different fortes in which they excel in. It is best for an aspiring celebrity chef to identify which path he desires and work on that choice vigorously. This may involve internships and apprenticeships under a preferred celebrity chef, and further formal and specialized training.
4. Create an Identity
No chef can ever be a celebrity if he is not able to set himself apart from the rest. This may be done by operating a restaurant of his own while seeking to develop a unique brand that will identify him. Nowadays, joining competitions on TV appear to be the most commonly practiced route to stardom. Even non-winners eventually find themselves recipients of offers if they managed to get the attention of producers.
5. Never Stop Learning
One of the secrets of celebrity chefs is that they never stop at their laurels. They continue to learn and evolve so that they remain current with the times while maintaining their established image. Celebrity status comes with work and responsibility.
An aspiring celebrity chef can either put his career on the hands of fate or he can do what most celebrity chefs have done which is to train hard and work hard.
About the Guest Blogger:
Gina is a recruitment officer who regularly handles applications on jobs for chefs.
If there’s one female chef in the U.S. who has been getting international attention, it has to be White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford. This woman is so down to earth but is very skilled she always stands out wherever she goes. In fact, she has achieved several firsts in her career as a chef.
Born in the Philippines, Cris as she’s often called majored in Food Technology at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. She went to the U.S. at the age of 23 and landed her first job at the Sheraton Hotel. Since then, Cris has held a number of positions but being the White House executive chef is the most challenging job she’s had, so far.
Comerford is the first female to hold the White House executive chef position. She is also the first chef of ethnic minority origin in the U.S. holding this post.
It was in 1995 when Comerford was recruited to the White House during the administration of Bill Clinton. She held the post of executive chef after being appointed by then First Lady Laura Bush 10 years after in 2005. Bush apparently was impressed with how Cris handled a large dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Outside of the White House, this Filipina chef is the only female in the Club des Chefs des Chef, considered the world’s most elite group of cuisinaires. This prestigious club with 40 members celebrated last month the 50th anniversary of the German-French post-war reconciliation with a week-long meeting in Berlin, Germany with Cris Comerford in attendance.
Founded in 1977 by Gilles Bragard, Club des Chefs des Chefs is an elite culinary fraternity whose members work for heads of state and royal families. Each year, the members tour a different member country to explore local cuisine, visit farmer’s markets and prepare meals for heads of state. This year marks the group’s 35th anniversary and apart from Germany, the members visited Paris, France as well.
Photo via politico.com
Whoever said that a government job always need be boring?
Justin Timineri, Florida's state chef, the only state chef in the entire United States is proof otherwise. As Chef Timineri himself said, “I have
the best job in all of state government.”
His job as state chef after all does not entail cooking in a grimy hot kitchen in preparation for the massive influx of hungry employees during lunch hour, but instead is tasked to travel around Florida showing locals how to incorporate fresh produce and seafood into their regular meals. More importantly, he does with a realistic budget in mind. In
fact, he specifically creates healthy menus with people who are on food stamps in mind; and if that doesn't mean affordable meals, I don't what is.
Aside from getting the locals to eat a bit more healthily, his other important role as state chef is
to promote Florida's produce and seafood, not just to locals, but all over the world. In fact, he's going to Brussels, Belgium in April to attend the European Seafood Expo to try to get more attention focused on the Florida grouper. And with Florida's second biggest industry being Agriculture, we can be pretty sure he'll be promoting more vegetables and fruits outside Florida soon.
And if you're wondering how much a state chef makes? Chef Timineri is paid $43,000 for doing what he does. Of course, he also probably saves on food, nibbling on his creations. While the pay is not at all that glamorous, you can bet his job is rewarding.
Photo via Babble
Anthony Bourdain, the infamous traveling chef now on almost every lifestyle channel in existence- had quite a story to tell in one of his first bestselling books: “Kitchen Confidential“. Finally, after many trial and tribulations, he had found his sous-chef extraordinaire, Steven Tempel, for the Supper Club in New York, where Bourdain had just been made head chef. To say that Steven was eccentric was, according to Bourdain, putting it mildly…
Nevertheless, Bourdain reveals in the very frank and no nonsense book (as in how it really goes down in the restaurant business), Steven was somewhat of a genius. It turns out that Bourdain had recruited Steven from Casa Nostra Restaurant, in Northern California, where he had been working in the kitchen with “idiot savant” and “baking genius” Adam Real-Last-Name-Unknown!!
Kitchen Confidential is an excellent read and here at Celebrity Chefs we highly recommend it. As it turns out, the owner of Casa Nostra Restaurant (which was known for serving the best italian cuisine in town)- Joey Velardi, has recently opened up a branch in Manila, Philippines- where it is receiving rave reviews from the locals and in fact Bourdain recently visited for his show “No Reservations“.
Let’s hope Bourdain doesn’t steal the chef again
A lot of cooks would agree that the use of wine in some meals have added a certain spice in making them sought after. Such can be attributed towards the contributions of Chef John Ash, an internationally recognized chef, educator and author. His continued work and application of wine towards cuisine and his evident mastery for winery has been his obvious trademark that has brought him towards world wide prominence.
John is known to hold various classes and teaches culinary schools and institutions with regards to the tricks of the proper use of wine for culinary meals. Majority of his known reliability has been attributed towards the wine industry and such has been something that has continued to push him up towards fame and fortune.
He has published two books, namely American Game Cooking in 1991 and From the Earth to the Table: John Ash’s Wine Country Cuisine in 1996. The latter book was awarded the Julia Child Award for Best Cookbook in 1996 by the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Ina is just so cuddly and earthy, yet at the same time with a nose for timeless style, that I thought it would be a good idea to post some of her favourite things, as inspiration.
“Some of the other books I use most are Nantucket Open House Cookbook by Sarah Leah Chase, The Loaves and Fishes Cookbook by Anna Pump, Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells, and Cucina Simpatica by George Germon and Johanne Killeen.”
“Barney’s in New York City carried my stemware for years, but unfortunately, they’ve now discontinued it. But, thanks to one of our readers, we’ve found another source. The name of the glassware is Cristallerie La Rochere, the Amite pattern and the website to order it from is lafermedelamer.com. My glasses are the white and the red wine stemware. They also carry the large water glass and champagne glasses to match.”
Favorite pots and pans?
“I love All Clad pots. I would recommend you start with small and medium saucepans and 8-inch and 12-inch saut� pans. I don’t even bother with non-stick because if you soak the pans after you use them, they will clean beautifully. I know they’re expensive pots, but you can collect them one at a time. They’ll last a lifetime and you’ll enjoy using them. For Dutch ovens, I prefer Le Creuset. These are all available at Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table, and Crate & Barrel stores nationally. “
Favorite ice cream maker?
“I use a Krups ice cream maker which I bought at Williams-Sonoma many years ago.”
Favorite places to stay in East Hampton?
“My favorite places are the Baker House 631-324-4081 and the Pink House 631-324-3400 in East Hampton, which are both lovely bed and breakfast inns, and the Bridgehampton Inn 631-537-3660 in Bridgehampton. There are no big hotels but these are lovely places to stay.”
Favorite restaurants in East Hampton?
“Three of the restaurants I like most in East Hampton are Nick & Toni’s, The pub at 1770 house, and the Palm Restaurant.”
I have to admit that Giada is not my favorite celebrity chef but this recipe of hers makes my mouth water so badly it is not even funny. Truth is, you cannot really go wrong with salmon and lemon, but the presentation of this dish is something I find really enticing. Here is the recipe, courtesy of The Food Network.
You’ll need the following:
• 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
• 8 lemon slices (about 2 lemons)
• 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
• 1/2 cup Marsala wine (or white wine)
• 4 teaspoons capers
• 4 pieces of aluminum foil
This is how to make it:
Brush top and bottom of salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Place each piece of seasoned salmon on a piece of foil large enough to fold over and seal. Top the each piece of salmon with 2 lemon slices, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of wine, and 1 teaspoon of capers. Wrap up salmon tightly in the foil packets.
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Place the foil packets on the hot grill and cook for 10 minutes for a 1-inch thick piece of salmon. Serve in the foil packets.
It is pretty simple and easy to make, isn’t it? I don’t think that you even have to wait for an excuse to make this!
Beef and ale. Stew. Reading those words just makes my mouth water. How can you go wrong? And with a recipe from Jamie Oliver, you can be sure that a great meal awaits you. Here is his recipe for this dish:
3 fresh or dried bay leaves
500g diced stewing beef
500ml ale, Guinness or stout
2 sticks of celery
2 medium onions
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
You are going to love this slow-cooked stew recipe, because it’s so simple and gives consistently good results. The meat should be cut into approximately 2cm cubes. Packs from most supermarkets are normally about that size. In stew recipes you’re often told to brown off the meat first. But I’ve done loads of tests and found the meat is just as delicious and tender without browning it first, so I’ve removed this usual stage from the recipe.
If using the oven to cook your stew, preheat it to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 • Trim the ends off your celery and roughly chop the sticks • Peel and roughly chop the onions • Peel the carrots, slice lengthways and roughly chop • Put a casserole pan on a medium heat • Put all the vegetables and the bay leaves into the pan with 2 lugs of olive oil and fry for 10 minutes • Add your meat and flour • Pour in the booze and tinned tomatoes • Give it a good stir, then season with a teaspoon of sea salt (less if using table salt) and a few grinds of pepper • Bring to the boil, put the lid on and either simmer slowly on your hob or cook in an oven for 3 hours • Remove the lid for the final half hour of simmering or cooking • When done, your meat should be tender and delicious • Remember to remove the bay leaves before serving, and taste it to see if it needs a bit more salt and pepper • You can eat your stew as it is, or you can add some lovely dumplings to it
I can almost SMELL it!
Don’t be blinded by the glamor of being a celebrity chef — as this article points out, it’s a highly overrated career.
I have nice large peice of fresh, firm white fish, as well as some squid from the market this morning. So, I thought the time was right for Floyd’s fish soup.
Here’s the recipe:
An Italian Fish Soup
2 kilos firm fleshed fish (filleted, strips), assorted seafood such as squid, prawns, mussles etc.
1 small onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
2 kilos tomatoes, skinned, chopped
3-4 anchovy fillets, chopped
handful chopped parsley, basil
2-3 cloves chopped garlic
1.4 litres hot water / fish stock
1. In a large saucepan, saute the celery, carrots and onion in olive oil until soft.
2. Add tomatoes and anchovies until tomatoes have melted. Keep stirring, add herbs and garlic.
3. Add hot water or stock and bring to a boil.
4. Add squid if using, simmer 20 mins. Add rest of fish/seafood, simmer another 20 mins.
5. Ladle into hot bowls, serve.
Photo via La Fuji Mama