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Real Chef's


rafterbr
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I wonder how many real Chef's there are in the Lake Chapala area.  My guess is not many.  I have heard many cooks referred to as Chefs but I doubt this is the case.  In Mexico City there is a good Chef school which my daughter-in-law attended and later taught at.  In most countries you must either have training or have graduated from a Chef school to be considered a Chef.  This training is usually from 2 to 4 years.  Just like any other college graduate.  In a lot of countries you must have documentation proof before you can work as a Chef.  I remember several years back in Ajijic I meant a man who had a restaurant near the plaza.  He had gone to France to study engineering but could not get in the school so he went to Chef school instead.  Great French dishes but unfortunately French food is a little rich for me. It would be nice to know restaurants with real Chef's here at lakeside.

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I don't ask for the CV of any chef/cook.  What would be the point....how could I confirm it?  Why would I care?  I judge the quality of food with my taste buds.   

Your implication that a "real" chef must have 2 to 4 years of college-level training is very condescending.  I say this as the proud aunt of a CIA grad (Culinary Institute of America) who combined that education with a degree from Cornell.  While she opted for the formal education route, she would agree with me that there are plenty of excellent chefs who are mostly self-taught often augmented by years of hard work in various restaurants.  

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The real demand though are for what are normally called "executive" chefs. It is all about management of costs, negotiating supply contracts, etc. Within one hour an executive chef should be able to tell the owner/s exactly how much a plated meal costs to produce. If the owner is also the chef, an even more critical skill.

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5 hours ago, rafterbr said:

I wonder how many real Chef's there are in the Lake Chapala area.  My guess is not many.  I have heard many cooks referred to as Chefs but I doubt this is the case.  In Mexico City there is a good Chef school which my daughter-in-law attended and later taught at.  In most countries you must either have training or have graduated from a Chef school to be considered a Chef.  This training is usually from 2 to 4 years.  Just like any other college graduate.  In a lot of countries you must have documentation proof before you can work as a Chef.  I remember several years back in Ajijic I meant a man who had a restaurant near the plaza.  He had gone to France to study engineering but could not get in the school so he went to Chef school instead.  Great French dishes but unfortunately French food is a little rich for me. It would be nice to know restaurants with real Chef's here at lakeside.

That would be me, Oscar Pérez Nafarrate, from Jardin de Ninette.

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6 hours ago, Bisbee Gal said:

I don't ask for the CV of any chef/cook.  What would be the point....how could I confirm it?  Why would I care?  I judge the quality of food with my taste buds.   

Your implication that a "real" chef must have 2 to 4 years of college-level training is very condescending.  I say this as the proud aunt of a CIA grad (Culinary Institute of America) who combined that education with a degree from Cornell.  While she opted for the formal education route, she would agree with me that there are plenty of excellent chefs who are mostly self-taught often augmented by years of hard work in various restaurants.  

Congratulations to your niece.  A Chef is a earned title just like a lawyer or doctor.  They complete hours of hard work, training and studies not through just working in restaurants for years.  A Chef knows a lot more than just how to make food taste good.  Read CHILLIN's thread, this is just a little of what they learn.  They know food hygiene, nutritional values, safety and to many other things to mention.  I know Lakeside has many fine cooks but a real Chef is something else. 

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4 hours ago, CHILLIN said:

The real demand though are for what are normally called "executive" chefs. It is all about management of costs, negotiating supply contracts, etc. Within one hour an executive chef should be able to tell the owner/s exactly how much a plated meal costs to produce. If the owner is also the chef, an even more critical skill.

You live in Mexico, right? There is no demand here for executive chefs. There is no concern for executive chefs. There is no money for executive chefs. There is very little talent here in that regard.

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1 hour ago, ComputerGuy said:

You live in Mexico, right? There is no demand here for executive chefs. There is no concern for executive chefs. There is no money for executive chefs. There is very little talent here in that regard.

Visit some nice places in CDMX or Puebla. Where there is demand, willingness to pay higher prices, there is talent. Pujol, one of the best restaurants in North America. Lots of new talent with education and skills developing in Mexico. 

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3 hours ago, ComputerGuy said:

You live in Mexico, right? There is no demand here for executive chefs. There is no concern for executive chefs. There is no money for executive chefs. There is very little talent here in that regard.

I agree until now there as been no need for a lot of chef's lakeside but with all the new expats times are changing.  I believe  Lakeside can now support several high end restaurants.  I might even be able to eat in one once a month.  I have owned several restaurants and never had a chef.  First because I could not afford one and second we only served basic food and had no need for one.  From monitoring the forum I belief Ian Greenwood is a chef and ComputerGuy knows more about restaurants and cooking than 90% of the restaurant owners and cooks. I was glad to hear about  the  Gastronomy school. 

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The gastronomy part has a lot to do with "front of the house" and marketing. Just like the fine art world. What is needed here is more of the management type, someone who can deliver a reliable, and profitable price for lets say a wedding party of 40. There is always someone starting out who says they can do it for 20% less. A professional quote is much more appreciated, and it takes years to build these trusted relationships. A skilled chef would know how to negotiate supply chain contracts. Instead of going to the local carniceria and grinding down the price on a one time retail purchase, they go to the wholesaler and ask what if I agreed to buy, lets say, 80% of my raw pork through you for an entire year?

Marcos was a professional chef here, yes, accredited here. His brother Christian is also a cook. Marcos wife was a wonderful front of house hostess. Their father is French born and a chef/ cook whatever. Marcos did a wonderful job at Chula Vista Country club, then the buffet at the driving range. Then they converted the family home to a restaurant (el rey taco) and catering. He started to find job offers in other parts of Mexico. I last heard he was Chef in an Italian restaurant in Baja. Christian is back to Cancun.

Damn hard work, as Anthony Bourdain wrote about this exact subject.

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2 hours ago, CHILLIN said:

The gastronomy part has a lot to do with "front of the house" and marketing. Just like the fine art world. What is needed here is more of the management type, someone who can deliver a reliable, and profitable price for lets say a wedding party of 40. There is always someone starting out who says they can do it for 20% less. A professional quote is much more appreciated, and it takes years to build these trusted relationships. A skilled chef would know how to negotiate supply chain contracts. Instead of going to the local carniceria and grinding down the price on a one time retail purchase, they go to the wholesaler and ask what if I agreed to buy, lets say, 80% of my raw pork through you for an entire year?

Marcos was a professional chef here, yes, accredited here. His brother Christian is also a cook. Marcos wife was a wonderful front of house hostess. Their father is French born and a chef/ cook whatever. Marcos did a wonderful job at Chula Vista Country club, then the buffet at the driving range. Then they converted the family home to a restaurant (el rey taco) and catering. He started to find job offers in other parts of Mexico. I last heard he was Chef in an Italian restaurant in Baja. Christian is back to Cancun.

Damn hard work, as Anthony Bourdain wrote about this exact subject.

Marco has been back at the Country Club for over a year now. 

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On 9/27/2019 at 7:34 PM, ComputerGuy said:

You live in Mexico, right? There is no demand here for executive chefs. There is no concern for executive chefs. There is no money for executive chefs. There is very little talent here in that regard.

Boy are you wrong, CG.  That may be true at Lake Chapala, but it is definitely not true in Guadalajara, Morelia, Mexico City, Merida, Oaxaca, Monterrey, and so forth.  Fifteen years ago, the Colegio Culinario de Morelia was the first culinary school in Mexico to offer a 4-year licenciatura--now there are many.  

You don't become a chef at a school--at a school, you learn techniques and cooking skills.  You become a chef in a kitchen, working your butt off, taking the flak, learning to work every station and manage the kitchen entirely.  Working your way up the ranks.  "Chef" means head of a kitchen--the boss.  It's not some kid fresh out of cooking school. 

There are plenty of CIA graduates and graduates from other fine schools working as chefs and executive chefs in Mexico.  

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I just finished Spanish chef and legend Jose' Andres' book, We Fed an Island.  I highly recommend it.

Jose' owns numerous high end restaurants (we have been to his tapas place in DC, Jaleo).  He trained at El Bulli in Spain.

His book relates how he went to Puerto Rico and prepared 3+ million meals, while FEMA dropped the ball. FEMA knocked Jose' for his efforts despite his success in keeping Puerto Ricans alive while FEMA fiddled with paperwork.  Keep in mind that Jose' and Trump were foes in a lawsuit after Jose' terminated his lease for a restaurant in Trump's DC hotel (before it opened) because of Trump's comments about immigrants. 

FYI, Jose' dropped out of high school.  Later he enrolled in a cooking school.  Oh, he dropped out of that too.  

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17 hours ago, More Liana said:

Boy are you wrong, CG.  That may be true at Lake Chapala, but it is definitely not true in Guadalajara, Morelia, Mexico City, Merida, Oaxaca, Monterrey, and so forth.  Fifteen years ago, the Colegio Culinario de Morelia was the first culinary school in Mexico to offer a 4-year licenciatura--now there are many.  You don't become a chef at a school--at a school, you learn techniques and cooking skills.  You become a chef in a kitchen, working your butt off, taking the flak, learning to work every station and manage the kitchen entirely.  Working your way up the ranks.  "Chef" means head of a kitchen--the boss.  It's not some kid fresh out of cooking school. There are plenty of CIA graduates and graduates from other fine schools working as chefs and executive chefs in Mexico.  

And I reiterate, I was being facetious to Chillin, and I edited that post to say lakeside. His post, if anyone wants to know why I said that (I realize going back to properly read a thread is a Hurculean feat for some): "The real demand though are for what are normally called "executive" chefs. It is all about management of costs, negotiating supply contracts, etc. Within one hour an executive chef should be able to tell the owner/s exactly how much a plated meal costs to produce. If the owner is also the chef, an even more critical skill."

It had nothing to do with "chefs" as they are being discussed now.
 

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On 9/27/2019 at 11:16 AM, rafterbr said:

I wonder how many real Chef's there are in the Lake Chapala area.  My guess is not many.  I have heard many cooks referred to as Chefs but I doubt this is the case.  In Mexico City there is a good Chef school which my daughter-in-law attended and later taught at.  In most countries you must either have training or have graduated from a Chef school to be considered a Chef.  This training is usually from 2 to 4 years.  Just like any other college graduate.  In a lot of countries you must have documentation proof before you can work as a Chef.  I remember several years back in Ajijic I meant a man who had a restaurant near the plaza.  He had gone to France to study engineering but could not get in the school so he went to Chef school instead.  Great French dishes but unfortunately French food is a little rich for me. It would be nice to know restaurants with real Chef's here at lakeside.

Sounds like with your standards you'd be happier living in Oklahoma with your cattle and your pretentious standards.

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.” Pretentious Standards “  ......B S ...you have to be joking ,those standards don’t even  come close to the education ,experience and exposure one needs to rise through the ranks and become  the Chef...running a professional crew . ...It takes a Chef or a professional restaurateur to recognize a Chef .

 

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