The Great Hall
Experience or Experiment The Great Hall: Experience or Experiment
By Charles on Thursday, September 09, 1999 - 07:18 pm: Edit

Over the past couple years or so I have seen several postings on various forums here and there requesting recipes, realy good recipes and your best recipes for someone to use on their new menu.

Some of these postings have been for people who say they are opening a new restaurant and some are just for the new menu.

I am not sure that I get the picture. Are these people looking to just cut out the chef and go it solo?

I am just amazed that anyone would post that they need recipes for their new cafe or wahtever room they want to open. I suppose that I do not understand why you would open a place unless you were wanting to showcase your skills.

What do the other chefs think?


Charles Rivers

By momoreg on Friday, September 10, 1999 - 06:26 am: Edit

I agree. It's one thing to want to bounce ideas off other chefs who are peers, or to exchange knowledge, comment, or critcize. That is what makes these message boards useful. To just ask for recipes, because you're too lazy or unskilled to come up with your own, is rude.

By Charles on Friday, September 10, 1999 - 12:51 pm: Edit

I am happy to assist with a recipe request, I realize that everyone browsing these forums is not a pro.

What I am not willing to undergo is my assistance to someone who should be retaining a chef.

So many places think they can save ten or fifteen grand by axing the chef, use their own hair brain ideas and let the rest of the staff do the grunt work. I am greatfull everyday that I have not had to go through that myself.

So many are just looking for the quick buck. They find a building, a few menu ideas, hire some staff and wala, you have a restaurant.

I can work on my truck and my house but I sure dont claim to be a mechanic or a carpenter, would never go into business as such either.

Guess Ive moaned enough for this posting.


Charles Rivers

By Patrick (Patrick) on Saturday, September 11, 1999 - 01:14 pm: Edit

Chef Charles,
It isn't that these people are lazy or rude,.... It's view it as two other options. They are wannabes or they are lonely. Imagine doing Russian cuisine in the middle of Chinatown. Yes your going to be looking for a friend and the easiest way to find a friend in this field is by talking food. As for the wannabes, they are becoming more of a pest than ever. I have gotten at least 12 direct emails since I have started posting again. These people ARE trying to get me to make myself an endangered species. Or worse. To deal with them, keep the menus and recipes in high culinary terms, and use terms that only a Chef would know, or that will take a LONG time to translate. This will take of the wannabes. The Worse I talk about I was unaware of until recently. Here in San Francisco a local paper just did a report on lack of trained Chefs which has brought on the promotion of unqualifed cooks into postions that they are not ready for. This is the other half of the bad situation. How can we as Chefs turn or backs on fellow "Chefs" who need help?

Patrick Huggins CC

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, September 14, 1999 - 09:21 am: Edit

Beauty is only skin deep. If they don't have the talent under the thin skin of a few good recipes they'll fail quickly.
I come here because I'm a one person pastry department with no one capable of answering or even boucing a question off of. I'm not lazy or lonely. In the brief time I've been on line looking here I've learned several things.
At times my questions may seem dumb, as of yet I still have alot to learn. In our kitchen no question is a dumb question. I sure do hope those of you with more experience will not turn your back to others that aren't quite at your level.

You certainly have nothing to fear(other than wasteing your time) giving out recipes to idiots. They'll be such a small drop of water in the ocean of businesses, they'll disapear quickly.

By gumbo's child on Monday, January 24, 2000 - 07:56 pm: Edit

Wow...."thinks they can save 10-15 grand by axing the chef and using they're own hair-brained ideas and letting the staff do the grunt work" sounds exactly like the nightmare Im living now...and I have been hired as the so-called "chef"....:(

By RDB on Monday, July 17, 2000 - 11:53 pm: Edit

I am a chef trained at the school of hard knocks,I have worked my way up through the ranks and am proud of my choosen profession. I will promote and help anyone who really wants to learn and have helped several deserving "aspiring" chefs start thier training ,providing info.,assistance,recipies,& tools who knows maybe one of these people will make thier mark.My point is that we need to promote our industry,you never know the person you help may become another star chef.

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Sunday, July 23, 2000 - 07:20 pm: Edit

Like they say..."the proof if in the pudding".
It really doesn't matter how many recipes people throw around, either on the internet or the thousands of cookbooks available, or even the myriad of cooking shows on television. Just by having the information can't make someone a cook, chef, or restautanteur any more than picking up a Chilton"s car manual and reading it will make me a mechanic.If anything, information without the skill to use it is embarrasing at best and dangerous at worst. Sure, I freely give away recipes. And usually if it is a customer, I tell them that knowing the recipe "kind of takes the magic away, like going to Disneyland and seeing the characters without their heads on". And if it is another restaurant owner or chef, I seriously doubt that a couple of recipes are really going to change their fate. Recipes can't make people better cooks. And if you have been in the foodservice business for a while then you probably been in a situation of promotion through attrition. Yesterday, they called me a prepcook, now,I'm a line cook. Attrition doesn't make people better cooks. Or chef, for that matter.
The last thing I have to say is that the reason I will give away recipes is, that once a recipe is created, the fun part is over. The chef is the guy who gets to think up the stuff. And then it is the cook who faithfully recreates it thousands of times. And then, it is out in the public, for everybody. Go nuts.

By Tyler on Friday, April 06, 2001 - 11:57 pm: Edit

I've been in the business for a long time and what I've learned is you never give away your recipes. I shared one time and ended up seeing my creation on someone elses menu the following year. It's one thing to be creative with your peers in the business and explore new ideas but if you have something you can really call your should keep it that way. That's what is going to keep customers coming to your establishment...for that special item they can't get elsewhere that's to die for !

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