In my post about my great trip to Washington, DC with my son over Memorial Day weekend, I was a bit surprised to see a couple of fairly snarky comments posted. I believe the comments were directed toward me from something I wrote in my “review” of The Mint, where I said, “The chef appeared to have a pedigree of having worked at a couple of Rocky Top Hospitality establishments, which might be a fine job, but it’s not something to base your resume on.”
Obviously, I offended one reader in particular, who posted the following: “Very nice post. Lucky for your son you don’t have an embarrassing job like Rocky Top chef.”
A week later, he posted this: “Imagine how they spend their weekends….actually I can’t say anymore sarcastically…just wish you would apologize for your rude comment, or at least comment further.”
I obviously struck a nerve with this individual, and I didn’t realize why until this morning: he thought I was saying that a chef who worked at Rocky Top had a demeaning job. And you know what? I may be guilty as charged.
I certainly had no intention of offending anyone. I really try to be nice on this blog (even to Greg Cox most of the time)! However, in trying to make a point, I screwed up.
I was only trying to say that even though a chef at Rocky Top might be a fine job, it’s not one that makes me think of “creative chef.” Rocky Top is a successful restaurant group, but it’s not one known for innovative cuisine. It’s a pretty corporate group. In saying that, I did not intend to demean anyone who works there. But I probably did, and for that, I apologize.
We all make a living, whether it’s as a chef, a lawyer, a bricklayer or an engineer. How one makes a living makes one no better than another, however, there will always be a perceived hierarchy within each job type. The lawyer who works at the big firm will typically be thought of with higher regard in the bar than the sole practitioner. Not always, but usually.
The chef heading up a Michelin-starred restaurant will garner more accolades and attention than the line cook at Denny’s. It doesn’t mean that the Michelin chef is a better person than the line cook, but it certainly comes off as being a bigger accomplishment.
Similarly, someone who graduates from the Culinary Institute of America is going to be looked at as having been better trained than someone who completed the culinary program at Wake Tech.
In each of these cases, it does not mean that one person is better at their job than the other. It gives them the benefit of the doubt, but that’s it. Most importantly, it does not mean that being the classically trained chef makes him or her a better PERSON than the Wake Tech grad.
And so, dear readers, I truly meant no harm in my statement that working as a Rocky Top chef is nothing on which to base a resume. I apologize to all the Rocky Top chefs who put in the long hours, serving delicious food to the folks of Raleigh. Thanks for understanding.