This week me and my wife are in vacation to Illinois to see my little brother. The town he’s staying in is a tiny little town of 200. Well, 201 now that he’s there. We were looking for things to do, and we ended up in a tattoo parlor in Moline, IL. As my wife was getting her tattoo, I looked up and saw a sign that said, "No, I don’t [censor] watch Miami Ink!" I laughed, and didn’t pay much attention to it at first, but as the day went on I got to thinking more and more about it.
Reality shows have caused a boom in commerce in the past few years, yet the ‘old school’ people of the trade the show is focused on seemed bitter at the shows. I’m sure we all know of the show American Choppers. How many people do you think went out and bought a motorcycle because of that very show alone. Even the tattooist was talking about the boom in business in the past two years. Could it have been due to Miami Ink?
I’m a fan of television, but I don’t particularly consider myself a fan of the mainstream. Do I watch Top Chef, The Next Food Network Star, or Hell’s Kitchen? Of course. Do I think it’s leading different people to the world of professional food as a career choice? Absolutely. Would I skip town, run to New York, and let corporate networks make a mockery of me? I think not. Kudos to those who do however. Perhaps they have the personality, determination, and focus I lack. I like to keep my fire behind the line, at least in this part of my career.
The real question this brings to mind for me is this: Is all this focus good for the integrity of the business? Don’t get me wrong folks, I’m not trying to be bitter. I’ve been impressed with some of the folks I’ve seen on TV. I think Sam Talbot is an excellent chef, as are most of the finalist on these shows. My biggest concern is all the people that’s in my graduating class, that have never set foot in a professional kitchen, yet want to dedicate their lives to this thing of ours. If I want to dedicate 40 years of my life to a profession, I want to make sure it’s something I like doing. I don’t see the point of dedicating ones self to becoming a chef just because Bobby Flay looks cool flipping a steak. This is an open ended blog you guys, give me some feedback, tell me why you agree or disagree. Thanks for reading.