You see it in front of you all the time culinary students, chefs, patrons, and everyday people. Food is around you everywhere. From commercials on television to your kitchens, to that little bag of chocolate you have hidden under you couch (yes I know you have one), food is obviously a major part of our lives. We need it to survive, but you all already knows this. What you probably don’t know is

A: Where that food comes from.

B: How it’s grown from start to finish, whether it be planted or raised or picked.

C: The politics behind it all

As Americans we have no end to all the choices thrown at us. The days of in and out of season are over. We are able to get strawberries in winter, squash in early spring, apples all year round. Thanks to global trade, all it takes is a remote farm somewhere across the planet and a massive transportation system to get it to us. Yet, does that mean we really know what it took to get that food? Tomatoes are picked early and sprayed with etheylene gas to ripen at supermarkets. Bananas are picked and take and average of 11 to 18 days to arrive, and are usually only good for a few days.

What’s my point? As future chefs, you need, here lemme say this again, YOU NEED to know everything about your product. Where its made, what is the quality, where it came from, is organic/non-organic, pesticide free or not, etc. Chefs who do not care about their product do not respect the craft. Plain and simple. The moment you start allowing inferior product to hit your kitchen, the moment you should stop calling yourself a chef. At culinary school, professionalism and excellence is drilled into your skull. You strive for perfection, to craft works of art for hungry patrons who want more than a meal but to be impressed as well. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen kitchens where food rots, is bruised, or is just salvaged garbage being fed.

Think about this future chefs. Do you want to be known as a talented chef who strives for excellence in everything that you do? Or do you wanna just have a pretty little shanty you can milk for money? At least until the patrons stop coming.

Next week, we will strive further down this road into parts A and B. Then with a two part series on part C, one focused on the good, and the bad. Look forward to next week readers. Keep cooking.