Culinary students, listen up. It's not the most scintillating headline, but SF chef and author Joyce Goldstein's piece "Culinary tradition needs to be taught" in the San Francisco Chronicle food pages is worth reading if you want to be a cooking professional.
After recounting an episode during a class she was teaching at the Culinary Institute of America's Greystone Campus in St. Helena, Goldstein gets to the point:
"I think what really surprised us was our realization that today you don't have to know about or be in love with food to attend cooking school. Many students have seen chefs on TV, and being a chef is considered cool. It looks like fun to compete, to be "chopped," to cook under extreme pressure in strange locations. It's like a game show. And some chefs get to be rich and famous."
In her long career, Goldstein has been a cooking teacher and chef at Chez Panisse upstairs. She had her own restaurant, Square One, in San Francisco for 12 years, has consulted for restaurants and the food industry, taught kitchen design -- and in between has written more than two dozen cookbooks. She has a regular column in the Chronicle and has just finished writing a tome on the origins of California cuisine, "Inside the California Food Revolution: Thirty Years that Changed our Culinary Consciousness" due out in the fall from University of California Press.