Technical Leader

Different Levels of Cooks

There are a few different types of people who cook food. First you have the person who doesn’t actually cook the food themselves, they typically perform to go out and pay for this service. They don’t worry about many aspects to cooking, such as the act itself, preparation, tools (oven, pots, utensils). They typically enjoy the experience, what the cooks produce, and the presentation; and are content with being disconnected of the process.

Another type is more of a single parent mom who is busy enough with running her kids around to where ever they need to be. She cares tremendously about her kids and what she puts into their body, but many times, due to time constraints, they order out. When she does cook, she is looking for a recipe which will provide a quick meal and enough to feed all her kids. She is not concerned with all the aspects of cooking as she would much rather spend time with her kids and helping with homework. They look towards someone or something to help create the meal quicker, so their uni-tools begin to emerge.

Family recipes and consistency is the typical meal plan for another type of family. Tradition sets in because of sentimental value and a sense of belonging to a family and how things used to be back in the good ‘ol days. They will most always cook the food themselves and are absolutely closed to the idea of improving or changing how their meals are made. After all how dare someone suggest a change to a family legacy? The tools they use stay the same, they are still using the knife and cutting board that has been handed down generation after generation.

The one which fits my household currently is having a tradition but also trying out different recipes found by watching AB (Alton Brown), Emeril Lagasse, Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis, and numerous other shows and magazine recipes. There are family traditions, but they are willing to try something different in hopes of improving the family meal. One draw back to this is on occasion the meals turn out horrible, either by cooking the meal completely wrong or by not satisfying the family’s taste buds. After a disaster they using revert either to paying for a meal as a last resort, or by going back to the traditions they are comfortable with. But also on other occasions great things come from trying out different recipes and ways of cooking and new traditions are born. They also start to care about their tools and what they are using to cook with. A sense of pride of their tools and the process begins to emerge.

Professional cooks are on a level all their own, and they typically take on the ‘chef’ moniker. They possess great culinary skill and each cook begins to take on a specialty they are either talented in or have a great desire in learning more about. There is also a ranking system within a team. You have an executive chef, su chef, saute chef and so on. They pay top dollar for the tools they use and the environment in which they work is something completely different than other people who cook. They study the art of cooking, travel the world to see how people prepare food, offer up their talents for other people to use and consume their product. What they currently produce will not stand, they actively make an attempt at progressing further.

What do you think? How well does this transfer over to the software world? I also wonder how much contention is between these different levels. As I see it, in the software world, groups of developers are also quick to make a judgement about another set/type of developers. We need to see that all of us have different priorities in what we want to accomplish and neither side is wrong.

One last thing I would like to note about chefs, I can’t help but imagine that at some family gatherings people will ask for the chefs advice for a quick fix here and there.