Chefs are superheroes; now I know what you’re thinking, ‘how is there possibly any ground for comparison?’, but bear with us as we elaborate, and by the end you’ll marvel (see what we did there?) at these talented beings.
The term ‘superhero’ typically connotes imagery of a heroic character with extraordinary powers, that’s dedicated to protecting the public and fighting crime. However, as proved by Batman, superheroes do not require superhuman powers as such, and a moral goal of fighting crimes against food is surely applicable. Gone are the days where chefs were the concealed beings who produced dish after dish with no recognition, times have changed - now they’re the reason people visit fine restaurants. Chefs have become celebrated household names, some even have a dedicated following that’d almost certainly exceed the (albeit-fictional) population of Gotham City.
Much like superheroes, one thing that hasn’t changed in the life of a chef is just how difficult the work can be. Chef jobs are often physical, intense and require near-perfection every time. But just like a superhero, ask any chef and they’d tell you they wouldn’t swap it for the world; the clean plate that’s returned at the end of the sitting is the chef’s equivalent of the superhero getting the girl...
- They have an arsenal of weapons at their disposal that even Batman would be proud of.
Chefs love knives, and for some it becomes an obsession – there’s something all so therapeutic about sharpening your prized blades, readying them to take on the meanest of vegetables. Combined with fire and numerous vicious looking contraptions to hand, chefs are among the most tooled up people on the job.
- They have self-control akin to a superhero.
Most budding home cooks would confess to eating half of a meal before it even reached the table, yet chefs manage to resist devouring their flavoursome creations on a daily basis. They do, however, occasionally give in and engage in some quality control (which is a fancy way of saying "I'm allowed to taste some of this awesome food I'm putting out!").
- Chefs are Ironman tough.
Think working on your feet all day is easy? It’s true to say that becoming a chef definitely isn't for everyone - love him or loath him, you only have to look at Gordon Ramsay to know that chefs are strong of character.
- Their timing is always spot on.
Much like the superhero world, timing is everything. Can you imagine if Spiderman had arrived two minutes late to save Mary Jane from her cruel fate? There’s a fine line between a dish that’s been undercooked or overcooked, and perfection. Chefs know that timing is the difference between greatness and mediocrity - saving the day, or helplessly watching the train plummet from the bridge.
- They live a superhero lifestyle.
When the adrenaline rush of service is over, the ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality prevails. When you work late, you tend to stay out late too (okay, admittedly not all chefs), but great things happen late at night, even if it’s just a ‘few drinks’ with colleagues after work.
- They adorn a fancy costume on a daily basis.
No suit and ties to be found here! Like all superheroes, a chef’s attire makes then instantly recognizable to the general public. A deeply rooted tradition of clogs, pyjama pants and an apron (that can conveniently be swivelled around at a moment’s notice to become a ‘caperon’) are the order of the day.
- Chefs constantly push themselves outside their comfort zone.
Admittedly, a commis chef isn’t going to be comfortable doing the work of a sous chef, but chefs are always trying to further their skill sets. Much like your favourite superhero, they relish the opportunity of a challenge, and are not deterred by the possibility of failure. After all, as renowned Chef Paul Bocuse once said, “If a cook makes a mistake, he covers it with some sauce and says it’s a new recipe”.
- They are selfless.
How was your meal? No matter how hard-working or creative chefs may be, they know that at the end of the day it’s not about them – it is all about you. Chefs have accrued a reputation for arrogance, as have some superheroes, however they definitely know how to put this aside for the sake of the customer. Want your succulent Japanese Wagyu tenderloin steak super well-done? Not a problem, sir!
- Chefs build great friendships that last a lifetime.
No person is an island to themselves; even the most skilled chefs have a cadre of individuals that help them deliver the perfect meal. Although the tomfoolery (such as throwing the root-end of an onion at someone’s head) is sometimes more representative of the famous 1996 ‘Only Fools and Horses’ Batman and Robin sketch as opposed to DC Comics’ phenomenon, you have to be a tight knit team to work in a professional kitchen, and thus some amazing friendships are bound to be formed.