I started cooking because I absolutely love food. Since little, I have been obsessed with eating. My holidays are planned around breakfast, lunch and dinner and they would suck without great food. The success or failure of any trip has everything to do with delicious.
Having said that, the truth is that when it comes to what chefs eat day to day, you may be surprised. Given our profession, the assumption is that we eat better than anyone on earth, mouthful after mouthful of the most magical bites of goodness… but ironically, this is just not reality.
Chefs cooking at the highest level tend to be skinny, tasting often but eating rarely. Sitting down for a proper meal is almost unheard of and most meals are taken in seconds, not minutes, by packing as much as possible into your mouth in the shortest amount of time. You can always spot a chef at a dinner when he has finished before everyone else has picked up their fork. We chefs are always behind in our work, always facing new problems sprouting up like mushrooms in our pursuit to be ready for “dinner service”. The best things to eat are logically set aside for guests so trimmings, leftovers and scraps are our fuel. Food is our obsession but the actual consumption of it has its challenges, as most chefs just don’t have the time, the money or the appetite.
So, what do chefs eat then? It is after work that the true caveman comes out. After midnight, like a vampire, we feast giving our malnourished bodies the nutrition to keep us alive for the next day of battle. We are looking for the most fulfilling comfort food possible, nothing challenging, no experimentation, honest old school classics that never disappoint: macaroni and cheese, meatballs, roast chicken, scalloped potatoes… anything that grandma would make and the food that makes you feel loved; the dishes that hold your hand before bed and put you to sleep.
So, the next time you ask a chef for his recommendations on what to eat, keep in mind it may be like asking a four year old what he wants for his birthday.
However, if now you want to find out Where Chefs Eat… don’t miss this great little book. And yes, you guessed it, Cuca is on their list!