When getting ready to finish reading Blood Bones and Butter the other night, I got to thinking about the idea of a celebrity chef. I was deep in the part when Hamilton is spending a full month in southern Italy with her husband’s family. With the written admissions that her marriage doesn't ever quite fit and after some previous poking around online, I know they end up less than together. So the whole time I’m reading about how much she loves being a part of the Fuortes family I am wondering if at the moment I was thinking about it she is gearing up for a month long vacation with her 2 sons to visit their paternal relatives in Italy- leaving Prune in the hands of her chefs and staff.
This got me thinking about what happens when a chef transitions from an executive chef or restaurant owner into celebrity. It is the very fact that they made amazing dishes to put a restaurant, and then their name, on the map in the first place, but then as their celebrity grows and the demand for their appearances at events, book signings, on television, etc, grows equally, they are cooking in a restaurant less and less. Some celebrity chefs, mostly TV chefs and now some bloggers and food writers, were never really known for restaurant cooking; like Ina Garten and Giada DeLaurentiis. But what sense does it make that the more celebrity that is demanded of a restaurant chef, the less cooking they actually do? The celebrity turns into more restaurants, which in turn makes it impossible for them to ever cook at all the places under their name, and more books, which requires time to write outside of the kitchen in that limited amount between closing after the dinner shift and opening for prep the next day.