The Cult Of The Celebrity Chef – Good or Bad?


I’ve recently written about my restaurant gripes. Only three so far!

These are: The No Bookings Policy, The Two (or more) Sittings Policy,
and The Need To Plan Your Outings Weeks In Advance.

Admittedly, these gripes apply to the better, more popular, and most lauded restaurants. But are these policies and practices what we have to put up with to get a quality dining experience?

And am I alone in thinking that these policies have become more entrenched with the rise of the celebrity chef?

For A Good Cause

But credit where credit is due…

The cult of the celebrity chef has resulted in a heightened interest in the profession as a career choice.

Interest is so high that some of these chefs are harnessing this momentum to support worthwhile causes.

We watched Jamie Oliver establish Fifteen, the training restaurants, taking unemployed young people and offering them an intensive introduction to the hospitality industry.

And earlier this week I caught a show on ABC 1 TV that brought me to tears.

Inspired by Celebrity Chefs?

110912tod_tv_pohs_kitchen_2_184t5gf-184t5gsPoh’s Kitchen Lends A Hand focussed on Aaron and Ben, two previously homeless young men (in the program they show us where they lived rough), who had the courage to take control of their lives.

They left the world that they knew, and connected with a support program that introduced them to STREAT*. STREAT is a social enterprise that provides hospitality training in their Streat cafes for at risk young people.

Aaron and Ben have completed the six-month training program learning to cook. They both want to be chefs—Aaron wants to run his own restaurant by the time he is 26.

If the ‘celebrity chef’ pull is such that it can take homeless young people off the streets long enough for them to have some chance of getting their lives back on track, then I’m all for it.

Follow your dreams, Aaron and Ben.

What do you think has been the impact of the ‘celebrity chef’?

* STREAT is a social enterprise providing homeless youth with a supported pathway to long-term careers in the hospitality industry.
Image Credits:
Celebrity Chef photo montage – images sourced from Master Chef Guest Chefs except for Pete Evans, Manu Feildel, Karen Martini, and Guy Grossi, sourced from My Kitchen Rules Judges

Poh with Aaron and Ben at Streat cafe – Picture: Alexandre Schoelcher, sourced from


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