Chef in Michelin star restaurant more than a profesion: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurants chefs 4th GRC 2012 School of Hospitality and Tourism At Taylor’s Graduate School Petaling Jaya Chef in Michelin star restaurant more than a profesion: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurants chefs Master in International Hospitality Management By Benjamin Gouet 2012 Benjamin Gouet 1 Chef in Michelin star restaurant more than a profesion: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurants chefs
General Introduction Since couple of years, the culinary world and the job of chef have taken another dimension with regard to the public opinion due to the emergence of many culinary and chef television show all over the word. Indeed before this new culinary trend on TV, the catering industry and in particular the professional kitchen did not benefit of one attractive label under the public opinion view, the kitchen was even pointed out and condemned for its rough working environment, particularly the Michelin stars restaurant.
Why this sudden advent of the professional kitchen world promotion, and the job of chef since the last 10 years, especially that michelin star restaurant chef, then that this field was totally denigrated and forgotten previously. Is that a fad? What is the message sent behind this promotion? Is that a broad international promotional campaign in order to regild the blazon of chef? Or a vast indirect recruitment campaign, in one sector where the manpower is sorely lacking? Or probably more both, because of the unpopularity of this industry, vacant positions are numerous and manpower unceasingly sought.
But, first of all what we know exactly about chef occupation itself? What do we know about the Michelin star restaurant world and their Chefs ? Can we define them precisely? Do we know chefs indentity in Michelin star restaurant? And what about the profession of Michelin star Chef, which is not a new trend on the contrary of TV’s shows, but is mostly forgotten or hidden, therefore that seems an important reflexion which be highlighted in order to better understanding on the world of Michelin star chef. Benjamin Gouet 2 Chef in Michelin star restaurant more than a profesion: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurants chefs
The work of chef, has always existed because of its peculiarity to meet a primary need: to feed, and this occupation has crossed the times which it has forged its identity and its culture. Therefore, what we know about the historical past of chef profession? The job of chef has it conserved any marks or habits of its historical background? And if it is the case, why? Finally, very few researches and studies have been undertaken regarding the metier of chefs in itself, and more specifically in Michelin star restaurant field.
Therefore it seems really interesting to look into this field, the world of Michelin star restaurant Chefs and their indentities, whose the public opinion didn’t know much about this profession. except the little part seen during the TV’s shows, but is that the reality ? Benjamin Gouet 3 Chef in Michelin star restaurant more than a profesion: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurants chefs I. Introduction The profession of chef, has always existed because of its peculiarity to meet a primary need: to feed, and this occupation has crossed the times which it has forged its identity.
But this profession has been promoted there is only a decade ago especially through all the media whose one in particular the TV. The metier of chef was previously poorly considered by the public opinion. , because of its poor image and reputation made during the past. However, the job of chef have several faces according to the type of cuisine produced. Indeed the profession itself varies highly according to whether the chef works in collectivity kitchen, a traditional restaurant, a theme restaurant or a michelin star restaurant, which all don’t have the same vision and mission in terms of business.
Therefore the occupation of chef as its identity are not same according to the the type of catering business developped. Here the study will be focused only one type of catering business, the Michelin star restaurants, which are still yet not really known by the opinion and the researchers, despite their mediatitation through their famous and well known Chef, which shows only one aspect of the this type of catering: excellence.
Therefore the research will be conducted with only michelin star restaurant with aim to to focus on the identity of their chefs, which seems pretty different than a chef who works in collectivity kitchen or theme restaurant for instance. Indeed the michelin star are highly promoted since the 2000’s especially through TV shows (culinary shows, culinary challenges, chefs competitions,… ), whereas they have been in shadow during several decades, except few worldwide famous chefs as: Paul Bocuse, Alain
Benjamin Gouet 4 Chef in Michelin star restaurant more than a profesion: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurants chefs Ducasse, Joel Robuchon or Gordon Ramsay due to their exceptional success and achievements. Despite this advent since the 2000’s towards the Michelin star chefs the public opinion as well the researchers don’t know about this type of chefs except what is seen and on shown on TV but is that really the thruth and the reality ? We are entitled to ask us.
Thus, due to the weak number of researches and investigation therefore a poor data regarding the profession of chef, especially that of Michelin star chef, the gap of knowledge seems wide and broad. 1. Project background The author has chosen the culinary field, especially the chefs in Michelin star restaurants, due to its professional background in gastronomic and starred restaurants as chef, as well as his passion for the metier of chef, gastronomy and Michelin star restaurants.
The idea to pursuing the topic of the profession of chef and its identiy, in Michelin star restaurants, came up after a research done on the topic of the bullying in profesionnal kitchens, where one article pointed out the behavior of the head chef in one Michelin star restaurant but without any explanations regarding the identity or even the precepts of the metier of chef in this type of restaurant.
Therefore the author started to do some researches regarding this topic, indentity of starred chefs, and he didn’t find much aticles, investigation or any literature on it’s same topic, whereas couple of articles have been published on the stress, heat-mentoring or bullying in profesionnal, and this without know the indentity, the culture or the precepts of the starred chefs. The researcher decided to do its study on this topic in aim to gain a better understanding on the job of chef in michelin star restaurant and to highlight their identity which may be different from a chef in traditional restuarant.
Benjamin Gouet 5 Chef in Michelin star restaurant more than a profesion: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurants chefs One other option was possible for the author, the profession of chef with its precepts its culture and identity, but after couple of research the topic appeared too broad and wide, therefore the researcher decided to reduce the topic to the identity of chef and only in Michelin star restaurant. Why only Michelin star restaurant ?
Because due to the high interest of the author towards gastronomic and starred restaurant, it more clear in trems of data to use starred restaurant which are awarded by the internationally and worldwide recognized Michelin Guide. 2. Aims, objectives and professional & scentific stakes of the research This research will be carried out in the field of the gastronomy. More specifically on one aspect of the gastronomy: the starred chefs. Indeed this study lean over starred Chefs with the view to highlight their identity.
The culinary field, in particular the kitchen and chefs have always been not well known from the professional world and researchers even highly criticized sometimes over the past, and despite this studies, investigations and researches towards the profesionnal kitchen and chefs are not numerous, therefore the gap of knowledges is broad and wide. The type of research conduct here is an exploratory research because only a lsmall quantity of information and data exist already on the topic of identity of starred chefs.
The goal of this study is to increase the understanding of this topic. The objectives of this research are various and have been defined as clearly beforehand, are as follows: ? To highlight the world of Michelin star restauarnt ? To increase the understanding towards the starred gastronomy Benjamin Gouet 6 Chef in Michelin star restaurant more than a profesion: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurants chefs ? To find out the indentity of starred chefs ? To increase the understanding towards the profession of chefsm espcially in Michelin star restaurant ?
To find out why and how become a starred chef ? To find out is there is any relationship between the metier of starred chef and the passion These six aims are all towards the same main goal which is to increase the understanding of the profession and the identity of starred Chefs. The field undertaken for this research is the sociology, especially the sociology of profession. Here are the questions/resarches/issues of the study: ? The profession/metier of Chef in Michelin star restaurant ?
Differences and requirements between a Chef in michelin star and a classical chef ? Is it a vocation to be a Chef in Michelin star restaurant ? What are the factors or turning ponts which make a cook to become a Michelin star aChef ? Are there any relationship between: the metier of Michelin star chef and the passion the profession of the Michelin star chef and the personal background (fornation, training, experience, education) the prestige and the metier of chef the profesionnal expectations/career and the metier of Michelin star Chef ?
Does the profession of Michelin star Chef is an ideology ? Benjamin Gouet 7 Chef in Michelin star restaurant more than a profesion: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurants chefs The hypotheses to meet the issues: ? The profession of Michelin star Chef is a vocation ? Before being a profession Michelin star chef is a passion of gastronomy/cooking ? The personal background (formation, experience, training, education) influence in the choice to be a Michelin star Chef, as the turnings points in life ?
The Michelin satr Chef looking for the prestige and the recognization through the Michelin stars ? The remuneration is note the leitmotiv of the porfession of Michelin star chef ? The metier of Michelien stars chefs require the exigency, the precise, to be meticulous and have the sens of detail, more than anyone 3. Structure of dissertation The dissertation is organized in six ordinate and distinct parts which are articulate in that way: 1. Introdcution 2. Literature review 3. Problematization and methological review 4. Presentation of the results 5.
From the results to recommendations 6. Conclusion Benjamin Gouet 8 Chef in Michelin star restaurant more than a profesion: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurants chefs II. Literature review The topic selected for this dissertation is undertaken through the sociology field in particular that regarding the professions and metiers, due to its topic oriented to to the social sciences which is focused on the profession of chefs in Michelin star restaurants, especially on the identities of these chefs through their jobs.
According to Oxford Dictionary the identity is defined as the fact of being who or what a person is, and the characteristics determining who or what a person is. Palmer, C. , Cooper, J. and Burns, P. (2010) state that from a theoretical perspective the notion of identity has generated much discussion and debate linked to a variety of approaches and disciplines, for example psychoanalysis, literary criticism and theory, lesbian and gay studies, sociology, anthropology and psychology. However, identity is more than a set of theoretical propositions it is above all a lived experience for the individual concerned (Palmer, 1998).
Zarca (1988) stipulate that the metier is a group culture, it is transmitted from generation to generation through learning. It has gestures and language that are part of the body and assign a framework, whose edges are not seen as such in the constitution of the identity of any entran andt it articulates various status. While the Oxford Dictionary defined the profession or the metier as a paid occupation, especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification. Furthermore in this study the author looks into he professional identity which is an aspect of personal and social identity that develops in professional personnel as a result of their work activities. Benjamin Gouet 9 Chef in Michelin star restaurant more than a profesion: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurants chefs Moreover Sundin, O. & Hedman, J. (1996) Theory of professions, together with the concepts of cognitive authority, occupational identity and information interest, contributes to a deeper understanding of issues concerning how practitioners’ information behavior is formed, maintained and mediated in society.
The occupation of chef has always held a seat in our society since hundreds and hundreds years, but the literature regarding the identity and the culture of this profession is not plethoric, therefore researchers cannot define precisely when the work of chef appeared for the first time even if they have knowledge’s of two case, one in the Ancient Greece and one in the Roman Antiquity. The oldest famous chef known to date is the French Guillaume Tirel alias Taillevent from the 14th century.
Couple of authors as: Civitello (2011), Symons (2003), Pastson-Williams (1993), discuss about cooking and chefs history. Some paper trail from the 17th century, have highlighted that cook was considered as a profession, Mac Con Iomaire (2008) states that ‘Crespin (1641:14-16) cited in Wheaton (1983:110-11) describes the lively social life in kitchens: full of love affairs, good dining-at their masters expense-and camaraderie where the staff covered for one another. Some culinary professionals, however, took their positions very seriously’.
Here for the historical past, now look to the present, and what has been done on the topic. Regarding the previous researches which have been done on the identity and culture of chef topic, Cameron (2001), states that ‘Existing research evidence demonstrates several points of agreement about the occupational culture of chefs. Chefs through their craft and tradition tend to possess a strong self-identity. Although something of a stereotype, there is evidence that chefs can be temperamental hould traditional value systems be challenged, particularly where such challenges undermine self-perceptions of professionalism’ and suggests as well ‘Cultural identity belongs not principally to the organisation but to the occupation in terms of Benjamin Gouet 10 Chef in Michelin star restaurant more than a profesion: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurants chefs ‘concepts, judgments, ideas and norms, which are shared by a group of people’ (Hofmaier, 1980). Values, beliefs and practices become specific to their profession (Chivers, 1973; Fine, 1996).
The implication of cosmopolitan occupational values is that the occupation builds degrees of autonomy from the stringent rules and polices set by the organisation’. However, Palmer,Cooper and Burns (2010) suggest that ‘identity is more than a set of theoretical propositions it is above all a lived experience for the individual concerned (Palmer, 1998)’. While, more scientific Tajfel (1972) stipulate that ‘social identification can refer to the process of locating a person within a system of social categorizations or to any social categorizations used by a person to define himself or others.
It will be used in the latter sense here and thus denotes and element of cognitive structure. ’ As regards the organization of one professional kitchen, which is also a part of the study under the main research, Mac Con Iomaire (2008) suggests that ‘Kitchens are hierarchical organisations and are run on authoritarian precepts. The word chef means chief, and there can only be one chief in a Kitchen’, which demonstrate that the organizational structure is essential in one professional kitchen, together with the importance accorded to the hierarchy by organization itself, the chefs.
Palmer, Cooper and Burns (2010) stipulate that ‘the world of professional chefs and their kitchens remained largely secluded until the emergence of the phenomenon of celebrity chefs whose open kitchens revealed the previously secret “backstage” (Goffman, 1959) of professional cooking. While this media-generated interest has been accompanied by fascinating biographical accounts of being a chef (Bourdain, 2001; Ramsay, 2006; White, 2006; Wright, 2006) and of the restaurant business (Parkinson and Green, 2001) it has not translated into a significant body of academic literature on and studies of chefs. which highlight the lacking of literature and research towards the occupation of chefs and its attributes. Benjamin Gouet 11 Chef in Michelin star restaurant more than a profesion: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurants chefs However several authors as: Andrew F (2005), Civitello (2011), Dixon (2002), Fine (2008), and the famous Chef Bourdain (2001) discuss and debate on the world of chefs and its specific aspects.
Furthermore various other related studies have been conducted include those by Cameron (2001, 2004), Cameron et al (1999), Chivers (1972, 1973), Fine (1990) Johns and Menzel (1999), Mac Con Iomaire (2008),), Murray-Gibbons and Gibbons (2007), Palmer, Cooper and Burns (2010), Pratten (2003a, 2003b). Finally Palmer, Cooper and Burns (2010) states that ‘research on chefs and identity has been carried out in North America by Fine (1987,1996a, 1996b) and is significant in terms of the sociological structures inherent in what Fine refers to as the “occupational rhetorics” of work and identity (1996a)’.
Benjamin Gouet 12 Chef in Michelin star restaurant more than a profesion: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurants chefs III. Problematization and methological review The study has to aim to meet to six hypotheses which are: ? The profession of Michelin star Chef is a vocation ? Before being a profession Michelin star chef is a passion of gastronomy/cooking ? The personal background (formation, experience, training, education) influence in the choice to be a Michelin star Chef, as the turnings points in life ?
The Michelin satr Chef looking for the prestige and the recognization through the Michelin stars ? The remuneration is note the leitmotiv of the porfession of Michelin star chef ? The metier of Michelien stars chefs require the exigency, the precise, to be meticulous and have the sens of detail, more than anyone Therefore the type of research conduct here is an exploratory research because only a little quantity of information and data exist already on the topic selected: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurant chefs.
The goal of this study is to increase the understanding of this topic. Qualitative method will be used for this research, in beginning from the observation/description/data collection, towards analysis then to the explanation, which will be an inductive approach conduct here. The qualitative method has been chosen because it provides a rich amount of information gathered from the respondents, which is essential for this study related to social science which analyse various aspect of the human behaviour.
Moreover, in-depth interviews has been selected as the only research tool here, because this method is really useful for discovering complex interconnections in social relationships Benjamin Gouet 13 Chef in Michelin star restaurant more than a profesion: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurants chefs which is the case here for this research, furthermore the possibility that provides it to discover issues or new aspects not considered previously, is really interesting here, because the interviewee may expand the topic and add depth.
Besides a letter requesting participation in the research with will be sent by mail and also email to all the Head-Chef selected beforehand, this with an explanatory letter of the conduct study and its aims, in addition to a consent form which will be provided as well during the sending. At least fifteen to twenty French Head-Chef from Michelin-Starred restaurant will be interviewed, in France and United Kingdom, mainly in Paris and London. The exact number of interviews will depend of the agreement or not of the respondents, and their availabilities to make an interview.
The interviews will be structured around several themes linked to the issues researched and the specific questions are designed to explore these themes: the identity of starred chefs being the main topic of the dissertation. These interviews will be conducted through a interview template which include relevant question amd the way to process during the interviews, and this for the chefs interviewed. Furthermore, at the end of each interview, it will be asked to the participant whether he is agree that his name and business be identified to the tape recording and to the use of the data collected for academic purposes.
Otherwise, anonymity will be maintained in terms of the attribution of specific comments to individual chefs. All the information and data provide by the interview (tape recording and transcripts of interviews) will be retained in confidential secure storage during five years and will be destroyed beyond the fifth year. Finally this research will be undertaken an ethical manner, all the points in respect of others as ethical will be thoroughly followed and respected, including through a information sheet Benjamin Gouet 14 Chef in Michelin star restaurant more than a profesion: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurants chefs nd a consent sheet also for the participants, which both have been elaborated and approved by the Ethics Committee at Taylor’s University, together with the examination beforehand, of the validity and the acceptability of the research, by the tutor. Benjamin Gouet 15 Chef in Michelin star restaurant more than a profesion: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurants chefs Bibliography and References Abbott, A. D. (1988). The system of professions: an essay on the division of expert labor, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Andrew F, C. (2005), The Cooks, Virtualbookworm Publishing. Bourdain, A. 2001), Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, Bloomsbury, London. Cameron, D. S. (2001), “Chefs and occupational culture in a hotel chain: A grid-group analysis”, Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol. 3, pp. 103-14. Cameron, D. S. (2004), Organizational and Occupational Commitment: Exploring Chefs from a Cultural Perspective, Ph. D. thesis, University of Surrey. Cameron, D. S. , J. Gore, T. Desombre and M. J. Riley (1999), “An examination of the reciprocal affects of occupation culture and organization culture: The case of chefs in hotels”, International Journal of Hospitality Management, vol. 8, pp. 225-34. Chapoulie, J. M. (1973), Sur l’analyse sociologique des groupes professionnels, Revue Francaise de Sociologie, vol. 14, issue 1, pp. 86-114. Chivers, T. S. (1972), Chefs and Cooks. Ph. D. thesis, University of London. Civitello, L. (2011), Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People, John Wiley & Sons. Dixon, J. (2002), The Changing Chicken: Chooks, Cooks and Culinary Culture, UNSW Press. Dubar, C. (2010), La socialisation: Construction des identites sociales et professionnelles, Armand Colin. Benjamin Gouet 16
Chef in Michelin star restaurant more than a profesion: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurants chefs Dubar, C. (1998), Trajectoires sociales et formes identitaires: Clarifications conceptuelles, Priptemps. Dubar, C. & Tripier, P. (2011), Sociologie des professions, Armand Colin. Fine, G. A. (1987), “Working cooks: The dynamics of professional kitchens”, Current Research on Work and Occupations, vol. 4, pp. 141-58. Fine G. A. (1996a), “Justifying work: Occupational rhetorics as resources in restaurant kitchens”, Administrative Science Quarterly, vol. 1, pp. 90-115. Fine G. A. (1996b), Kitchens: The Culture of Restaurant Work, University of, California Press, Berkeley. Hotho, S. (2008), Professional identity – product of structure, product of choice: Linking changing professional identity and changing professions, Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 21, issue 6, pp. 721-742. Johns, N. & P. J. Menzel (1999), ““If you can’t stand the heat! ”… Kitchen violence and culinary art”, International Journal of Hospitality Management, vol. 18, pp. 99-109. Mac Con Iomaire, M. 2008), “Understanding the Heat—Mentoring: A Model for Nurturing Culinary Talent”, Journal of Culinary Science & Technology, vol. 6, pp. 43-62. Macdonald, K. M. (1995), The Sociology of the Professions, Sage Publications. Menger, P. M. (2003), Les professions et leurs sociologies, Editions MSH. Murray-Gibbons, R. and Gibbons, C. (2007), “Occupational stress in the chef profession”, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 19, pp. 32-42. Neirinck, E. & Poulain, J. P. (1988), Histoire de la cuisine et des cuisiniers: techniques culinaires et pratiques de table, en France, du Moyen-Age a nos jours, J.
Lanore. Benjamin Gouet 17 Chef in Michelin star restaurant more than a profesion: Professional identity of Michelin star restaurants chefs Ottenbacher, M. & Harrington, R. J. (2007), The innovation development process of Michelinstarred chefs, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 19, issue 6, pp 444-460. Palmer, C. , Cooper, J. and Burns, P. (2010), Culture, identity, and belonging in the ‘‘culinary underbelly’’, International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol. 4, pp. 311? 26. Patson-Williams, S. 1993),The art of dining: a history of cooking & eating, National Trust. Pratten, J. D. (2003a), “The training and retention of chefs”, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 15, issue 4, pp. 237-42. Pratten, J. D. (2003b), “What makes a great chef? ”, British Food Journal, vol. 105, issue 7, pp. 454-459. Rambourg, P. (2010), Histoire de la cuisine et de la gastronomie francaises, Librairie Academique Perrin. Ruhlman,M. (2007), The Reach of a Chef: Professional Cooks in the Age of Celebrity ,Penguin Books. Ruhlman,M. 2001), The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection, Penguin Books. Sundin, O. & Hedman, J. (1996), Theory of professions and occupational identities, The Swedish School of Library and Information Science. Symons, M. (2003), A History of Cooks and Cooking, University of Illinois Press. Workman, A. & Pickard, J. (2008), Professional Identity in Multi-Disciplinary Teams: The Staff Speak, Journal of Integrated Care,vol. 16, issue 3, pp29-37. Zarca, B. (1988), Identite de metier et identite artisanale, Revue Francaise de Sociologie, vol. 29, issue 2, pp. 247-273. Benjamin Gouet 18