These Baileys Irish Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies have a Baileys cream cheese swirl and are finished with and Irish Cream glaze.
First off let me say that this post will most likely stir some people in the wrong way.
So feel free to speak your mind but do so respectfully and with a real email address (no real one, your post goes bye-bye).
So other than the Person of Size comment, the other thing that has been bugging me is the word… chef.
It seems everyone is one now, or so they think.
People throw this word around a lot.
But 90% of them who are throwing it around aren’t actually chefs.
Case in point.
The other week when we were at a gathering, a man turns to me and says, “I heard you made the cake, it’s really good” and I replied back that “yes, I did, thank you”.
He then told me, my “wife is a gourmet chef”.
I said, “oh really, where does she work”?
He went on to tell me that she doesn’t actually work in a kitchen that she was a stay at home mom.
I told him then his wife was a gourmet cook, not a gourmet chef.
The man seemed very put out.
“Well, she’s really good, so she is a chef”.
Ugh. *I need to clarify that this is a Foodie group.
We meet up solely about food.
And so, yes, he should have know the difference.
A chef is a person who cooks professionally.
Heck, I got me some pastry schooling and I don’t call myself a chef.
I am an excellent baker and a good cook.
That is what I am.
If it annoys me I can only imagine how annoyed real chefs get.
There are a lot of blogs that use the word chef as well.
I see amateur chef a lot.
Because when I get a headache and I diagnose myself and give myself aspirin, I am now an amateur doctor.
I stopped my rabbit from bleeding the other day when he broke off his nail, I am an amateur veterinarian.
When I was using my blowtorch and my meringue caught on fire and I blew it out, that makes me an amateur firefighter.
I think you see where I am going with this.
Just because you cook that doesn’t make you a chef.
In non-related news my adorable hubby has been feeling a little under the weather as of late.
Can’t seem to shake whatever icks have come his way.
So, me being nice, I decided to make him a treat.
I am chocolate chip cookie making out so I went for brownies.
My husband is a big fan of Bailey’s Irish Cream and so I thought I would throw that into the mix of some cream cheese brownies to make theme a little more special…and they are.
And with that I am off to watch a movie and practice being a amateur movie critic.
Last but not least…it’s a great time to order my cookbook.
Want more recipes? Try these:
Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Brownie Bars
Chocolate Nougat Sprinkle Brownies
Baileys Irish Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies
- For the Swirl:
- 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 TBSP unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 TBSP all purpose flour
- 2 TBSP Bailey’s Irish Cream
- For the Brownies:
- 6 ounces sweet baking chocolate (I used semisweet), chopped
- 3 TBSP unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- For the Glaze:
- 4 ounces sifted powdered sugar
- 1 TBSP Bailey’s Irish Cream
- milk to thin out (amount will vary)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Lightly butter 8-inch square nonstick baking pan.
- For the Swirl:
- Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in medium bowl until light and fluffy.
- Gradually add sugar and beat until well blended.
- Beat in egg.
- Mix in flour, Irish Cream, and vanilla.
- Set mixture aside.
- For the Brownie Batter:
- Stir baking chocolate and butter in heavy small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly.
- Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in large bowl until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Mix in flour, baking powder and salt.
- Mix in chocolate mixture and extracts.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Spread half of chocolate batter (about 1 1/4 cups) in prepared pan.
- Using rubber spatula, spread cream cheese mixture over chocolate batter.
- Spoon remaining chocolate batter over top of cream cheese mixture.
- Using tip of knife, gently swirl through batter, forming marble design.
- Bake brownies until tester inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 30 minutes.
- Make glaze.
- Combine powdered sugar and Irish cream.
- If too thick thin out with milk.
- While still warm brush (using a pastry brush) glaze over brownies.
- Let sit for 15 minutes.
- Cut into squares.
Great post. I went to Culinary School and we learned the Chef/Cook thing right away. Mostly by figuring out what we addressed our instructors.
You rock. And really, what would we have to blog about if we didn’t have “blank” people in this world?
Happy Movie Critiquing!
Amy I. says
I never really knew the difference. Thanks for the explanation!
Being a professional sloth I’d say those brownies look good enough to be shipped to England where I could eat them while trying my hand at being an amateur movie critic from the comfort of my own sofa.
We hear you on the chef/cook thing, even our seven year old knows the difference.
I have a passion for baking and cooking. And I’d love to get paid for it someday. I’m pretty good at cuddling cats too. But that doesn’t make me a zoologist.
I understand you point… i would never call myself a chef, because I don’t believe that I have the right to call myself so, eventhough I cook and bake real good. I feel that I don’t deserve that title! But, that’s my point of view…
Your brownies look extremely good! I love Bailey’s Irish Cream!
snooky doodle says
your brownies look great. The baileys irish cream makes them even more interesting.
I love it when a bee flies up your bum!
You are absolutely right.
A chef is a qualification and very hard work to boot.
I would get annoyed if someone said they were a nurse just because they applied a Bandaid to a skinned knee.
Although I take my movie critic role seriously! What did you go see?
Hope the hubby gets over the lurgies soon. Those brownies look like good medicine.
Hehehe! My opinion – we mothers can call ourselves “amateur” everything – vet, doc, firefighters and even chef. We slip into any role that is required. Seriously though I see where you are coming from and yes it would bug me too.
I love the sound of these brownies and they are anything but amateur!
Fabulously Broke says
I always knew the difference between a chef and a cook. We’re all good cooks in our family, but we are by no means chefs 🙂
I whole heartedly agree with you.
The boy is going to Culinary school, and he said that even after he has his degree, he will not be considered a ‘chef’.
You have to work years and years and years in the industry before you can be called ‘chef’.
I definitely agree with you. There is a difference between a cook an a chef. Something that I get all the time is people assume I am a tax expert. I am an auditor and a CPA. I do not do anything with taxes. I took two tax classes in college and that it he extent of my tax knowledge. If that makes me qualified to be your go to tax person I guess I can be your lawyer too because I took 2.5 semester of law courses 🙂
I never call myself a chef or a baker – I’m just VeggieGirl 😀
The photos of those brownies are mesmerizing!!
Bellini Valli says
Irish Cream in Brownies..I am there. I would have to say that a chef is someone who has had training and has a diploma to say so:D That makes me a good cook, but that makes me happy:D
Jaya K says
Just to play devil’s advocate for a moment, I read the same sort of post over at Tigers and Strawberries a bit back and something about it rang false then and your post clarified it for me. It’s when you compare being an amateur chef to being an amateur firefighter or an amateur veterinarian. Now, there are courses to take and tests to pass in order to become a doctor or firefighter whereas being a chef is more akin to being a painter or a photographer or an athlete. You can speak of amateur hockey players or amateur photographers–someone who lacks formal training, perhaps, and is not recompensed for their work. The majority of marathon runners in the world are amateurs, dabblers, dilettantes. I don’t think any running coach or hockey player’s union or photographer’s guild is going to be up in arms about that. In the same vein, there are multiple routes to becoming a professional chef–that is to say, one who heads a kitchen.
I would assume that the etymology of “chef” is akin to that of the English “chief” in which case the only person who could be a true chef would in fact be the head of the kitchen and perhaps the sous-chef.
That said, your distinction between chef and cook is a valid one. If everyone used cook to mean non-professional and chef to mean professional, that would be dandy–except, what about the line-cooks? That might be a snub to them. OK, obviously I was being flippant there but in all seriousness, I don’t agree that it’s an issue of grave disrespect to confuse the terms.
If a professional chef is one who creates and tests and sends out recipes and is also one who runs a kitchen–well, I happen to head my own kitchen mighty well. I write and test original recipes. Under the circumstances, within my home setting, I could say I’m the chef of the house–or le chef de la maison, if I’m feeling punchy. I cook dinner for my friends–I could perhaps call myself a non-profit chef. It’s all semantics and I would hope that any chef worth their salt would understand that being a chef is as much art and skill as schooling and thus, there can be such a thing as an amateur–someone dedicated to their craft, someone who practices cooking but who doesn’t get paid to do it. Those people deserve the title chef for their spirit and contribution to the kitchen–even if it is only their own family who benefits.
Maybe we ought to nix the intimidation factor of the c-word and celebrate the fact that all of us have the capacity to be chefs–to source and buy our ingredients; to change recipes to accommodate everyone’s needs; to survive without a dish washer or a sous-chef when it’s dinner-time and everyone is hungry; to run our little kitchens with their temperamental stoves and still have time for a life outside it.
Wahoo… Somebody else who agrees with me. I went to culinary school, have the degree, but I don’t use the word chef. I no longer work professionally in a Kitchen. And even if I did, I wouldn’t be called chef, If your not in charge of the menu, the kitchen, the ordering, etc. Your not the chef. Period end of topic.
Doctors aren’t doctors, without years of schooling and degrees. Would make since that the same would apply in the Culinary world.
Good for you Im glad you can cook for your family of 4, 6, 8, 1 what ever. But when you can spend 12 + hours in a kitchen that is 100 degrees, cooking for 100 plus, of the worlds most pickie people, then well talk.
watch Food Network People how many people are actually called CHEF on there. Everybody else is just a cook. And there ok with that.
One of my Favorite books, covers this topics too. Anthony Burdaine’s Kitchen Confidential.
Oh gosh, this topic send me into a total rant, as you can see.
Love your recipes. Awesome, Awesome, Awesome. makes me want to start baking again.
LOl sorry about that. Not you as in you (peabody) But you as in You (the at home cook who goes on and on about being a chef of x many). My rant gets away with me sometimes.
Well said! And the brownies look delicious.
I totally agree about the distinction between cook/chef and also hate hearing “chef” thrown around like that! brownies look delish. 🙂
The whole “chef” thing is confusing to me. While I agree with your sentiments about how it’s used by cooks, I recently am trying to understand a person I met a few months ago who calls himself a chef. Just like you, I asked him where he works/went to school and he said, “Oh, I didn’t go to school and I’m not working for anyone. I work for myself and have learned by just cooking in the kitchen at a young age with my family.” Now this friend makes a living teaching folks how to cook Indian cuisine and I think caters for folks on the side. I was reminded of this friend last night when I saw him on our local TV news and his cooking classes were being highlighted. He wears chef gear and goes about his classes professionally, but with his lack of professional education and no professional kitchen experience, can he really call himself Chef X? IMO, I don’t think it’s approriate to use the term chef in this scenario. Blah… but that’s just me. Hwoever on a sweeter note, your brownies look fabulous and I’ll have to keep this in mind when I’ll have some Irish Cream on hand in the next few weeks!
Again, I agree with you on the wording thing. Just because someone decides that they’re going to call themselves a chef doesn’t mean they’ve actually earned that title. That’s like me saying I’m a psychologist, even though I’m just an undergrad studying psych…I’m pretty sure that the APA would not be happy about that at all.
I don’t know how you manage to make something even more delicious-looking than the last thing. I made the snickerdoodle blondies and thought those were tremendous, but now I think I need these…
You make a great point. I think many professions deal with this issue and it is insulting to people who have actually gone through schooling for whatever field and have someone with 5 minutes of knowledge think they know as much. In fairness to the husband you met, it sounds like his use of the term was meant as endearing to his wife and his pride in her skills. Used that way, I would cut him a break!
Margaux Patel says
I never knew that Chef was the professional title, but I totally agree and understand your sentiments. As a Librarian, it drives me up the wall when people call themselves librarians just because they happen to work in a library but never went to school and got their Masters in library science. I worked hard and am still paying off loans so I get the title, they don’t.
BTW – I can’t wait to try these out. My tries at your recipes never look as pretty as your photos though 🙂
I’m with you sister on the chef thing. I wonder why it is that people need to inflate everything? What’s wrong with being a great cook?
Sounds like this guy just didn’t really know the difference though and was just proud of his wife. Maybe it was just a need to make a connection with you during the conversation. See, look, my wife’s really great too! Who knows. I’d be pretty annoyed too over the chef thing but would try and remember it all started with a compliment to me! 😉
I agree with you 100%. I always correct people right away when they call me a chef. I’m a cook or a baker, but not a chef.
Good point…I’m a nurse (RN) and I hear a lot of nurse’s aides call them nurses as well. Oh yeah…where did you go to school? Sorta the same thing, I guess. I’m definitely just a cook. Sporadic at that 😛
It is possible to be right and not right at the same time. I think you have accomplished this.
You may have been right that the man was using an incorrect term. You are right on a technicality.
As a communicator, I think you were incorrect. He was trying to communicate something to you in a social – not professional or academic setting. He was saying that he liked your cake and was proud of his wife in one fell swoop. No one likes to be called out in public on their grammar or word usage, and he likely felt stupid when you corrected him. It was insensitive on your part. Was he overreacting by seeming put out by your comment? Perhaps, but it is human nature to do so. I will give him a bye on it.
To what end was the correction made then? Is his world view going to change because he now knows better than to say chef when he really means cook? Is the world a better place for him and his family? Does he even know enough about the nuance between the two words to care?
You had an opportunity to make a real social connection, but instead it went another way.
It sounds like you backed off right away, but I think in the big scheme of communication it would have been nice if his comment would have been accepted for the intended meaning in the first place.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t post about the difference between the words on your blog. It makes for a compelling vent for you and others that care about the difference. For people wanting to communicate solely on the meaning of words and their butchering, it makes for a nice time.
Jen Yu says
I am 100% with you on this. People like to prop themselves up more than they’ve earned all the time (for whatever reason – insecurity or delusions of grandeur). I call it like I see it. You’re a 100% professional badass, and I like it that way!!
Heh, I would be annoyed too. 🙂
Dana McCauley says
I totally agree with you. “Master Chef” is the term I really rate hearing get misused. It’s like saying you have a PHD in physics when you really are just a regular BSC scientist – it’s a misrepresentation. The sad thing is that people don’t know they are undermining a huge and difficult professional accomplishment when they say that kind of thing. Your post helps to educate people so that the people who have gained such levels of skill get the respect they deserve.
Ranee @ Arabian Knits says
I’m going to disagree. Chef is shorthand for chief of the kitchen. It is a job. There are technically only three professions: the law, the church and education. I don’t get upset about people referring to themselves as professional drivers. There is a tendency to equate a job with a paid position, regardless of whether or not the job needs to be paid for to be done. Most jobs and positions that exist by nature of a person’s relationship or actions. Chef is one of them. Maitre d’hotel is a title which specifically requires a paid position. Doctor is one which requires certain education and certification. One can be a doctor without working in the field, for instance.
I’m not convinced that respect is either preserved or damaged by referring to a non-paid chef as a chef. It disturbs me, actually, that our society seems to equate work or education with value and prestige.
I agree with you, it’s a matter of experience to be able to call yourself one or the other, but I don’t think it’s bad to *only* be called a cook. I actually have a similar issue with people calling themselves photographers. My husband is a professional photographer, he gets paid to do it and is extremely good at it. Anymore anyone can buy a camera and snap some pictures and start calling themselves a photographer and it really detracts from those who have the experience (and possibly the education, though not always) from being a professional.
This gave me a lol, and is a classic case of people taking themselves WAY too seriously.
Also, when somebody misuses the word “chef” I assume they don’t know a whole lot about the industry, which makes me think: how professional can they really be?
That said, I don’t want to be a chef. In the official sense, it’s a relationship to food completely divorced from mine, and doesn’t even describe the meals I make for family and friends.
Having watched many episodes of Top Chef, I have learned that “Chef” is a title earned by a professional. I just like to call myself “Amateur Kitchen Goddess” – it covers all sorts of fun things.
Well I know you can relate to this: I always found it interesting that in spite of the education and training I received to become a teacher, all others felt that since they’d sat in classrooms for 13 years, they knew what it took to teach and therefore figured it was all about having summers off. Right. And I have swamp land for sale in Florida. Grrr….But I’m sure one of those brownies would calm me down. Definitely.
Those brownies look amazing! I love how you just whipped them up:)
I have probably tongue in cheek referred to myself as “chief chef” within my household. However if I address myself as to what I am in real life outside my home it is as an edible cook and baker. If someone asks what an edible cook is I reply with “I cook things and they are almost always edible” 😀
Plain Jame says
Unless of course you’re in the movie Ratatouille, then you can be a “little chef” just by being a rat, learning to read, having a passion for cooking, and being able to control a gangly redhead by pulling his hair…
I see both points, but I definitely lean towards the side that pays their dues and gets the training they need… it isn’t about “status and education” it’s more about qualifications and experience.
I can’t stop staring at these brownies! They look delicious. I agree with you about the chef thing 🙂
Dana McCauley says
Ranee, chef is a professional designation. To be one you need to be an apprentice, gather hours of experience under an accredited chef and then write a formal exam. It’s a trade that is governed by an overseeing association just like other professions such as engineer, a lawyer or a doctor.
pea…i agree…i’m a home cook/baker, not a chef. plus, maybe the recognition of chef should come from somewhere other than yourself (or very close inner circle…husband, mom, etc…) maybe this is disagreeable, but i’m just sayin.
these brownies look amazing! i love the addition of bailey’s in the cream cheese…yum!
Hahaha i laughed out loud at you, an amateur doctor, prescribing yourself an aspirin. I â™¥ your blog, you are so funny!
Dietitians have a similar title problem. There is no protection of the term “nutritionist”, so you can declare that you are one after reading a few Prevention magazines. Where as a real nutritionist, a dietitian, has 5+ years of post-secondary education. Grrrr to nutritionists…
But yummm to your brownies!
you’d have to be an idiot to not know the difference between chef & cook, and obviously he was. I would have said, like I always say “whatever dude, whhhhhatever!”
I still think you should drop your doctor…. 🙂
I work in a kitchen at a well-known University, and I don’t think I’m a Chef. Technically, my current title would be â€ŽCuisinier (Line Cook), with my particular divisions being Grillardin/Friturier (Grill Chef/Fry Chef) — I used to be a â€ŽGarde Manger (Pantry Chef), and still do that job occasionally. But I wouldn’t call myself a Chef, as I have had no â€Žformal training, or even previous on-the-job training before taking this position — I don’t personally think I’ve had â€Ženough experience to be called a Chef. Those with positions above mine (i.e. the people I report to) are called â€ŽChefs (Kitchen Chef, Floor Chef, Head Chef, etc.), but everyone else at my level are called cooks. (Actually, the â€ŽUniversity calls us Kitchen Associates, but in conversation, we’re cooks.) Some of the other cooks have graduated â€Žfrom culinary school, but the majority of us have not.
In my opinion, Chef is something that you shouldn’t call yourself unless it’s your job title — then you can answer the â€Žâ€Ž’What do you do?’ question with ‘I’m a Chef at ____.’ If someone obtained a position as a Chef without any training â€Žâ€Ž(e.g. if I were promoted to Kitchen Chef at the University), I definitely think they’d have earned the title, since they’d â€Žobviously have to have a certain amount of talent to obtain such a position with no formal training. The tricky part is â€Žpeople who don’t currently have a position as a Chef — if they’ve had a previous position as a Chef and are looking â€Žfor another, or are retired from the profession, they can call themselves a Chef. But if they’ve never held a position â€Žas Chef, they shouldn’t call themselves a Chef.
Now, if people are joking around and it’s obvious that you don’t mean the person is an *actual* Chef, then go ahead â€Žand call yourself or your acquaintances whatever you want. But to try to pass yourself off as a Chef when you’re â€Žnot, that’s bad form.â€Ž
Carolyn T at tastingspoons.com says
Thank you for clarifying the distinction. You’re absolutely right. Sometimes people say to ME that I’m a gourmet chef, and I always demur, no, no, I am just a good cook. But I’m glad to now have the official response.
Yeah I see now how that can be annoying. I see chef plastered on everyone’s site. I never looked at it that way, so thanks for keeping us informed!
Now about those brownies… The swirls in that photo give me heart palpitations. They look oh so delicious! Too bad I don’t have any Bailey’s. 🙁
I agree 100%. A chef is someone who goes to school and is classically trained. A cook or a baker, no matter how good, will never be a chef unless they have the training. Good to know others feel the same.
And the brownies sound insanely delicious right now. 🙂
Monica H says
I honestly don’t htink people know the difference. i think they think they “cook” really well so they give themselves a boost. I would never call myself a chef, because that is a profession (not a hobby) and I don’t have the qualifications to do so.
And as annying as Rachael Ray can be, she always says, “I am not a chef. I am a cook” and I give her props for that.
I’m so glad you posted this! I can’t believe there are still people in the world who use the term incorrectly or don’t understand the distinction. I think it is pretty obvious. I guess that is why they stereotype women as cooks and men as chefs. Ugh. I hate that one, too.
Sorry Me Adorable is feeling poorly…these brownies should help. Maybe I should feel poorly and then make me some:)
Bet you make a dandy amatuer movie critic!
Sorry Mr Adorable is feeling poorly…these brownies should help. Maybe I should feel poorly and then make me some:)
Bet you make a dandy amatuer movie critic!
If a man wants to say his wife is a chef, than leave it at that. You yourself know the difference between chefs and cooks, maybe he doesn’t know, or maybe he does but feels so proud of her that he places her on the esteemed pedestal of “chef”. I think it was a bit snooty to have to correct the poor “non”-chef’s husband. Degrees can make people such elitists. I should know, I have a degree in Anthropology and I’m so much better than all those people who say they went to college but never graduated! Ha! I’m not hating on you, I just think you’re getting yourself worked up over someone’s misuse of a title. Life goes on….
Heck yea there’s a difference! For years I was a BOH [Back of the House]Manager and let me tell you, there are “chefs” and then there are “line cooks”. And trust me, there’s a huge difference between those two as well. I am glad you posted this because it needed to be address. Thanks a bunch Peabody! 🙂
PS brownies look divine!
I have been to school and had worked in kitchens for about ten years…the closest I’d get to referring to myself as a chef is in my handle. Chefhades. When hell freezes over I’ll refer to myself as a chef. No Red Seal = no chef title. My family calls me a chef, but I don’t think it’s true and I correct them all the time. I was a great line cook, but no chef am I!
Good lookin’ brownies though.
Absolutely delicious!!! Yummy!! =)
I am a professional mommy though-have the grey hairs to prove it.
I’m in complete agreement! The difference between chef and cook is right up there between the difference between baking adn cooking–fundamental difference! OY, is all I have to say.
In other news, these Bailey’s Brownies look divine! Can’t wait to try these yummy treats.
UGH I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU! I can’t stand it. I was once introduced to the executive chef of one of the top restaurants in DC as “a chef” and I was mortified! I quickly corrected the person who had introduced me, saying to the REAL chef “No, no, no, I just cook at home.” That word is thrown around too easily!
These look fantastic — perhaps I’ll send these to work with DH for St. Patrick’s Day!
These look so decadent and delicious. I love Bailey’s with chocolate…err, with anything. I’m cracking up at being an amateur doctor. Hah.
My dad graduated from the California Culinary Academy and is still very quick to correct people when they call him “chef” because he know he isn’t, since he doesn’t work in food service! Thanks for setting others straight! Those brownies are next on the list for family dessert! 🙂
Hahahhahaha. This post cracked me up.
Those brownies look delicious. I think they’d be perfect at my annual St. Patrick’s Day party in a month!
Amen sister! I am so annoyed with everyone who has a microplane referring to themselves as a chef. They have NO idea what it takes to work in a professional kitchen as a chef.
I would LOVE for them to work just one shift in my restaurant and see if they still think they are a ‘chef’.
And for that matter, people who did actually go to culinary school and flaunt their title are equally obnoxious. Really, your email address and Facebook name don’t need to say “ChefJoe Smith”.
I went to pastry school and my title is chef. To me, it is a badge of honor…just like the scars and burn marks on my forearms. I have spent countless hours in the trenches, sweating my brains out to make beautiful pastries for the ‘amateur chefs’ waiting to take pictures, dissect and critique it in the dining room.
And you know what…when people ask what I do I say I’m a cook. Because I’m humble. Because I report to a head chef. Because I respect the bigger, better, more experienced chefs before me. I hope to one day know as much as they do. But even then my email address isn’t going to be “chef chrissy”
I love this. One I completely agree that title is thrown around way to much. And I love these brownies they look really good!
I completely understand your frustration Peabody… I feel the same thing when people refer to themselves as “xxxxx engineer.” It just torques me a little after all the school (and day-long tests) I went through. Heck, most of the time when people ask me what I do, I tell them that I break things for a living. Which is true, and gets me out of the “YOU’RE an engineer?!?” awkwardness.
Bailey’s Irish Cream in brownies? What a novel idea! My husband would love this! Definitely a recipe I have to try. (By the way—hope yours feels better soon!)
I agree with your thoughts on the whole chef/cook thing. People who use words and titles should at the least understand the definition of them.
Those brownies look “oh, so tasty”.
The chef/cook terminology really bothers me. I’ve had people tell me they are chefs because they like to search books and prepare gourmet meals for their families. As for myself, I am a caterer but still consider myself simply a good cook as I’ve never had any professional training. I have always thought along the same lines as your “amateur doctor” idea. Just because I try to do it doesn’t give me the license or title.
I love your blog; you really crack me up sometimes.
Oh man, I think it’s hilarious that the word chef has somehow become synonymous with cooking. As many other people have mentioned above, chef and sous-chef are just titles that refer to a chain of command. Old school kitchen brigades are a lot like the miltary in that sense, but of course, over time, the titles have been bastardized. Chef is French for “chief”, meaning the person in charge, so even most professional cooks aren’t chefs. As for the phrase “amateur chef”, it’s almost laughable- what does it even mean?
Of course, I discovered long ago in my career that people get kinda bitchy when I explain the meaning of the word and tell them I’m a cook, not the chef. So these days when people call me a chef, I just give them a wry smile and ask them how their meal was.
I’m not gonna lie though, I hate, HATE, hate it when elderly people refer to me as “chef-ette”. Ughhh. Really? It’s 2009.
Btw, the brownies look awesome- I heart Bailey’s and chocolate!
Gorgeous swirl on the brownies. They look delightful!
I’m at work and I just literally laughed out loud. My favorite part was about the amatuer veterinarian. Great post. I agree. I am NOT a chef.
I called 911 today to report that a branch was sparking against some electric wires. I didn’t get paid for it so I’m just an amateur fire prevention citizen. (It was fun. I’d never called 911 before!)
The brownies look great!
I agree with you! People throw that word around WAY too loosely. And your brownies look scrumptious – I love anything Bailey’s!
Totally!! I wasn’t actually able to be referred to as a ‘pastry chef’ until I was creating menus and running the pastry kitchen. And this was after working in the industry for 8 years. Up until then, I was a ‘baker’ or ‘pastry cook’. The same thing goes for my co-workers on the savory side. They are cooks. Not chefs. While they are cooking profesionally, there is only one chef (well, theres 2 at my joint, but you get my drift).
I totally agree with you!
Those brownies look and sound scrumptious!
Chocolate Shavings says
I agree – I went to culinary school, and I’m not even sure I would call myself a chef!
If I had been in your shoes and someone had said to me, “My wife is a great chef,” I also would have asked, “Oh really? Where does she work?” It’s a shame that a bit of confusion over proper terminology resulted in miscommunication & an awkward social situation. I feel for you!
I like to cook. I like to bake. But just because I’m in charge of the menu at my home kitchen, that definitely doesn’t make me a chef.
Now I hope you’ll pardon me, but I have some brownies to make!
I take issue with calling everyone a “chef,” too. I make sure to correct anyone who calls me that as well, because I really am just a cook, as much as I wish I could assume the title.
But anyway, the brownies look wonderful, coming from a chef or not. 🙂
I completely agree with you. I work as a personal “chef” and I hate calling myself that because even though it is part of my profession I am new to it and have not gone to culinary school. So to me I cannot call myself a “chef” until I have had some more training, experience and work. It seems weird to say personal “cook” though, that makes me sound like a servant!
Me thinks many of these “controversial” posts are merely a ploy to get more comments!
Oh I am feeling so poorly, maybe hubby has left one of those for me. Why am I feeling so poorly? Why because I haven’t had any of these brownies.
I’m very comfortable with your ‘chef’ and totally happy when I score as a good cook.
You forgot something – when you picked up that blow torch, you were an amateur welder. 🙂
Hope the hubby feels better soon.
Janna from Honeyed Hashette says
Great Post, Peabody! Loved it! I love all your posts, but this one strikes a particular cord with me because I deal with a similar situation almost every day. Instead of misuse of chef and cook, I deal with the misuse of interior designer and interior decorator. I am in a ranting mood, so here’s a lesson for everyone- if you attended a university (a 2 or 4 year), obtained a degree in interior design, served under a licensed interior designer for the required amount of time (for me it was 3 years because my university was not accredited), paid your fee and sat for the national exam (NCIDQ), passed the test, applied for your license and then received your license, applied and paid for professional membership with the appropriate organization THEN you can call yourself an interior designer. If you have not earned the credentials listed above then you are a DECORATOR. I watch TLC and HGTV occasionally and I wonder…are these peeps really designers? Really? I have my doubts. Because the requirements of interior design are drilled into my head I am extremely careful of what to call professionals and people who wish they were professionals. Chefs have earned that title through schooling and restaurant experience. They have earned their stripes. Cooks are, well, you and me and all the non professional food bloggers out there who may have some raw talent, but really don’t have the creds to call ourselves chefs. Hope your hubby is feeling better soon.
Nice meeting you last night! Don’t worry about me throwing around highfalutin titles–I can barely call myself a “cook” and it’s my last name… Love the swirls in your brownies!
Hee! I guess typing in this little box would make me a journalist..
Great looking brownies! I love Baileys.
Ooh, what a hot topic this is! I love reading the comments. My two cents – I think the c word means different things to different people. To those in the restaurant industry it has a very specific meaning applied to a specific person in the kitchen hierarchy. Those who just enjoy cooking at home and don’t know the industry terms, perhaps think it just means good cook.
Best wishes to your hub. If Bailey’s Irish can’t cure what ails him, call me. I’m an amateur doctor. (But everything I prescribe is tea.)
I couldn’t agree with you more, P. I paint, but I don’t call myself an artist. If anything, I call myself a FAILED artist, but hey. I take/have taken some art classes in college and I am not going to lie – I am usually top in the class and you are suprised to see the ones who call themselves artists and have all the expensive supplies and all that – are the ones that really aren’t that good. I think its just about people WANTING a title for themselves. If I was a stay at home mom (and I am sure you would agree that unless you have 5 kids and blah blah blah you really don’t have much to do ALL day long)(usually women like that are the ones rushing all over town in their HUGE SUVs trying to stay busy so they dont have time to think about how worthless they are)(I never want to be one of these people) and you just had time to bake and cook and waste time doing that then instead of calling yourself a bored stay at home mom who spends my husbands money you might want a fancy title of chef instead. I suppose. Who knows. Either way, its pretty disrespectful to the real Chefs who have worked in the field and gone to school – all of which is not easy (and something that I never would want to put myself through). To get more into it would be pointless because, again, I agree. I wouldn’t call the girls who text while walking on the treadmill fitness experts thats for sure.
Mrs. L says
Oh you and my husband need to get together to discuss the use of “doctor” as he is not fond of the fact that just because someone got a PHD in something gives them the Doctor title. I will never be a chef but I do strive to be a great cook. Now can I have a brownie?
Touchy subject for some. I’m an ‘ex-chef’ I guess, or does that make me a cook? 😉
You know what I think happens? People love to label others, put them in a box so to speak, and if someone calls you a chef long enough, well you’re going to adopt the title eventually.
There were to many comments to read them all…. wow some are really aggitated. I can’t understand that anybody who cooks at home finds it that important to call him/herself ‘Chef’, I mean there’s nothing wrong with ‘just’ being a very good cook. But really a “Chef” is a Chef that works in a prof. kitchen. The work there has no comparison with cooking at home for your family or a gathering of friends, who love you and praise you… they won’t complain, they don’t pay, they can wait if you’re not on time. You’re not standing in a noisy, hot and hectic environment for hours on end, prepping, cooking different meals at the same time, having them all ready at the right point. There is no comparison anyway except both stir and make something to eat.
Please people don’t feel ashamed to ‘just’ call your self a good cook (gourmet cook if you’re in a funny mood), but put yourself somewhere you’re not by calling yourself a chef when you’re cooking at home.
That last sentence should have been… But don’t put yourself….
steph (whisk/spoon) says
i so totally agree with you! i graduated from culinary school, have worked in restaurants and bakeries for the past five years, and even i would still not call myself a “pastry chef” at this point. when my husband tells people i am a pastry chef, i even correct him, and say i’m just a cook, since i’ve never headed up my own team or designed my own menu.
Butterscotch Baby says
I am soooo with you on this! People tend to think I am a touch anal, but that is nuthin’ but truth you speak!
I wasn’t going to comment on this post as it is “old news”, I guess, but I was reading some of the last comments and I’m wondering why some people are showing so much hatred? Especially the reader who commented about stay-at-home moms being worthless and “needing” to attach a title to what they do. Perhaps it isn’t so gratifying to stay at home and do all the house work and take care of all the meals and make sure that homework is done and having to make sacrifices (ie:one income only) to be with your kids and enjoy every precious moment. And yes, when you are a good cook, and most of your time is spent cooking and baking, all the while juggling everything else, and someone compliments you and calls you a “chef”, perhaps it is flattering and you use the term, not wanting to offend anyone. It’s already so hard in a world with such materialistic values to choose to be a stay-at-home mom and really do the “mom thing”, sometimes it feels like loosing your identity. I really wish people would try to understand why we do stay at home and at least not belittle us. One thing’s for sure, I won’t let anyone call me a “chef” anymore.
Ranee @ Arabian Knits says
If I was a stay at home mom (and I am sure you would agree that unless you have 5 kids and blah blah blah you really donâ€™t have much to do ALL day long)(usually women like that are the ones rushing all over town in their HUGE SUVs trying to stay busy so they dont have time to think about how worthless they are)(I never want to be one of these people) and you just had time to bake and cook and waste time doing that then instead of calling yourself a bored stay at home mom who spends my husbands money you might want a fancy title of chef instead. I suppose. Who knows. Either way, its pretty disrespectful to the real Chefs who have worked in the field and gone to school – all of which is not easy (and something that I never would want to put myself through).
Not nearly as disrespectful as you are being to real humans. I always love it when people who spend more on toys, dinners out and vacation than we do on all our bills talk about how wealthy you have to be to be a homemaker or how lucky women are not to have to work.
Yeah, over use of titles such as this drives me crazy as well. I’ve been a professional baker for eight years, and often times when I tell people this they say “oh you’re a pastry chef?”. Um… no. I’ve been getting more into that class of citizen, but I’m still a baker.
It drove me crazy that at my last job the bakery manager wore a chefs jacket proclaiming him to be the head pastry chef. The man was about as knowledgeable and skilled as a freshman at a community college baking program.
Oh my gawd!! What a great excuse to buy some Irish Cream!! I so love your recipes and stories (I think the recipes win!).
I was reading an earlier posting where you mentioned quince jam and it got me sooo excited! I have some recipes that are hundreds of years old and handwritten in Hungarian and German (you should see the spidery, fine writing!)and one of them is for a specialty quince jelly. I grew up eating it and love it a lot! I will have to pull the recipe and see how it compares to what you posted. I’m sure you would love some of the old recipes that I have from the “old country”. I know my hubby sure has gained weight from eating them! Keep up the great work! I can’t get enough!
awww i’m sure your hubby appreciated these. that amateur chef thing would annoy me too!!
I agree with you to an extent. I had a small catering business for a while (had to quit when the Munchkin was born), but I still don’t consider myself a chef. I’ve never had any formal training (though I would love it). But…I do use “Chef Sara” as my online moniker on occasion. Not because I feel like I am one, but it is a way for me to express my love of food and cooking quickly in a username. It’s a way of sharing a little piece of myself in a concise form…works much better than “amateur really good cook sara.” but you’d never hear me describe myself as a chef. just as someone who loves to cook and bake and who most of my friends and family think i’m really good at it…enough that i was able to make some money catering part time.
here’s a question, though…does chef just require that someone cooked professionally (you could say i did that) or does it require some form of culinary education as well?
Sara- Read comment # 40, it sums it up the best.
I own a bakery and wouldn’t call myself a pastry chef. The skills, training, education, certification (the American Culinary Federation does certify chefs,) leadership, etc. required to be called a chef is something most people don’t understand. To call yourself a ‘chef’ without the proper credentials is insulting to the profession.
Awesome post, Peabody.
I totally agree with you. I know a lot of people hate Rachael Ray, but even she – who is worth millions of dollars because of cooking – has been quoted several times saying she’s not a chef, she’s a cook…