When people find out I am a chef, the first thing they ask is if I have a specialty, to which I always say no, I like to cook everything. Then they almost will ask what is my favorite thing to make, to which I always reply “reservations”. It almost always plays out like that. Then the next question is who is my favorite celebrity chef. My answer is always the same – none.
One would think that being a chef I would be glued to the food channel, but that is not the case. I hate looking at cooking shows because despite the cool new recipes that are shown, I am yet to see a chef be hygienic on these shows, especially live demonstrations on shopping channels.
I am yet to see a chef on TV actually wash their hands. All they do is wipe their hands off on a towel, even after handling raw food. I was once watching a famous chef hawking his pressure cooker on a shopping channel, and he prepared some chicken, raw chicken, on a cutting board and then put the chicken to cook in the cooker, wiped off the board with a towel, then take corn out of another cooker and rested it on the same board. He also used the same pair of tongs to move raw and cooked food.
I see so many incidences of cross contamination on TV, I can’t bear to watch any of these chefs on TV. Being a person with a compromised immune system, I shudder to think what eating from any of these “celebrity” chefs would do to me. The scary thing is, many people fawn over these chefs and follow their every move, and I can only imagine that they are cooking by example, and not practicing hygiene by example. It is unfortunate that these chefs, who have the opportunity to promote good hygiene, do not take the opportunity to teach “their public” on it. One of the first things I learned when i attended The Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, NY, was hygiene.
I very rarely accept dinner invitations from friends to eat at their home, not because I think that they are not good cooks (I actually love people to cook for me for a change), but I am afraid of their hygiene practices. I recently went to a friend for dinner and she was cutting raw meat on a cutting board, then rested the spoon she was stirring a pot with on the cutting board. She then took up that spoon to again stir a salad, not before I stopped her. I eventually took over the cooking because her hygiene practices were non existent.
Until these “celebrity chefs” get their hygiene practices together on TV, and actually go to a sink with running water and soap and actually wash their hands, and not just wipe it off on a dish towel, you won’t see me watching the food network any time soon.