If you compare the great chefs of 30 years ago to today, what is the difference? For one, there are the tattoos. In addition to that, the competitive nature of the culinary world is even more transparent today than ever before. Nowadays, chefs have to be more than just their food. They have to be personalities as well.
“A person could be a very skillful chef, but if they don’t have the personality … they’re not going to be a very good cooking show host at all,” said Kathleen Collins. She wrote a book called “Watching What We Eat: The Evolution of Television Cooking Shows”.
Of course, there are the classic chefs like Jacque Pepin who pioneered the whole industry. He said that right now, most cooking shows are about the drama, instead of the cooking show. Another difference is that being a chef is seen as a more noble profession.
“Any good mother at that point would have wanted their daughter to marry a doctor or a lawyer — certainly not a cook,” Pepin joked.
Hugh Acheson is one of the biggest names in cooking right now. He owns two restaurants in Athens, Ga., and appeared on the Food Network’s “Top Chef”. Acheson said although his success came before his television days, there is too much of a focus on being included on the internet “best-of” lists.
“We see success through the need to be included on those things,” he said.
Acheson has also appeared in an online video series that shows real chefs cooking from the cookbooks of Kris Jenner and Coolio.