Tom Colicchio

Bourdain on Rocco DiSpirito, bad rice, and why you gotta love Howie.

on Jul 20, 2007

What is a "chef"? A chef is a cook who leads. A chef is someone who knows how to cook and who can also run a kitchen. Leadership skills are required. Management skills. The ability to execute a vision with consistency. Doing these things means that you are constantly making decisions large and small. The ability to make a brilliant, creatively-dazzling and delicious plate of food is near worthless if you can't do it again and again--exactly the same way--at high speed, under the gun, hung over, after a night of fierce Negroni drinking...while listening to Mexican thrash metal. And you can't do it alone.
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So this week's challenges were illustrative of not just the real strengths--and serious weaknesses--of the contestants, but of the general principles of good decision making--the ability to make mistakes, learn from them, and make corrections.