Why Aren't You a Celebrity Chef?


I consider it a flattering question that I’m asked often.  Hundreds of emails from YouTube video viewers and students in my online cooking class series, WebCookingClasses.com, think my mission of teaching cooking method over the recipe should be shared with millions.  I agree, but I don’t want to be like the other Foodnetwork chefs, I don’t want to be a famous chef.  I want to actually help people learn to cook like a chef, not just gain celebrity for being a chef.

Chef Todd MohrFoodnetwork TV is to cooking what MTV is to music.  MTV used to play music, now they’re entertainment ABOUT music.  Foodnetwork TV tried to teach people to cook, but now they’re entertainment ABOUT cooking.

In my best Shakespeare voice, I say “Shall I seek fame and forsake my passion and mission for empowering others to find enjoyment and freedom in cooking without recipes?  No, I thank you.  Shall I seek the patronage of a few great men, fragrant with rose water, but sharper than thorns?  No….I thank you!”

My philosophy is not for the masses, thus not a perfect match to become a Foodnetwork chef.  Cooking by method and discarding the step-by-step restrictions of that list of instructions is contrary to everything a Better Crocker, Julia Child, or Martha Stewart cookbook has ever taught.  Recipes and television shows absolve the casual cook of responsibility in cooking.  Their misplaced faith in the test kitchen and publishing editor is that, when followed exactly, all recipes will look just like the photo or edited TV show.

Teaching Future Chefs How To BraiseHowever, those that seek the “hows” and “whys” of cooking are my favorite curious types.  Fewer are the people who would rather learn to cook like a chef than watch a chef.  Fewer are the people who take on a challenging task to gain complete understanding.  Fewer are the people who don’t want incremental instructions and have things figured out for them.  Fewer are the people just like you and I that want to own knowledge forever, rather than be entertained for 18 minutes, plus commercials.

My goal is not to be seen by many and have little of substance to say.  I pursue my mission with great appreciation and gratitude to those of you that follow my blog, watch my videos, purchase my DVDs and enroll in my classes, because you are weighing the gravity of real skill and education against the levity of passive entertainment.  Most Foodnetwork chefs haven’t accomplished this yet.

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About Chef Todd

Chef Todd Mohr is a Certified Culinary Educator who has empowered home cooks all over the world with the reliable, dependable, repeatable METHODS behind cooking that build confidence, generate creativity and enable anyone to cook with the ingredients THEY desire.

5 Comments

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  • Chef Todd Mohr
    Chef Todd Mohr
    2:52 PM - 29 July, 2015

    Hi Wayne!
    You're exactly right! When you're learning to paint, you focus on HOW to apply paint to the canvas not just how much blue to use. When you play guitar, you focus on forming the chords and HOW you strum the strings, not just how much of the note "A" to use. These are artistic endeavors.

    However, cooking is an artistic endeavor as well. Then why isn't cooking taught on HOW to cook instead of just WHICH ingredients to use? It's confounded me for years, but I'm making it my personal life's mission to change the focus on cooking from WHAT to HOW.

    Thank you for such a kind comment.

  • Wayne
    Wayne
    1:02 AM - 29 July, 2015

    It is my belief that if one learns the "hows" and "whys" of any subject,,they will become much better at their craft. Cooking can be intimidating, but your style of teaching cuts through the clutter and reduces it down to a simple, repeatable process. That makes it fun and exciting to get into the kitchen !!

  • Dan Bear
    Dan Bear
    8:04 PM - 30 March, 2011

    Thank you for your integrity, Chef Todd.
    Because of your work, the art (and science) of cooking is being preserved. What we learn in your classes, because of gaining skill with the methods, is the love of cooking and the fun and creativity of cooking. No piece of food entertainment, no matter how lovely the recipe, can substitute for the feeling of confidence in the kitchen that your lessons bring about.

  • cheftodd
    cheftodd
    9:12 AM - 5 January, 2011

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, Cassandra.
    I'll continue to fight the good fight.

  • Cassandra
    Cassandra
    6:28 PM - 3 January, 2011

    Great! wonderful And fewer the people who had that kind of Mission..

    Like God, HIS not longing for FAME but HIS Purpose!

    THE GOAL IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE ROLE!

    Cassandra from Australia

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