The founder of Slow Food, Carlo Petrini, claimed there must be a change within the way modern kitchens are run and operated and that the Escoffier paradigm should “go get lost!”
Speaking at a recent food congress, Dialogos de Cocina in San Sebastian, Spain, Petrini warned the audience of students, chefs and journalists about what he called the “sadomasochistic relationship” taking place between young chefs and restaurant owners.
The Italian activist urged owners to reconsider the way in which restaurants are run. “We need a new dimension in cooking," he said. “Right now it’s violent. The origins of the history of Gastronomy: Escoffier studied and coded the organization of cooking and he studied an example from the army: hierarchy, discipline, a commander - but this doesn’t work now, it might have worked in the 1900s.”
Petrini adressed the aggressive and military nature in which kitchens of old have historically run, attaching his opinion to the ongoing debate of well-being within the kitchen.
“This sadomasochistic relationship is happening all the time," he added, "owners are sadists and young chefs are masochists. We need to implement a situation of empathy, mental well-being. Escoffier paradigm, go get lost. Let’s build a new paradigm, because then the whole team work together.”
Pertrini’s comments resonated and hit upon a key theme currently being addressed within the restaurant industry. We have looked at the sustainability of the chef in a number of articles and seen many chefs now operating businesses differently in an attempt to improve the kitchen work environment.