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Tommy, April 11 2022

My Compliments to the Chef

When you think about a chef, do you conjure up images of the TV celebrity chefs like Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay, Alton Brown, Giada, or the Pioneer Woman? Over the years, especially since 2020, it seems like the Food Channel shows have become more popular than ever, many of them featuring cooking challenges and highlighting top chefs from around the country.

The fact is, there’s at least one chef - to some degree - in every restaurant on the planet. Hundreds of thousands of them. Some are culinary trained, some self-taught, and most of them probably learned on the job. Most are unsung and behind-the-scenes. They work long, hard, (hot) hours and many of them never emerge from the kitchen during a dinner shift. Many are even the actual restaurant owners themselves.

Chefs don’t work for the fame and glory. Frankly, there isn’t any. They don’t work for the riches. There aren’t any of those either. They do it because they love food. They do it because they love to cook and create. And most times they never even get to see the faces of the customers who eat it. (Imagine making a Facebook post that gets no “likes” or comments or hitting a home run but nobody claps?)

We’ve become a society that takes things for granted. We go out to eat at XYZ Restaurant and expect it to be as amazing as it was the last time we went. We have our expectations and assume that the food is magically created. How often do you consider that it isn’t “the restaurant” that makes the food? It’s a person. It’s a chef.

Where wings are concerned, you obviously don’t need to be an actual chef to make great ones. I mean, a teenager can throw wings in an air fryer and drown them in Frank’s Red Hot sauce or Sweet Baby Ray's. However you can absolutely tell when a professional chef has made yours. There are so many clues, from the plating and presentation, distinctive homemade sauces and bleu cheeses, to the actual doneness of the wings. 

Through our hundreds of visits to restaurants during our Wingaddicts journey, we’ve met so many chefs and restaurant owners. Some are low-key and stay in the background and some get out front and mingle with clientele. People all have different personalities in this world but we all have one thing in common. We all want to be appreciated. Next time you have a great meal, especially when you have great wings, see if its possible for you to tell the chef. At the very least, ask your server to pass on your gratitude.

To all our Wingaddicts chefs out there (you know who you are) . . . WE love and appreciate you! Including our very own chef, Wingchef Ryan! 

Wings up!

Tommy Wyatt is a best-selling author and co-founder of Wingaddicts. He writes this weekly "Under the Wingfluence" blog for You can contact Tommy (as well as his partners Doni "The Cleaner" Peronace and Wingchef Ryan Pasler) through the Facebook group "Wingaddicts Community." You can also see any one of their 200 wing episodes through the Wingaddicts YouTube Channel. 

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