Chef cook or architect

Angelo Hulshout · July 19, 2005

Software and system architects are more than just designer, just follow the Gaudi and Bredemeyer links on this blog’s ‘Interesting links’ section to find out. Architects are supposed to write specifications, discuss requirements, coach people and so on…

Last week, as I was watching chef cook Gordon Ramsay’s show “Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares”, I noticed that the same applies to chef cooks - with the difference that real chefs like Gordon have developed their skillset a lot further than today’s software architects. In the show, Gordon visit’s restaurants in trouble. He looks around there and talks to owners and personnel to find out what is wrong. After this, he gives advise on how to improve and returns to check out how things went a month later. As can be seen on the show, from the way he talks to people, and how he sets examples that a chef cook is not only good at preparing food, but also at the following

  • making up new items for the menu
  • preparing and perfecting them
  • training kitchen staff on preparing them
  • coaching kitchen and restaurant staff (waiters!) on how to co-operate
  • define how money’s going to be made (set prices so that the public is attracted and increase the margin on the wine to make up)
  • defining how to decorate the restaurant to create and atmosphere that matches the food
  • and so on….

Gerrit Muller indicated that an architect is a 20-headed monster (he started out with 17 heads at first, if I recall), but it seems like a chef has just as many.

Question to those interested: what can we, software and system architects, learn from the professional chefs, whose job description has matured quite a bit longer than ours?

For more info on the chef-consultant, visit Gordon Ramsay’s web site.

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