Working in France was the best experience of my life allowing me to refine my cooking skills in all stations of the kitchen. French chefs are not the stereo typical chefs that people think they are, yelling, throwing pots and pans. It is actually more civilized than people imagine or what can be falsely portrayed on reality television shows. The difference between the European French and the Canadian French is the amount of respect given to the cooking profession in general and chefs in particular. The Canadian or North American culture generally has less respect for proper chefs. The chef once considered as a domestic servant is now considered more as an artist and skilled craft person. Unfortunately, many people just see the glamorous side of food service and don’t understand that this is just a tiny part of the picture. You are more often than not treated as just a cook or a low class worker. Reality television shows and television channels about kitchens and cooking has made it difficult for cooks and chefs to get the proper respect they deserve because they make it look easy to become a cook/chef and that anyone can do it. After all, most people can cook dinner for their family so of course they can design menus, control costs, work endless hours in incredibly hot kitchens, be able to fix random equipment “on the fly”, deal with the pressure of a fast paced dinner service where everything must be perfect, always work holidays, never see your family and at the end of the day, when you get your paycheck, remind yourself that you do it because you love it, not because you want to be rich, because that just doesn’t happen. The Food Network and other TV channels that do reality cooking shows however, do not show any of this reality.What annoys me the most in Toronto is when a new chef or cook keeps saying that good food takes time. In reality, they say this because they don’t understand the concept of mise en place. Yes, good food does take time to prepare but when your mise en place is ready for service, with the exception of your proteins, it really shouldn't take any time to put the food out.