Michael Symon: Sandra Lee is Not a Chef

August 13, 2012

Celebrity chef Michael Symon took to his Twitter page to tell his fans what he really thinks about Food Network star, Sandra Lee. 

"Just heard someone refer to Sandra Lee as 'chef'," Symon said of the Semi-Homemade host. "Made me a little queasy." 

Symon then took to his Facebook page to clarify his comments. "Don't take my comment about people being labeled chefs the wrong way... it's not snobby... it's 30 years of burns, cuts, 100 hour weeks, missed family gatherings, etc.," he said. 

Do you agree with Symon's comments? 

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Susan Doucette's picture

I totally agree with Michael. Being a chef is an accomplishment that only comes from a lot of training, schooling, experience and time. You get accredited for such an honor and should not be taken lightly. Just because you have enough luck or money to end up on tv cooking doesn't make you a chef. Michael Simon is one of the best "Chefs" there is and he deserves the title.

Gail Scho's picture

Agree with Michael completely. There are cooks and then there are chefs. Hosting a tv show and cooking does not make a chef. Only experience and training is capable of doing that.

DN's picture

Especially as a female chef, yes, it's demeaning to those of us who actually have done the work, and paid for being a chef, to be compared to someone who hasn't done this type of work and whose claim to fame is a nice smile and mammary glands exposed. I hate being compared to those tv celebs with no professional experience. It takes away from our sense of accomplishment, and is disrespectful.

Warren Bobrow's picture

I disagree with Michael. Anyone can call themselves a chef. You see first year out of culinary school kids calling themselves chefs. Even after I finished Johnson/Wales and the ACF apprenticeship, I'm still loathe to call myself a chef. It's pretentious and pompous in my opinion.
Being a chef means, at least to me, that you spend your time in the office doing metrics on food costs. Not actually spending any time in the kitchen. More managing people then actually cooking. I'm much more comfortable calling myself a former pot-scrubber (where I began in the kitchen) than a chef.
'nuff said.

Becky's picture

I disagree, keep it simple, keep it smart, and always keep it semi homemade! Anyone that drinks alcohol and makes a great tablescape is a chef! Chef chef chef!

Becky's picture

Keep it smart keep it simple and always keep it semi home made anyone that drinks and makes a great tablescape is a chef!