A Redditor's ribbing of a friend for being a cook at Applebee's has caused a rift among their circle of friends.
The employee of the bar and grill chain told friends he is a chef without identifying the restaurant where he works.
This did not sit well with Redditor, "ThatsNotAChef."
The word chef is derived from the French phrase "chefs de cuisine," which translates to "Chief of the Kitchen," which the friend clearly is not.
He is a line cook, though some would argue that cooks actually prepare food as opposed to assembling prepackaged ingredients together.
The Original Poster (OP) wondered AITA (Am I the A**hole) for outing his friend every time he referred to himself as "a professional chef."
"My friend, who I'll call Janto as a fake name, is always going around telling people he is a professional chef."
"When we talk to new people at like a bar or wherever, he always says he is a professional chef. Whenever anyone anywhere asks him what he does that is what he says."
"But Janto is actually just a cook at Applebee's, and I don't want to diss Applebee's or anything but it's not like the 'cooks' there are designing recipes or making anything complex."
"I think most of it is like pre-prepared in some fashion and probably comes from the Applebee's factory in Mongolia or something and they follow very specific steps to reheat it or who knows what."
"But it's not like they are chef'ing around."
"Also whenever we are with people and the topic of food comes up, he will chime and conclude with something like 'I should know, I'm a professional chef after all!'"
"So I have taken to whenever he says he is a professional chef, I butt in and laugh and say 'He's a cook at Applebee's,' or I will say in an exaggerated tone 'Oh reaaaaaaaaally? Say, what restaurant are you a chef at?'"
The taunting and embarrassment among friends was a recipe for disaster.
"He gets very angry at me when I do this and is currently not speaking to me, and it has caused drama in my friend group."
"About 2/3rd's side with him, with some saying I am right 'in spirit' but should not have mocked him and others saying he is not in the wrong at all, one guy who I will call Big Macko even said it DOES count as being a chef."
"The other 1/3 are on my side and think it is ridiculous for Janto to claim the mantle of professional chef. They are all arguing with each other now because of it."
So what is the answer?
The OP was served a mouthful of whoop-a**, with many Redditors saying YTA (You're the A**hole).
"YTA. You're being mean for no reason." – ebernal13
"YTA!!! without a doubt! solid principle here dude, don't go out your way to put someone else down. especially if it's not even affecting you."
"And i promise you, when you're saying this to the group, they think you're the beta/asshole for putting down your friend." – winter_snowboarding
"YTA. Why do you even care. You're being a jerk about something that doesn't affect you at all." – jackalope78
This person saw faults in all involved and said "ESH" (Everyone Sucks Here).
"I would say ESH, with a note that OP definitely sucks quite a bit more than their friend.
"Friend, obviously, sucks for pulling 'trust me, I'm a professional' and most likely exaggerating his credentials."
"But you, OP! The way you talk about his job, you pretty much show you don't exactly know what he does for living."
"He's a cook in a food chain but you have no idea what his responsibilities really are. Or the level of his skill."
"It's pretty apparent you are meanly putting him down. And it comes across as you think you're better than him."
"Why is that, OP? Even if his behavior irritates you - there are more gracious ways to go about it. Like discussing it with him in person."
"Instead, you opted for mocking him in front of strangers. You are a bad friend and you should be ashamed of yourself." – oh-my
"Friend might be ashamed that he's 'just a cook' (my guess on his reasoning, not my opinion on the profession) and is over-inflating his job title to boost his self-esteem. It's rather silly but he's not an asshole for it." – NinjasWithOnions
While on the topic of chain restaurants, consider this.
"I would argue Chili's is closer to real food than Applebee's." – flipmangoflip
"I believe you, but Applebees somehow manages to give the impression that things are frozen and microwaved."
"I've worked in other kitchens, not specifically Applebees, that were total wrecks, and people were using microwaves way more than supposed to. Maybe it varies by location, and some are very understaffed with poor quality control?" – portlandtrees333
"Geez everyone thinks Applebee's just microwaves their food! Im a server there, the cooks broil, grill, saute, prep fresh ingredients, use fryers and yes microwave some sauces and the kids mac and cheese. If you don't want to eat there or will speculate and just complain, do us a favor and don't come, we don't want you there, we don't want to hear this bs. Stay home." – coffee_sleep_repeat
A behind-the-scenes insider let us in on a secret tidbit and skewered the OP's friend for masquerading around as something he is not.
"Food served at these places are designed by corporate chefs and done so in a way that they can all be served via pre-portioned packages and idiot proof recipes."
"A lot of places like this, Red Lobster for example, love to cook food in the microwave which is fine at home, but why would you go out and pay good money for that?"
"These places are nearly idiot proof and just basic edible food that isn't bad. OPs friend needs to stop lying and just say he's a cook."
"I spent a decade working in professional kitchens with actual chefs, and I would call myself a cook because that's what I was. OPs friend sounds like he'll be one of those posers on Kitchen Nightmare who thinks he's the sh*t only to be shown how sh*tty of a cook he is." – mitsumoi1092
Employees who cook in the kitchens of franchises may not be chefs, but the acquired skills can lead to opportunities.
"People want to snob about fast food workers. But man, you learn a lot of skills in fast food. Especially working under pressure and time management."
"I've worked everything in food from fast food to fine dining to manufacturing/processing."
"My last job I trained people to work in a cafeteria line-style setting similar to chipotle and worked to get teams ready to open new stores. The most successful people there generally have some fast food background."
"Why are they so successful? Because they're used to time management, speed, and prioritisation."
"Working in food is like being in a pressure cooker. You either make the best of it and come out/succeed beautifully or you bust under the pressure."
"Place I worked a on campus during uni did wings. We made all of our own sauces except for the buffalo sauce. Fabulous. They were delicious and that job alone taught me a lot about cooking."
"I still make the roasted garlic Parmesan sauce at home, it was so good." – yakkylime
This user advised against underestimating the work of aspiring chefs.
"No shame in being a line cook, they're the ones doing the heavy lifting of getting out the food during a dinner service."
"I've dated two men who were line cooks, and my husband went on to be a sous chef at his location (would have considered the chef position that came open, if they had offered more money, he's paid hourly right now and makes about as much with overtime as he was offered for the chef position, and that would require him to work the same hours or more. But if they had offered him more, he would have considered it, he knows the job and is good at it)."
"He's not a culinary school chef, he did the dishwasher to cook route many times, getting up to management training a few times, making back of house trainer several times."
"He's good at it (although I am better at some things, living with him has caused me to up my cooking game as well)." – RorhiT
Sometimes, trained chefs also prepare food as line cooks do.
"You can be a professional chef, meaning that you work in the industry, you prepare food, you have a certificate from a cooking school, etc. and still just be the line guy/girl for a head chef."
"Not every chef runs their own kitchen. Just for example, (JUST for example) do you think that Gordon Ramsey is cooking every meal every night at every restaurant he owns? Nope. He has chefs who work for him running them. Cooking his food, to his recipes."
"Are they just cooks? Nope, they are chefs. Say he lets them experiment once in a while. They create a menu, source the ingredients, write the recipes."
"They then spend all night alone in the kitchen cooking them? Nope. They have a crew of chefs working for them."
"Are those guys just cooks? Nope, they are chefs. I am sure that most head chefs also hire cooks."
"After a few years, those guy have enough experience that they can honestly call themselves chef if they want to. Without running a kitchen, without sourcing a menu, without ordering the ingredients, and without a degree."
"The main difference between the 2 is knowledge and practice." – Nafe3344
Experience can be the sole ingredient for success.
"My husband is a chef and does not have a culinary school degree."
"He's worked with chefs with degrees and he could cook circles around them. My husband did the start at dishwasher and work your way up path a few times at different restaurants (he would apply at a restaurant looking for a dishwasher as a way to get his foot in the door) and would make it up to trainer or management trainee each time."
"He's been at his current position for nearly twelve years, they call him the sous chef (they even had it embroidered on his chef's coats), and he turned down the chef position because he would have been working the same number of hours or more than he is now, and he gets overtime now, so it would be the same hourly rate or less than he gets now, plus he would have more responsibility." – RorhiT
At the end of the day, kindness should matter.
"That's just terrifically mean. Never demean someone because of their profession, however humble. Let him call himself a chef - it's not hurting you. And there's absolutely no reason to humiliate him in front of friends." – WebbieVanderquack
The OP would be wise to stop mocking his friend. Unless he wants spit in his food.
In an update, the OP conceded they were the a**hole and planned to make amends.
"Well it seems to be the consensus that I am a regular old jacka**. I will apologize and try to make it right."