Reader: Talk about title inflation -- now every pizza joint has an exec chef?

Categories: Cafe Society

Thumbnail image for JohanMwalnutroom1.jpg
Lori Midson
Jonah Munson at the Walnut Room.
Jonah Munson, the exec chef of the two locations of the Walnut Room, has a lot on his plate. Including dealing with naysayers who wonder why a pizza place -- even a pizza place with two addresses -- has an exec chef in the first place.

See also:
- Justin Munson, exec chef on the Walnut Room, on yard sales and mixers
- Justin Munson: "You're no better than your staff."
- In the kitchen with Jonah Munson: peach pie

Says Denver Dave:

This really has nothing to do with Jonah. I'm sure he's a nice guy and has some industry chops. My issue is when did every cook get promoted to Executive Chef? I blame Westword (in part) for the lack of distinction between an Executive Chef, a Chef, a Sous Chef, etc. etc. on down the line. After reading so many of these Westword articles proclaiming that the cook in question is an Executive Chef, I wonder if anyone knows the definition anymore. Just because you are the "senior" (or in some cases, the only cook) in a restaurant does not automatically make you the Exec. Talk about title inflation -- jeez. Now every pizza joint has an Exec: NOT.
What defines an exec chef for you?

Location Info

The Walnut Room

3131 Walnut St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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Patricia, I originally commented, and am commenting again because I feel Lori missed the point in a couple of ways. 1. The main difference between a kitchen manager and an executive chef is the skill level in cooking, with years of practical experience, usually with some formal training (culinary school, certified apprentice), as well as advanced business and management training. 2. Denver Dave (at least as I interpret his comment) and I were not “naysayers” criticizing Jonah, we were criticizing Lori for not being able to make the distinction. Jonah sounds like he’s a good manager by being respectful to the crew that works for him and he obviously enjoys what he does, and for the record, I like the Walnut Room’s pizza. Jonah also seems to understand the distinction between a practical cook and an accredited chef – see the interview question: “greatest accomplishment as a chef,” Jonah’s response: “I’ve never considered myself a chef.” I would assume it is a food writer’s responsibility to understand and utilize industry terms correctly, but perhaps “food writer” is the incorrect title to assign Lori? If the pilot analogy flew over your heads, I’d be happy to cook up a simpler one for you. Pun intended.

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