Whenever they ask I always look back at them with the same blank stare, wanting to be a smart ass but knowing better.
Once someone finds out that you are a Chef or a Cook you are on a timer, they will at some point ask the question, the question you know is coming and you already know you don’t want to answer.
You would think that this would flatter your ego, that they actually are at least pretending to care about what you have to say but the answer is so obvious that when they say it you know they do not even have a passing understanding of what it means to cook food at a high level. To strive to be a Chef.
They will eventually ask you: “What do you like to cook” or some variation.
This is the impossible question for a Chef, just hand us a 12 sided Rubiks cube next time.
You see we became Chefs so that we could cook food.
If we really were in love with cooking a certain “dish” we would not have told you we were a Chef when you asked us what we did for a living. We would have told you we were full time ‘pancake maker’s or ‘hot dog vendors’, or something.
We said Chef, not because we are a generalist, but because food has a deep and special meaning for us.
An interview done with Chef Hector Laguna (Total badass, you should really check out his work) was asked this question and he answered it beautifully with: “Not really one specific dish. I feel like every dish is special, and I cook with the same integrity no matter what dish it is”
A better question to ask is: “What are you working on in the kitchen right now?”.
This will get you the response you are looking for, our eyes will light up and we will explain something that sounds like a science experiment.