A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 26, 2013
Chefdom

"Chefdom” means the state or condition of being a chef. The term “chefdom” has been cited in print since at least 1886, when it referred to the French cooks who would display their craft at the Metropolitan Hotel in New York City.

Since about 2000, “chefdom” has often meant “celebrity chefdom”—a special world where star chefs write books, open restaurants and have television shows.


Collins Dictionary
chefdom (ˈʃɛfdəm)
noun
(not standard) the state or condition of being a chef

31 January 1886, New York (NY) Herald, “Appetizing Show of the French Cooks and Festivities of the Prospect Association,” pg. 9, col. 5:
Special pains have been taken to make the occasion memorable in other respects, and on Tuesday evening next every important kitchen in town will be deserted and the floor of the Metropolitan will bend beneath its weight of chefdom.

17 March 1901, Denver (CO) Post, “Carleton Ward’s New York Letter,” pg. 9, col. 1:
The Manhattan Club has long been famed for its cuisine and its old and rare wines; its dinners have ever been on an elaborate and lavish scale; the members are particularly proud of the famous chefs who have presided over the culinary department, and the old boys still talk of the great Dominique, who was one of the celebrated artists of chefdom.

Chronicling America
22 October 1905, Washington (DC) Times, “What it means to be a Cook in the Palace of the CZAR,” Magazine sec., pg. 5, col. 3:
Mr. Hirtzler, therefore, became an interne to the chef of one of the lesser duchies of Germany, placing his foot on the first round of the ladder that led to a chefdom of his own.

GoogleBooks
August 1915, Outing, “A Hoosier Holiday” by Fred Cromwell, pg. 534, col. 2:
“Well, you’ll do at dishwashing, but Providence has made you a little dense when it comes to the finer points of chefdom,” Jed replied, with an accent of finality.

Google News Archive
23 May 1976, Cape Girardeau (MO) Southeast Missourian, “Vie in Super Bowl of chefdom” (AP), pg. 7, col. 3:
The Super Bowl of chefdom open the National Restaurant Association convention at McCormick Place.
(In Chicago, IL—ed.)

Google Books
Letters to a Young Chef
By Daniel Boulud
New York, NY: Basic Books
2003
Pg. 24:
He had taken an unusual route to chefdom — the pastry kitchen.

Google Books
The Nasty Bits:
Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones

By Anthony Bourdain
New York, NY: Bloomsbury USA
2006
Pg. 129:
It may not be all about the food in the harsh, unforgiving business of celebrity chefdom, but it is still about cooking, about the pleasures of the table.

Vegas Seven (Las Vegas, NV)
Food U Offers a Crash Course in Celebrity Chefdom
By Jen Chase
March 21st, 2013
If you’ve ever fantasized about cooking on the Food Network, here’s your chance (minus the drama queens and the sad being-sent-home bits). Food University at Caesars Palace (March 27-29, $1,995, FoodUniversityLasVegas.com) is where cooking-show fanatics can get off their couches and into a classroom for nine hands-on sessions taught by renown chefs during a breakneck 72 hours in one of the world’s top international dining destinations.

Zagat
4/08/2013 05:30:00 PM
Quote of the Day: Wylie Dufresne on Celebrity Chefdom
“Well I mean, I don’t know if I, technically, am a celebrity chef. I’m no Bobby Flay, I’m no Emeril, I’m no, I don’t know what you call people like Rachael Ray even...The celebrity chef thing, it’s a little weird, you know? It’s not why I got into it. I think that there are certain people that have decided that that’s what they’re looking for and I think that there are young people today that just simply get into it so that they can become celebrity chefs. But it was never an end game for me, it was a by-product that was very helpful at times, but was never the sole intention.”
-Chef Wylie Dufresne on his ‘celebrity chef’ status (or lack thereof) in a recent interview

New York (NY) Post
Good riddance to the queen of trashy food
By STEVE CUOZZO
Last Updated: 11:31 AM, June 26, 2013
Posted:  11:26 PM, June 25, 2013
Good riddance, Paula Deen — but too bad gloating over her belated ruination won’t make up for years of her televised, stomach-churning dominion over millions of Americans’ taste.
(...)
Rock-star chefdom made our culinary scene into a trashy, traveling carnival. It warped restaurants coast to coast, driving chefs to “brand” themselves so they’d never have to sweat over a real stove again.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Wednesday, June 26, 2013 • Permalink