Is it true that cooks are misfits?
Maybe not all. But I’ll say this.
My first job was working in a kitchen at a large camp / conference center. And it was not just the cooks who came across as misfits. The entire kitchen staff had this air of deviance to it.
I was only there for the summer, but the permanent staff was
without a doubt a group of rebels and weirdos that would have just as easily fit in at the circus.
The 25% of the kitchen that barely spoke English were the most normal of the bunch.
In my life, in my world, I took it as an article of faith that chefs were unlovable. That’s why we were chefs. We were basically … bad people—which is why we lived the way we did, this half-life of work followed by hanging out with others who lived the same life, followed by whatever slivers of emulated normal life we had left to us. Nobody loved us. Not really. How could they, after all? As chefs, we were proudly dysfunctional. We were misfits. We knew we were misfits, we sensed the empty parts of our souls, the missing parts of our personalities, and this was what had brought us to our profession, had made us what we were.
-Anthony Bourdain, Medium Raw