Are All Chefs Crazy?

You had to think most people who choose running a kitchen as a professional aspiration must be at least a little unstable. Who would willingly sign up for low pay, long hours and the constant complaints of diners who know nothing about your creative passion, all in an environment with a heat and humidity profile similar to New Orleans in August.

Chefs have to be crazy, right? Why else would a show that documents their every idiosyncrasy as a backdrop for Padma's perfect C-cups be so popular, even when the entire program is so obviously a coverup for product placements like artificial sweeter and hybrid vehicles?

Don't take my word for it. Two upcoming books prove beyond a doubt what we should already know: Chefs be cray.

Kevin Dutton, and Oxford psychologist who just released The Wisdom of Psychopaths ranks cheffing number nine in a top 10 list of psychopathic professions. Sure it's unsettling that lawyers and members of the clergy are on the list, too, but chefs are the ones that always handle knives.

While Dutton's book deals with psychopathy in general, Back of the House: The Secret Life of a Restaurant delves deep into to the psychology of a kitchen in entirety. Food writer and clinical psychologist Scott Haas spent 18 months in James Beard Award-winner Tony Maws' restaurant, Craigie on Main, in Boston. "Did the wonderful chef Tony Maws know he revealed so much?" wrote Alan Richman in his commentary on Haas' novel. If Dutton's psychological assessment is true, Haas' book promises to be full of serious kitchen drama.

Back of the House will be released February 5.

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