I frequently get the question "What is your specialty?" 
I immediately know that the person in front of me knows nothing about the profession other than the image that has been "painted" for them in one of the many cooking shows on tv, that focus on ONE LITTLE NICHE in the industry. 

For years I have struggled with this question. Many thoughts come to mind. In a way the question is almost an insult because it suggest that our profession is simplistic. 
Most of the time I will just smile and say "I love roasted rack of lamb". 
After all, they do not intend it to be an insult. They simply do not know any better!

However, what I would like to say is:"I have a meeting with a vendor at 3 o'clock, so I really do not have time to elaborate on it, but here are a little bit of what I specialize in:
Soups, stocks, sauces, dressings, marinades, grilling, smoking, filleting of fish, butchering, Sushi making, baking, compound salads, sanitation, cheese sculptures, chocolate art, vegetable crudites, ice carvings, pastries, food from most nations in the world, preparation of anything between alligator and ostrich. 
And the other half includes but not limited to:
Menu proposals, Interviewing of new employees, Payroll, scheduling, listen to sales pitch from eager vendors, employee confrontations, purchasing, pep-talk/team building, inventory, menu design, department meeting, staff meeting, BEO meeting, F&B meeting, budget meeting, corporate meeting, preshift meeting, trainng of new employees, writing work orders, meeting with future banquet guests, tracking attendence, negotiating with conference planners, filling Purchase Orders, doing nutrition analysis, communicating via voice mail, e-mail, fax and log book, creating promotional material, comparison shopping, getting equipment bids, attempting to communicate with eastern European utillity staff, associate reviews etc. etc.
And do you know what...................? 
I love this profession! 
I have friends in other industries that makes two or three fold of what I take home
(in less time), but it is not ONLY about money. 
Most Chefs are in it because this career fulfill their artistic needs, social needs
(interact with ALL KINDS of people), and it is never boring. There is always somthing new to learn! 
What is "a Chef"?
Geir S. Kilen
Executive Chef