“The ability to endure suffering was bound up with notions of employability, character and worth,” said co-author Dr Rebecca Scott. “Suffering is central to chefs’ understanding of who they are –both as individuals and as a broader social collective.”
Finn, a sous chef with experience in European and Asian kitchens, told the researchers mistakes during service could be punished with a punch in the ribs but said “taking a bollocking – it kind of builds your character and … that’s what I liked … everyone I worked with there all wanted to be three Michelin star chefs”.
Arthur, who worked in Europe and Australia, said: “There isn’t a way of developing yourself without suffering – your abilities and your tolerances – without that. You know, there isn’t – it’s all part of the development in that world … Through suffering there’s some enlightenment, some higher goal. It’s that stoic life.”
ETA: If anyone can track down the study (I’ve not gone looking for it yet), I’d be happy with a link.