abilities- . There are status differences between 'chefs' and 'cooks' in that the former view themselves as an elite serving an upper-class clientele in high 'quality'establishments. Such status differences with deep historical root undermine the perception of a homogeneous 'occupation'. There are many opportunities in the industry to acquire managerial or employer
positions.In the early 1970s, for example, there were three times as many 'managerial/employer' positions in hotels and catering than the proportion in the UK economy as a whole (see Chivers 1973). This hasled to
the perception among cooks of a distinct career structure through which they can progress upwards and come to run their own establishment.
But Chivers goes on to argue that extensive technicalchange occurred
amongst such chefs and cooks in the 1970s. This was partly because of the introduction of various electrical devices, which replaced many routine hand operations, but mainly becauseof the widespread development of 'convenience foods':
Where the very nature of the craft was being invaded by technological change in the form of convenience foods (dried. tinned and frozen),opinions revealed doubts and distress. There was recognition of the advantages of such foods in speeding up operations, increasing control over work and reducing wastage, but between a half andthree-quarters of chefs and cooks feared a loss of skill and dishes would suffer. Where convenience foods have taken over, they transplant the need for skill from the kitchen to earlier stages of foodpreparation in factories. the result is that frozen meats, fish, vegetables and desserts enter the kitchen in a condition which requires no more than the semi-skilled operation of reconstitution beforeservice. (Chivers, 1973: 650-1)
However, Gabriel's research in a hospital kitchen in the 1980s suggests that the situation may be more complex than this. He shows that what was more common was the...