"Restaurants are stingy with their wages because labor costs directly affect the cost of food. When chefs price out a dish — when they decide how much to charge for it — they are accounting for the cost of the ingredients and the cost of the labor. The price of a plate of food in a fine dining restaurant — no matter how high or low it seems to the customer — depends on the people making it getting paid very little. At the same time, we have a glamorized and romanticized perception of professional cooking, perpetuated by flashy cooking shows and gushy restaurant reviews. Chefs are put on a pedestal, and being the head chef somewhere or owning your own successful restaurant is the unrealistic prize that is dangled over the head of the line cook. This pipe dream serves as the line cook’s rationalization for the hell he is subject to as he attempts to ascend toward the pinnacle of his career."