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National Restaurant Association - 5 celebrity chefs who are just like you and me

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5 celebrity chefs who are just like you and me

If you're like a third of the American population, your first job was in a restaurant. You cleared tables, washed dishes or rang up orders. Well, many top chefs are just like you. Before they were famous, they fried chicken and egg rolls, checked coats -- and scrubbed a lot of dirty pots and pans. Several shared their humble beginnings with us on Twitter. Won't you join the fun? Tweet your #FirstJob to @WeRRestaurants.

We heard from several culinary stars with restaurants in Chicago, including many familiar faces from the NRA Show. We were especially excited to hear from Table Fifty-Two's Art Smith. What we really want to know: Did he ever learn the Colonel's secret spice mix during his years at KFC? And were his KFC biscuits as delicious as those at Art and Soul in D.C.?

David Burke, who has appeared on two seasons of Top Chef Masters, also weighed in. We know he operates restaurants in Manhattan, Chicago, Connecticut and his home state New Jersey. But what he was cooking up at the hotel?

Chef Homaro Cantu, owner of Moto restaurant in Chicago and a leader in the post-modern gastronomy movement, challenged others to share their first restaurant industry job. In a follow-up tweet, he mentioned talking about #FirstJob lessons with his team. The real question is: Can he get Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto to share his first restaurant job?

Billy Dec, who operates Rockit Bar & Grill, Sunda, Rockit Burger Bar, Underground, ¡AY CHIWOWA! and Bottlefork restaurant, seems to have had some interesting early gigs. We bet he liked frying eggrolls at summer fairs more than checking snow-sogged coats in Chicago's brutal winters.

Graham Elliott, who's appeared on Iron Chef and Top Chef Masters, frequently shows his love for the industry with his helpful critiques as a judge on Master Chef. Will the owner of Graham Elliott Bistro encourage this season's hopefuls to share their #FirstJob with us?



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