The other day I got pressed into service on a canning operation. My job was to peel 25 pounds of tomatoes and pass them on to be made into sauce. This required the set-up you see here: a pot of boiling water to loosen the skins, a pot of cool water to bring them back to handling temperature, a place for the discarded skins and a slotted spoon to make the transfers.
I had been told I didn’t need to worry about the stems but quickly discovered this particular batch of Romas was a bit woody. So when is the best time to cut out the stem-ends? If you do it after peeling the tomato falls apart. So, it needs to be done before they go in the boiling water bath. This is the kind of production-line decision that is made by professional cooks dozens of times a day and is why they are different than even the most accomplished home cooks.
You can do a job very well, but if it’s one-off there’s no guarantee that you will be able to repeat with identical results. I can reliably cook steaks because I once worked in a steakhouse. But I have no such experience with deep frying so my results are more experimental. I expect it’s the same for most of us. In particular, it’s why there’s such a difference between home and professional bakers. You can’t be assured of consistent baguettes until you have made dozens or hundreds of them day after day.
This is not to slight home cooks. It’s fun to experiment and discover new things. But predictability is nice, and if I’m paying for the meal I insist on it.