Archive for the ‘ shit chef ’ Category

Shit Chef 5

At another restaurant I cooked at they had tiny sharks swimming around in the lobster tank. They were maybe five to six inches long and they looked pretty cool. One Saturday night before we opened a waiter complained to Bob the manager about the shitty employee dinner. I forgot what it was but I’m sure it was pretty crummy. Probably something along the lines of linguine and clam sauce; day old linguine and light on the clams. So Bob came back to the kitchen to talk to the cooks about it. He was completely non-confrontational, just to talk about how to make the employee dinner at least appear to be better. All the cooks were cool about it except Sammy. This enraged him and Sammy was a guy who was easily enraged. He was stocky Hispanic guy and a little bit crazy. He was also a great cook, he could handle any station and his food came out fast and perfect. So Sammy steamed off into the dining room and confronted the entire waitstaff including hostesses and busboys, “You guys got a fucking problem with your dinner!? If you gotta fucking problem, tell me not Bob!” To emphasize his point, he grabbed a tiny shark out of the lobster tank and threw it really hard at one of the windows. It hit with a sickening splat and the shark slid down the window leaving a pinkish smear and landed on a table ruining the tablecloth. There was dead silence and no one ever complained about the employee dinner again, even though it continued to be pretty shitty.

Shit Chef 4

If you want to fuck up a seafood restaurant, throw a penny in the lobster tank. Copper’s bad for crustaceans and a penny will wipe out a whole tank. At a place where I worked when the owners were being complete dicks one of the cooks would surreptitiously drop a few pennies into the lobster tank, wiping out the entire lobster population. It was usually blamed on a little kid who probably thought it was some kind of wishing well, or fountain or another bit of water where people throw change. It’s called Shit Chef for a reason.

Shit Chef 3

One day we bought a small 5FT shark from some local fisherman and it was our head chef Greg’s idea to butcher it up for shark steaks. Greg was a good cook but not a good chef. There was a bunch of things he didn’t know, dealing with a whole shark was one of those things. It was pretty much a disaster, while Greg was cutting the shark up he punctured the stomach. This is a pretty big mistake because it smells like a hatful of assholes not to mention it’s really messy. Greg ended up cutting off the head, which he was going to boil the flesh off of and wind up with a shark jaw. I’m not sure how you do that but it wasn’t the way Greg did it. He just put it in a giant pot and boiled the shit out of it, the head was buoyant and peaking out over the top of the pot. When Greg went out, Sean and I put the head in a smaller pot and covered it (which pushed the head down) and put it back. Later, Greg not knowing what it was took the top off the pot and the sharks head popped up like it was spring loaded. He was really pissed and the boiled up shark head was grotesque, it looked like a zombie shark. He never did get the jaw off of it and no one ate shark that night.

Shit Chef 2

Less Than Professional:
1) A restaurant where I worked got a really nice review but the bulk of the article was praising our pastry chef. This made myself and the other cooks insanely jealous. Being childish and jealous is a large part of a cooks makeup, this is usually heightened by drink. So to get back at the pastry chef who’s only crime was to be good at his job, I bent back the cardboard cake circles his cakes were resting on and stuck olives up into his cakes. Customers were more dismayed than annoyed and the pastry chef was asked not to experiment with olives in any more of his cakes.
2) I wrote “fuck you” with the small lobster legs on a ten pound stuffed lobster that was ordered five minutes before we closed. The waiter got stiffed on a tip and I gave him a steak to make up for it.
3) I substituted a breaded piece of cardboard for the veal in a veal parm that was sent back three times. Nothing was wrong with the first two and I was betting they wouldn’t touch the third one, luckily I was right.

shit chef

Shit Chef: Nail in the Paella
About a million years ago I was a cook at a bunch of different restaurants along the Jersey shore Here’s a story from that time.
     This one place I worked at was on the water, it’s gimmick was the dining room was built on a moored barge.  It was pretty high end and we did about two to three hundred diners on a weekend night.  Like any restaurant we would get the occasional scam artist who would try to cadge a free meal out of us. They would slip a pushpin or a rubber band in with their meal and cry foul. Nobody ever got a free meal out of it, the most they’d get was a round of drinks or a free desert. I’m not saying that nothing ever fell into the food, on a busy night something might fall off of a shelf. If a complaint did come back to the kitchen I would check what was found in the food against what was around it’s preparation and plating.
     Paella is a big Spanish seafood dish, we served it for two. It had lobster, shrimp, scallops, clams, chorizo, and saffron rice. It was pretty expensive and we would sell a few each weekend. One busy Saturday night at around 9pm when it was packed a couple who had a Paella started freaking out (of course it was about 75% eaten already). They had a found a nail in their Paella not just any nail but a bright, shiny five inch nail. Now there’s no goddamned way that could have happened except for the customers putting it in themselves. The guy started complaining and it went up the complaint ladder from busboy to waiter to hostess to manager. The customer was getting louder and he was just at the point of having everyone in the restaurant hear him. A horrible silent moment where the tide of the night could turn and maybe just maybe the future of the restaurant, “There was this guy who found something in his food, a giant nail…” Stories like that can sometimes spread like a cancer.  This guy didn’t just want the dinner taken off the bill, or drinks, or desert. He wanted everything comped, another Paella, and more drinks. He thought that his loud act would win out. Doug our manager was a guy who had been around kitchens for a long time. He was big and looked like a professional wrestler, drank like a fish, was coarse, funny as hell, and would not put up with any bullshit. Doug came in the kitchen and got Sammy and I.   Sammy was another line cook a big Hawiaain guy who was crazy, he never got fucked up which made his craziness a little more serious. I on the other hand was not crazy but I was fucked up, and ready for the inevitable dinner rush. Doug told Sammy and I to stand by the kitchen doors and if he pushed this douche bag through it we were to beat the shit out of him and throw him in the dumpster out back. This all went down pretty quick and for some reason I picked up a meat mallet and Sammy picked up a cleaver. We stood by the kitchen doors looking at the guy while Doug talked to him. Doug took the guy towards the kitchen under the aegis of “Let’s talk this over”. He points to us and says “Look at those guys behind the doors, they’re gonna beat the shit out of you and throw you into the dumpster, if you don’t stop acting like an asshole, I know the cops and they won’t do shit. I know you’re fucking lying about the nail. Now shut the fuck up take your free drinks and consider yourself lucky” And he did just that.  I am so goddamned glad he didn’t come through the door.