The Great Hall
kitchen language The Great Hall: kitchen language
By Freddychef (Freddychef) on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 01:53 pm: Edit

Hi. My name is Fred Skanes and I work as a chef here in Canada. I am working on a project that looks at language and dialogue in the professional and domestic kitchen. I am trying to locate as many words, phrases, and slang that chefs and cooks use in their day to day operations. If you have any suggestions post to this webpage.

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 01:51 am: Edit

Zizzed- food burned or overcooked past the point of servability.

By Dustman (Dustman) on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 02:59 am: Edit

pull- remove
strain- keep liquid remove solids
Drain- remove liquid keep solids
(I have had a cook dump my Demi glace and ask what to do with the bones)
Fire- plate the table/ item
all day - Usually refering to one item on several tickets I.E. seven osso bucco all day
86 - we all heard stories but the bottom line is its gone
Thank you - #$%#@ you ( just kidding)
Crouton run - what a line cook or dishwasher does after two cigs in the parking lot( also known as bacon run for breakfast and lunch cooks)
the hard way- doing 200 one two top at a time
You burn you learn - self explanitory( I got hot pan, you in way/ translated from caveman )
I am not that informative right now maybe tomorrow.

By Freddychef (Freddychef) on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 09:46 am: Edit

Thanks for the responses. I can think of a few --in the s**ts(busy) in the weeds(same thing), on the fly(hurry!!!!)

By Sam (Sam) on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 07:53 pm: Edit

and these: "Dead" - unusable, wasted, burnt, ect..."Drop" the...salads,desserts,something - deliver to table...."on the quick thaw" - under running water or microwave..."nuke it" - microwave it..."flatseat the d.r." all seats filled at once, with no stagger for proper service.....I'm sure I'll think of others....hope this helps....sam sears, cec

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Saturday, December 01, 2001 - 12:34 pm: Edit

Pearl Diving-washing pots and pans.

By George (George) on Sunday, December 02, 2001 - 05:29 pm: Edit

Shoe maker or left hander- A cook that uses non classical short cuts or is just a lousy line cook.

Chinese Microwave- Deep fat fryer

Line Doggy, A line cook

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Sunday, December 02, 2001 - 06:30 pm: Edit

"Shoemaker" goes along with the saying-"His taste is in his feet".
"Zap"- to microwave. Also see "nuke"
"Watron" or "Waitroid"- server.
"Dish doggie"- A dish machine operator, also see "Ceramics Engineer".

By Freddychef (Freddychef) on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 - 12:05 pm: Edit

This is great! Thanks for the responses. They'' help a lot, and keep them coming! What about shoe leather for that well done beef order! Or does anyone have specifics to their place of employment? Like the culture of the food or the menu items. I work in a place that when the exe chef kicks the door to garde manger and yells something unintelligible it usually means a `pizza salad(kid's menu)..or if he yells I need more croutons..that's goat cheese...or if he says `one lamb down..that's a rack......things like that will change based on the kitchen.

So you have language based on the general kitchen, then you have specifics based on cuisine ,culture and menu>....

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 - 01:23 pm: Edit

"Great Wall of China"- Stacks of dirty plates and dishes in dishroom.
"With legs"-Order to go
"Campers"- Diners who stay seated longer than usual.
"The Bums' Rush"-Feeding someone as fast as possible, preferably so they will leave.

By George (George) on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 - 02:18 pm: Edit

Here's a classic from the Bounty at the CIA-


Wine em, dine em, Route 9 em.

Referring to turning over the daily senior bus trip lunch banquets professionally but with alacrity.

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 - 07:17 pm: Edit

on the other side of that


burn em and turn em

By George (George) on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 - 07:53 pm: Edit

From Chef Danny Lane formerly of the Waldorf Astoria,:

Refering to the cooking ability of the gentleman that did the food for the hotel cafeteria:


If it's smoking it's cooking, if it's black it done


One Armed Bandit

- A banquet cook who did production only using one hand.

Often followed by:


Use two hands stupid!

The moto on the wall of the main kitchen in the Waldorf-


"The difficult immedately, The impossible takes a little longer"

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 - 07:53 pm: Edit

"Speil"-To explain the nightly specials.
"Split and Married"- two entrees, with half of each on each plate.
"On a Rail"- in a hurry.

By George (George) on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 - 08:04 pm: Edit

"Black and Blue"- Cooking a THICK steak (normaly a strip steak or tenderloin but not necessarily) by putting it on a red hot flat top with a weighter sizzler on it just until the down side is black and then turning it over and plating it on the raw side.

"Sizzler" A football shaped and sized heavy aluminum pan with no handle and only about 1/2inch of side used for broiling and all sorts of other stuff.

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 - 11:33 pm: Edit

Monkey Dish, Those litle rimmed bowls that hold about 2 oz.

A steak Pitsburg style, A steak cooked so it's black on the outside and "bleu" raw on the inside.

B&B, a bread and butter plate.

How about the Blacks and the Whites. Front of the House dressed in black and the back of the house dressed in whites. I remmember the first time I heard that I was being asked how my black and white relations were and I said I didn't care what color a person was.

Is toque slang?

We called the crew that came in at night and cleaned the swamppers

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Thursday, December 06, 2001 - 09:25 am: Edit

Monkey Suit-Chefs' uniform with coat, pants and toque.

By Freddychef (Freddychef) on Thursday, December 06, 2001 - 10:56 am: Edit

I worked in a kitchen in Charlottetown where they call baker's trolleys (or all purpose trolleys) Dogs...and there are a few other names that escape me now....

By Zchef101 (Zchef101) on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 - 11:49 pm: Edit

heres a few:

"on the fly" in a hurry
"burn it" to denote well done
"rail on it" complete a task in a hurry
"soup to nuts" A full meal
"flash" get it hot again, usually under a salamander

By Freddychef (Freddychef) on Tuesday, January 29, 2002 - 11:25 am: Edit

How about HOH-for heart of house--the kitchen...shoe leather--well done steak...

By Chefmurray (Chefmurray) on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 11:21 am: Edit

There are a few Canadian TERMS that I wish to add:

WE GOT SMOKED !!! - Same as in the s##ts

KITCHEN COWBOY - A cook or chef that flys
by the seat of his pants
doesn't know a recipe if
it was written down in front
of him

By Swalters (Swalters) on Tuesday, March 05, 2002 - 02:15 pm: Edit

Here's a couple..

KICKING ROCKS - Referring to an order to go.

WITH SHOES ON - Same thing.

SLOW PLATE - a cook who doesn't understand the concept of a rush.

My favorite quote is...

"86 the Baked Potatoes doesn't mean 85 are left!!!"

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Tuesday, March 05, 2002 - 09:56 pm: Edit

"Jonestown"- A really slow night.

By Freddychef (Freddychef) on Wednesday, March 06, 2002 - 01:39 pm: Edit

Hi--does anyone know of other non-North American websites from other english cultures that I can post to??freddychef

By Point83702 (Point83702) on Thursday, May 02, 2002 - 01:31 am: Edit

How about:Hack-bad cook;Soignee-V.I.P.;radar love-microwave;rook-inexperienced cook;snot sauce-slurry thickened sauce;tomato soup base-ketchup;fixed-broken;lumpoc of the tarhole-chafed;counter sharks-waiters;blue dolphin-water ordered at a bar;spin it-mix in food processor;I wouldn't eat it with your mouth-the fish is no longer fresh;mud sauce-poorly made Demi;ticket torture-one ticket after another but not busy;printer diarrhea-getting slammed;to have wheels-to be able to cook fast

By Chefantony (Chefantony) on Thursday, October 24, 2002 - 09:42 pm: Edit

At one of my jobs many years ago we were not allowed to say nuke or microwave we we supposed to use the term "give it to chef mike." I liked it so much I use it my kitchens today.Looks like evrything else is pretty much covered. - chefantony

By Chefrev (Chefrev) on Tuesday, November 05, 2002 - 04:02 pm: Edit

I know this is an old string, so here's an old slang:

pipe stock=tap water. Usually used to dilute that salt paste they call soup base (chicken, beef, etc.).

By Corey (Corey) on Tuesday, November 05, 2002 - 07:01 pm: Edit

ya we freebase here a lot too.

By Boychik (Boychik) on Tuesday, November 05, 2002 - 09:25 pm: Edit

sauce au faucette = tap water

By Corey (Corey) on Tuesday, November 05, 2002 - 10:34 pm: Edit

I call working with a packaged base, freebaseing.
hate to tell you what I call food from a can...

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Tuesday, November 05, 2002 - 10:54 pm: Edit

"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"-using large parsley sprigs as a garnish on a plate.

By Point83702 (Point83702) on Wednesday, November 06, 2002 - 12:26 pm: Edit

We've always called tap water English consomme.

By Brian_óc (Brian_óc) on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 09:43 pm: Edit

Cremate = well done
Pot walloper = dish washer
Give it it's P45 = past its sell by, put it in the bin buddy
In the cold fridge = in the freezer.
Tray it up\trayed up (eg veg) = Make\have it portioned and ready to be "flashed"
Bang them out = Get them to the table and fast
Sunkissed = Burnt

Thats all i got at the moment!

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