The Great Hall
Pretty Amusing Story The Great Hall: Pretty Amusing Story
By Ironhead (Ironhead) on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 06:26 pm: Edit

Funny how you take things for granted..... I used to be the Chef of a 160 seat "upscale casual" restaurant. My cooks were knowledgeable and, for the most part, professional. I have since sold out and gone corporate. I am now the Exec Chef of a 360 bed hospital which also covers and additional 80 bed children's hospital and a 40 bed medical pavilion. Now that the background is done, on with the story....

Our special in our show cooking venue at the cafeteria today was spinach salad with warm bacon dressing. Our purchaser forgot to order the bacon dressing and one of my cafeteria workers was in a tizzy about not having any bacon dressing to make the salad. "Relax", I tell her, "we have all the ingredients we need, I'll make some real quick." 15-20 minutes later I had a good 3 gallons of piping hot bacon vinaigrette for her.

What I did not have, however, were any emulsifiers, so as you can imagine, my warm bacon dressing looked homemade. As it sat on the steam table the temporary emulsion broke, of course. So then I get word from our Retail Manager that our cafeteria worker, let's call her "Sue", was afraid to come to me with a problem because she was afraid I'd get mad at her.

She was aparently worried that whatever that substance was floating on the surface of the dressing (FRIGGIN' OIL AND BACON FAT) would somehow make people sick if they ate it.

It never really dawned on me that she had probably never seen a non emulsified vinaigrette in her life. So rather than go out and embarrass her in front of everyone I just sent word out with the Retail Manager that if she stirred it really well before she served it the customers would be just fine.

On the one hand I amused at the whole thing. On the other I am taken aback at the fact that this girl (and she really isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer) somehow thought that I would knowingly give her something to serve that would make people sick. "I've been doing this for a while now, all you really need to do is shut up and trust me. Oh and stir the dressing." Is what I wanted to tell her.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 11:54 pm: Edit

Had to deal with something like that, this guy, also not the sharpest knife, thought that I was under baking Japonaise' rounds.
"They just don't look done enough."
Trust me you beginner, they are, I thought.
But I said, "trust me, they will be perfect".
The next time I wanted rounds made, he wanted to do them so I took a long cig break. He forgot to roast the nuts before adding them to the whites.
They were pale looking, so he baked them longer.
Needless to say all of those were ground up to be added to the next batch.
He washed pots until he learned to remember to look at his notes when baking.
Then he left when I slept with his girlfriend,(but I didn't know she was his girlfriend, she didn't tell me) and on his way out I yelled, "Remember, roast the nuts"
Kinda a cute story don't ya think?

By Chefrev (Chefrev) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 08:51 pm: Edit

Spike, you're a satyr.

Anyway, what is it with people who think they know what they're talking about when they have no clue at all?

Last year, one of our waitresses (75 yrs old, career waitress, been there since before the dinosaurs, and she's 10 ft. tall and bulletproof to the managers) asked me to make our signature coconut cake for a party she was giving. It's a huge affair with lots of vanilla mousse in the middle and coconut-covered buttercream.

The day she was going to take it home I was half finished with it and she walks back to ask me something unrelated (yeah right) and sees her cake in the assembly stage. I'll admit the cake can be messy with the mousse seeping out between the cake layers, but she went ballistic. "OH is THAT MY CAKE?!? Oh it looks awful! I can't serve that! Oh I shouldn't have asked you to make it...blah blah blah."

I tried to explain that it wasn't finished and that the finished product would look great and hold together when sliced, and taste great. She wouldn't listen and went off to the break area to b**ch about me and the cake.

I confronted her firmly, but quietly and told her to trust me, that I know what I'm doing and not to worry. She wouldn't hear it, but said to finish the cake and she'd take it anyway. "I don't have time to get anything else now, anyway!" she said.

Long story short, she and her guests LOVED the cake. She apologized profusely for ever doubting me, gave me some money, and has been mostly nice to me since.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 11:55 pm: Edit

It's a Gen X thing!!!!!!
They are going to save the world you know??????

By Dpconsu (Dpconsu) on Thursday, November 20, 2003 - 03:15 am: Edit

Heh,dont you guys remember being exactly the same when you were young and green and still smelling like placenta? how many idiot remarks, faux pays and generaly were you all not F**k-ups too? I know that the first six months of my apprenticeship were hell, I really thought that I was smart but a pock marked slime ball who could not string two sentances together without cussing could still turn potatoes way better than I could, it was just about ten years differance in EXPERIENCE that counted.
It is the blunt knives at work that relieve the boredom and allow you to proove your merit by TRAINING them. Enjoy the quiet slap on the back that you can give yourselves for adding to thier knowledge and doing it ways that do not breed resentment but an appreciation for all the time that you took to explain and teach.

Viva la cuisine!

By Ironhead (Ironhead) on Thursday, November 20, 2003 - 08:51 pm: Edit

I NEVER questioned my Exec Chef to the extent of thinking something he gave me to serve would make other people sick. When I was green as grass I kept my mouth shut and my eyes and ears open. As a matter of fact, until I was feeling pretty proficient at my job "Yes Chef" was about the only thing I would say when asked to do something. Only after I had been cooking for a while did I start to sort out what worked and what was Bullsh*t.

But yes, the dull knives do make the day more interesting, that is a fact.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Saturday, November 22, 2003 - 10:56 am: Edit

I was the perfect student.
and I have the scars from the stock pot paddle to prove it!

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