The Great Hall
The silliest/stupidest thing you have ever seen/heard in a kitchen! The Great Hall: The silliest/stupidest thing you have ever seen/heard in a kitchen!
By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Friday, November 19, 2004 - 09:15 am: Edit

This thread is inspired from a thread and comment from FoodPump in the Caterers Corner. I have seen and heard many stupid things over the years and just want all to share and give thanx to these precious lil moments that make our industry the insane asylum that it is.

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Friday, November 19, 2004 - 10:07 am: Edit

Stoopid? Like the new sandwich girl I had a few years back. Never saw an avocado before, but that didn't stop her from trying to cut it half--with the pit still inside it. Still have scars on the sandwich cutting board where she was whaleing on it like a chunk of firewood.

Probably the most stupid thing I've heard so far came from a delivery driver. We provide the vehicles, but the driver has to keep us informed if it needs maintainence. Anyway, it was about two weeks after this guy started when I had to accompany him in the van for a delivery that needed setting up and decorating. He remarks that he's getting low on gas, I glance at the dash and see a blinking "OIL" light. When I told him this, this is what I got, straight from the horse's mouth:
"Oh that. It's been doing that for almost a week now." He didn't last long...

By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Friday, November 19, 2004 - 07:32 pm: Edit

My executive chef hails from Pennsylvania - no offense but who are those guys? He couldn't understand why we (the ladies) kept asking for a seat cover holder in the restroom. The covers were just piled on top of the tank and everyone dripped on them when reaching for a paper towel. Pretty gross when trying to find a dry one to use!!!
Anyway, I finally bought one and brought it in, he said, "What in the world is that?" He is in his mid forties and swears he never heard of seat covers before. The Supply guy told him they were a_ _ gaskets - he finalyy got the point.

Oh well.....

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Friday, November 19, 2004 - 10:01 pm: Edit

Now this one, whenever I tell it gets laughs but for me it's still painfull.
When we first started catering, I successfuly convinced the partners to buy one, new, well designed, solid piece of equipment--a BBQ. All of us were happy with it; solid, all S/S construction, commercial quality (with a commercial price!) and 5 15,000 btu burners spaced evenly along the 36"length We had it for almost 5 years with no incident, untill...
Two summers ago we were very busy, and on one particular weekend I had a regular 'burger n'dog party for 200, followed the next day by a high-end party with grilled salmon, smoked breasts, etc. They finally decided to get a relief cook to do the burger party so I could prep the other one. Partners did the hunting and found a cook: 20 years experience, Cayman Isl., yada, yada. I wanted him in a day earlier to help with prep and to get a better look at him, but the partners told me he'd be in 2 hours before the party. My neck hairs were itchy, but I was too busy to notice. He shows up, looks O.K. tell him it's a walk in the park: Grill off half of the burgers and dogs, put 'em in hotel pans and in the Cambros. When the party starts, grill off the remainder slowly, nod and grin, and let the waiters fill up the chafers and do the rest. "Do you want to check out the BBQ?" Famous last words. "Nah, I think I've seen enough BBQ's. So I helped him check off the food, equipment, and we loaded up the van.

About an hour later I get a panic phonecall from one of the partners: "Quick, grab my car, stick the Wal-mart BBQ in it, and get down here quick!" When I got to the site there was my cook, head down, pacing furiously. "Sorry, man, the knobs just broke. I've worked with Garland ranges, Wolf ranges, but I've never seen a set-up like this. At his feet was a pile of little brass springs, spindles, and washers. I tried a knob, all loosey-goosey, then it came out in my hand. I tried an other, then another. The @#$%^&* snapped all 5 of the ****ing knobs off! Unlike ranges, this BBQ (and every other one) had the push and turn kind of knobs. My thoughts quickly turned to the party next day. With effort, I kept my voice under control, but my face was the colour of a rotten strawberry.
"You snapped one knob. O.K. that I could understand, stuff happens, and you could have done the party on four burners, easy. Two knobs, well you might have done the party, but you'd have been sweating. Three knobs, ****!, your learning curve is too steep for me. Four knobs, now that's sabatoge. But all 5 knobs! Just get behind that Wal-mart jobbie and don't ever look me in the eye.
I managed to get a repair guy in that Saturday, he cracked up when I told him what happened. Final bill for repairs and parts came to over $200.00. I photocopied that, stuck it in with wonder-cooks pay check with a short note telling him to do what he thought was right. Maybe in a few more years I'll be able to laugh when I tell that one, right now its still painfull.

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Saturday, November 20, 2004 - 06:07 pm: Edit

O.k...time to add one of my stories. The setting was a large "upscale" resort that gets alot of interns in from high ranking schools as well as ACF apprentices. That right there should say enough. The poor kid had all the right intentions, he was just too wet behind the ears to really know what he was doing. I, at the time, was in charge of garde manger. I was walking along the hot line and noticed this kid with a weird look on his face looking in his pot. I looked in there and saw what looked like melted butter with scrammbled white goop in the bottom. I asked what the hell it was and the kid said "I tried to make a thick butter sauce." So I asked what he did. "I melted some butter and added some cornstarch." Poor kid. He was thrown to the wolves.

By Chefrev (Chefrev) on Saturday, November 20, 2004 - 11:26 pm: Edit


While I'm not from PA I live here. I can tell you why nobody from PA ever heard of toilet seat covers or holders: we hover. LOL. j/k

By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Monday, November 22, 2004 - 08:08 pm: Edit

Thank you, John, I was worried about the health and safety of all womankind in PA. lol

By Chefrev (Chefrev) on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 01:57 am: Edit

Hey, you ever stopped at one of the rest stops along Routes 80 or 81 ??!! ***SHIVER***

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Wednesday, January 05, 2005 - 10:39 pm: Edit

Got an e-mail Christmas card from this guy who used to be an apprentice cook in a place I used to work at. He wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he had an attitude like he knew everything. He'd walk up to the sous-chef at service time and bark out questions like an interogator: "What's the difference between Bernaise and Foyat?" Huh?, Huh?" Not very popular. Anyway I caught him one afternoon staring at a pot of eggs that he was hard-boiling--staring at them like were going turn into gold or something. And then I got a lightbulb flashing in my brain...

"Hey Gerry, you remember grade 11 chemistry, don't you?"
"Of course! I was in the top 15 % of that class"

"Well, you remember how to generate electricity from a pot of boiling eggs, don't you?" He looks at me for a while and I manage to keep a straight face.
"Now in our school we learnt to stick a copper probe in one side of the lemon, and a zink probe in the other, immerse the lemon in a pot of water with a low pH value, like a pot of eggs, and run wires from the probes to a flashlight bulb."

"Nah, nah, you got it all wrong. You have to neutrilize the pH with an acid, like vinegar. Don't know where your teacher came from."

"Well, you know the screw top strips from those canning jars are zink, and you can get some copper strands from that copper curly-kate there. See if you can make the two leads spark..."

And so he does. Eggs boiling furiously with him bent over the pot dropping a tortured lemon in. From the corner of his eye, the Chef sees something not quite right, creeps up behind old Gerry just as he's dropping the lemon in and whacks him over the head with his clip-board. The whole crew were howling so hard that the Chef had to tell us all to shut up. Gerry's a sales rep for chinaware and table goods now...

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