The Caterers Corner
Saving my Reputation Caterers Corner: Saving my Reputation
By Rhondak (Rhondak) on Thursday, May 09, 2002 - 03:57 pm: Edit

I am a new caterer in my area and I have been doing a lot of work for the local school district. I have 4 children, so I give a discount, but I still make a profit and I get a lot of business from them.
I recently did a teachers appreciated lunch. The teachers lunches are staggers, so they dwindled in during the day.
My problem is here. I was ordered to make enough food for 60 people. I brought 70 plates. When we got close to the end of the event (5 teachers left to feed) I didn't have any plates left and sent my assistant to wash some in the cafeteria.
We were also getting to the bottom of the food and of course we all know that no one likes to scrape the bottom of the pan. I mentioned this to my customer and she went to investigate. It turned out that some substitutes had a meeting there that day (15 people) and decided that they would partake and no one noticed (until all of the food was gone).
Well, by the time the 1st of the 5 teachers left got there and fixed a plate, she went out and told everyone available that the caterer had run out of food (which I hadn't but it was embarrasingly low).
The principal ran in upset and we explained the situation to her, but the blame had been set.
I did make a pot of barbeque with coleslaw and iced tea and brought it to those teachers the next day for lunch to make up for it and to try to save my reputation, but what would some of you done????
I know I could have been bitchy and said that I needed to charge for the 15 extra people, since she paid per person, but I was afraid that would make things worse.
If you have gotten through this schpeal, please offer ANY suggestions on what I could have done. This was the FIRST time I had ever come close to running out of food and even though it wasn't my fault, I still feel like it was.
Thanks for the help! Rhonda

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 12:10 pm: Edit

When the food runs out during a function everyone thinks it's the caterer's fault. After the fact "damage control" doesn't do much and can give "You doth protest to much" impression. Only serving to prove culpability. The only practical suggestion is, DON'T RUN OUT OF FOOD. That being said it can still happen, but if you plan ahead there are things that can be done to mitigate the situation.

In spite on everything we do to get accurate guaranties there is always that chance more people are going to show up. It's imperative to work that contingency into our plans. "What will I serve if there are more people than planned for?"

'How many more to plan for?' Planning for a set percentage of overage works for larger numbers (in the hundreds) but when talking about numbers below 100 plan on 10 to fifteen people extra.

When if becomes apparent that more people are eating than was contracted for you can inform the contact and smoothly execute your contingency plan.

What if more than that show up? The beyond expectations rule applies. A visible good will effort to accomodate was made, above and beyond expectations. The contact has seen the efforts made on their behalf to avoid embarrassment on their part. Good will has been established and the best been made of a bad situation. Some people will still talk but the initiative will be on the side of the caterer.

By Snuffaluff (Snuffaluff) on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 05:10 pm: Edit

Let me tell you that I in NO way am a chef, or have ever been. I just felt sorry for you(hope that doesn't sound bad). Here's the questions that popped into my head:
What were the people that got to eat saying about the food? good/bad??
Other than the obvious "messup" in the 15 extra ppl that showed up, did everything go smooth?
The next day, when you brought those teachers lunch, did they seem to really appreciate it, or were they just like, gee thanks!?
I'm sure that one tintsy "messup" won't ruin the reputation you have(assuming it is good). Think of it this way. You go to a restuarant and have something that you don't like or it wasn't the way you wanted it. Do you just not go back?(sometimes you don't, but I bet most of the time you do). I'd say don't fret, you'll be ok!!
Again, this is from a forum reader that has never cooked anything but scrambled eggs and one hellofa venison steak.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 11:26 pm: Edit

OK, wait a min.
So when you came here you asked about getting a job with someone on a buffet line. Carving.
But you don't cook....
Now you tell us you grew up in a Jewish Synagogue,
and you write jokes like that in the other thread.
But your email is "jesusanswers".
So your a Jew for Jesus, who tells dirty jokes, and can't cook but loves to come here and read about cooking. That about right?
Christ you are in the right place, you MAY BE just as screwed up as some of US.
You should get a job cooking, your well on your way!!!!!

By Grimod (Grimod) on Saturday, June 29, 2002 - 09:10 am: Edit

What do 400 battered women have in common? the answer is in the vintage books thread...

p.s. ain't this profession screwy?

p.p.s.s. I did a stage for Joel Robuchon in Paris and thought if there ever was to be a serious hard-core kitchen this has got to be it. It was serious, but they still joked around a lot. Kitchen humor is world wide...

By Tmarta (Tmarta) on Sunday, June 30, 2002 - 07:40 pm: Edit

You are on the right track but... first, try never to screw up professionally, especially if it is your own business, but when the inevitable happens, accept responsibility, apologize perfusely and make up for it in more than the original agreement for the customer. You should have brought in a better lunch for the teachers who missed out. Or, something especially nice, pastry-wise, for all. THEN, you could quietly slip in that there were more than you had actually contracted for, let them hear you, but don't repeat yourself, unless it is to others who were not part of the first discussion.
That is the way you repair your reputation. You spend a little to make more... call it damage control. They will feel that you will try your hardest never to blow it again, because you were sincerely sorry and made it up to them big time, obviously losing money making it up to them. (They won't have to know how little it may actually have been, because you didn't lose retail, get it?)

By Mbw (Mbw) on Tuesday, July 02, 2002 - 12:25 pm: Edit


I have more experience at this than I should admit, but...

#1 Your first mistake is working cheap.. It hinders your ability to bring extra food.

"it is better to work free than cheap"
"donations are NOT good promotion they just bring you more requests for more free food"
If you donate LOVE the cause that should be enough. If you get good press GREAT!

I digress, wear pumps, bell bottoms, yuck!

#2 recovery. Making up for your clients mistake can be a problem. It was THEIR fault the count was off.. Having said that it is VERY common and you should expect it, and we all know YOU will look bad no matter who made the mistake. You will also learn when these situations are likely you can prepare the client for running out if they are off too much, OR let them know you will be charging them if it goes beyond say 10% over??

To tell the truth some caterers will roll up the linen after they hit 100, some will prepare more food.. both are the right thing to do..

Also trying to recover is admitting it is YOUR fault, and is a reminder of the mistake. They may also see this as weakness and work you to death for nothing.. Of course if you can get your pricing in line "LET THE WORKING TO DEATH BEGIN"

Church groups
School activities clubs
The Moose lodge
Kiwanis Club (sp?)
Little ol ladies, etc..
Oh yes and HOSPITALS (Btw doctors eat HIGH FAT!!)

These groups simply DON'T understand how pricing is done and often will be heard saying "I could have done it for that!"

MY RULE? Quality

Many a party has been made by exceptional tasting food, if you do the best food in your area (and it sounds like you may) all other things will work out in time.

Good luck


By Tmarta (Tmarta) on Tuesday, July 02, 2002 - 07:42 pm: Edit

I didn't mean to start a give-away mentality, (because you are right, they will take advantage, and not give you any real business),just that the most effective way that I found was to do a liitle more than was contracted for,go the extra mile, as an apology,and apologies go farther than bad attitude. THEN, after the "customer is always right" routine, you can get them to listen to a "maybe it was a little your fault, anyway" We had a couple of times that a famous person's wife had a tour group come to the little town where we had our bakery/restaurant. They own a mansion and half of the town. Anyway, we catered lunch and/or fancy box lunches. Each time they changed the schedule around and we were caught "not quite ready" with some of the last-minute details or foods. We hustled. The individuals come in to sample some more of our foods, to take some with them, or to tell us how much they enjoyed it. (Honestly, once 80 0/0 came in!)We offered samples and apologies for making them wait for lunch, and THEN slipped in how they changed the schedule and rushed us. Otherwise, come out and admit when you make real mistakes. Once a woman wanted cakes for a luncheon for Monday, when we were closed. I told her that she would have to pick them up on Sunday. To make a long story short, they were not ready. I offered to come in on Monday, finish and DELIVER them to her,
for the same price. I did not offer a discount, or give them to her.I DID offer my sincerest apologies. I DID offer a discount on a replacement cake for one that was dropped as it was being put away, just as we were closing, just before the client walked through the door, (as they weren't sure if they would pick it up that day or the next. They had to settle for a half-price cake the next.)
And you are absolutely rightabout working cheap. UPGRADE, GIRL! If they want cheap food they can go the fast food route.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Tuesday, July 02, 2002 - 07:47 pm: Edit

Mark, Your answering a 1 month old thread.
Rhondak has never been back to say thanks or go to hell or anything.
Rhondak does not deserve any more help from anyone
here as far as I'm concerned.
Thats just me. I'm kinda sick of these people who come here and get years worth of experience in these threads and then never come back to say thanks or tell how it went. Are these people beginers or shoemakers or what?
It just shows a real lacking of social skills, which is a kicker cause if you can't be social on a thread on a computer, then what are you like on the job? In real life? Uh?
MAN! it just burns me sometimes when these so called professionals do that. It's a good thing I'm not a teacher in cooking, I'd kick someone's a** if one of my students did that. Sometimes it seems like common curtesy, and respect has lost all meaning. I could go on but I must sound like I'm having a bad day, and I have to go to the post office. HaHaHaHa.

By Mbw (Mbw) on Friday, July 05, 2002 - 05:31 pm: Edit

One month?

Heh I have answered older.

As for being a professional.. I am beginning to wonder about myself.. Sure over 20 years of cooking exp I can do a party good enough BUT..

Now if I go away for months at a time it is because I am working, vacationing(oh sure), or whatever...

I consider all of you and the be the best professional knollege source on the net. Being able to get real info from real people rocks! I am honored whenever I can share my experience too, and the more i bump elbows with ya'll the more I think I may know something.

Now I need a boot camp if you will. A finishing school of catering/cooking that will help tune/focus what I already know. Ok then! Off to work with some of the local professionals!


By Tmarta (Tmarta) on Friday, July 05, 2002 - 09:30 pm: Edit

You're right, Spike, I never should have tried to help. She sounded like a "kitchen-queen", with no taste. But what does one do when they find that the "chef" that they were supposed to be working under is an army cook?( I kid you not) And the older jerk who claims to be a chef, and acts like you've never been in a kitchen, can't possibly have the experience that he claims, as he is totally lost? These fools pull what they consider "short cuts"; they are "parlor tricks", and I have never been the victim of such harrassment before. Whether it is sexism or jealousy, I have dealt with one of these fools all that I can. I gave notice. I have nothing lined up, but I gave notice. I'd rather collect garbage than have to present it as food.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Friday, July 05, 2002 - 11:59 pm: Edit

Mark, you know I was not talking about you, right?
Come to LA, this city lacks good cooks, sous chefs, and Ex Chefs, it's laughable what goes on in the kitchens here. Not just from the knowledge stand point, but the attitude is enough to kill.
Everyone wants the magazine interview, with the food layout, and most don't know how or just don't care enough to cook chicken right. It's amazing how so many got as far as they did.
Or maybe I should say,...sad
There are some fine Chefs here, don't get me wrong. From what I hear and see there aren't that many. The European's or European trained still seem to be better. The last place I worked, both the Corp Chef and the Chef for the rest. could not run the line, and when they did happen to find themselves back there they messed up so bad, or the food came out wrong or came out way late, or they did not tell anyone that they had run out of that dish an hour ago. I had to go to half dozen tables and apologize, give some of the food away and then deal with pissed off waiters who were not going to get the tip, they could have gotten. The corp chef was/is part owner and he and the rest chef would go out and smoke a dubbie, have a couple of drinks, so they were buddies. My complaints went unheard, or ignored.
Nice uh..?

By Tmarta (Tmarta) on Saturday, July 06, 2002 - 08:49 pm: Edit

L.A.? I always thought that you were brave to make that move! Right now, I couldn't buy a bus ticket out of there for just myself! Thanks for the pep talk. I'm willing to stay stuck here for two more years, just because my sons are doing so well, and the youngest will be out of school by then. My in-laws are trying to talk us into going back to the DC area, and what's left of my family would be more than willing to go back , (they follow me where ever I move...come to think of it, only ONE of them would want to go to LA...maybe it would be a good idea after all!)
I don't know what I may have to take temporarily, but I feel better about myself. Now I can have the time and energy to work on new areas. And with confidence. My God, they made me open a can of "cheese" sauce, and with a little alteration, was trying to get me to make something with potatoes. "We'll teach you to cook, yet!" I stopped dead. I said, "I can cook, I just can't "cook" here, not like this!"
Thanks again.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Saturday, July 06, 2002 - 09:36 pm: Edit

TMarta, Just pick 12 of the best places in your area, walk in and tell them to hire you.
Come on, you've been around here for awhile and cooking for how long? you know how to do it.
These people don't know your out there, but once they do....forgetaboutit! you'll get hired.

I love can cheese sauce, but thats just me.

By Tmarta (Tmarta) on Sunday, July 07, 2002 - 12:49 pm: Edit

Skike, there AREN'T 12 places here, to like or not! I'm stuck in a small town, ( if God is listening , that is temporary). Good place? The doctor whom I am cheffing for keeps trying to talk herself into opening a place for me to handle, as there are more of we "Brought-Ins" and suddenly, tourists, who know and want decent
food. That is why I was moving my place here, closer to my home, when all heck broke loose. But to buy and set up is horribly expensive, with no available space up-to-code.
(I'm sorry, I forget that I only gave poor George my sob-story.)
I'll survive. I always manage to. I just lost my mother two weeks ago.She taught me to do beyond my best. I know now that she'd want me to suceed, but not destroy myself or family in the pursuit. To my own self be true, and right now, I have to carefully pick my fights. But again, thanks for the pep talk. I feel real comraderie here. (How long have I been cooking? All my life! Never mind just how long!!!!!)

By Esjay (Esjay) on Monday, July 08, 2002 - 09:47 am: Edit

Hey Tmarta, hang in there, your mother will always be "there", as Spike said, "these people don't know your out there", I agree, go to the "best place" knock on doors, who knows, your reputation might just preceed you, you'll never know if you don't have a go! If you keep doing what you are doing, you will always be doing what you are doing. It's not the events in our life that affect us, its how we deal with them.....

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Monday, July 08, 2002 - 02:43 pm: Edit

Hi T, I'm sorry to hear about your Mom, that's the one person you can never get used to not having around. I lost my Mom in '85 and I still talk and miss her daily. Like Spike said though, she will always be around you. Follow your heart, whether it's in DC or LA, your family will have to adjust (unless they are paying the bills) this is "your" life to do the best you can with and where you land!!!
Keep the faith, pray and go to where you want to work and ask, and ask, and ask...they'll break down one day!!!!
Good Luck

By Tmarta (Tmarta) on Thursday, July 11, 2002 - 11:43 pm: Edit

Fellas, you are great! I haven't meant to ignore you, but as I've had this stupid job on my mind, my mother's death and my son needing a biopsy, I had my first on-road collission. Just didn't give the second-glance-over-the-left-shoulder, and creamed a nice yound man on his way to work. Fortunately, I still have good reflexes, and no one was hurt. (I must have a stonger heart than the tell me. The kid told his mother that I was " a real nice lady" Boy, did that make me cry!) Anyway,I gave notice, they have been working me to death, and trying to get me to stay. It is really a great place and I like the big bosses very much, but the "chef" keeps promising me that things will be different, and every time I start to weaken, he changes the terms. I feel like I'm in an abusive relationship, and you've helped give me the strength to move on!Bless you. I have already contacted a local inn that had offered me a job before, ( I gave it up for this place, but they told me if I ever changed my mind....), however, the owner is out of town. There is another, a B&B actually, which had a mutual friend approach me some time back. That might be a good part timer, as I've been hard pressed to get my client/friend taken care of, I've been exhausted. If I slow down, maybe I can get my act together, (please God!), and there is still the husband's career to try to strighten out. Which he has to do. Which all this family stuff has, of course, affected him, too.. He had a real career blow a couple of years ago. He needs to be able to use his talents, as well. We need to get all our collective acts together.
Thanks for your understanding and concern. I still think of something about the family and expect to ask Mom about it. When I heard that Rod Steiger died, the first thing I thought of was to tell her. She probably knew before I did. Well, it has been less than three weeks, I guess that I just need time. Thanks.

By Mbw (Mbw) on Friday, July 12, 2002 - 11:03 pm: Edit



"it's laughable what goes on in the kitchens here. Not just from the knowledge stand point, but the attitude is enough to kill.
Everyone wants the magazine interview, with the food layout, and most don't know how or just don't care enough to cook chicken right.

I was in a kitchen here in SF, and had to support young cooks(I was a ripe old 33) that knew what to say, but didn't always back it up. One particularly charming chef from NY was able to secure the sous position(while I did kitchen manager stuff. you know real work? Prep, ordering, etc..). Within a week he had ripped off the hotel (they blamed housekeeping.. erc I LOVE racisism don't you??), and after a time couldn't work a full shift without a trip to the bathroom.. cause.. he was feeling kinda sick... He would return to the line after 15 minutes??? He wasn't sick anymore but he was to spaced to work... The freek was a heroin junkie.... Oooopppss. I had to work several very busy shifts alone..

I had to tell chef, he was bummed, his first chef job, and his first kitchen junkie... we all deserve better.. BTW MY chef was only 24yrs.. some hotshot from LA.. MASAs I think.. good kid We will be hearing form ol Chef Jankey I am sure..

As for the Junkie:
"He could talk the talk, but barely walk"

More stories from the dark side later


By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Saturday, July 13, 2002 - 01:08 am: Edit

I went through that.
I'm sure many of us here have.
I'd rather work with an addict than some sh*t head who say's he knows but can't do it.
Hell, I'd rather work with an addict than someone who only know's how to copy from a book, and does not have an original thought.
But then again, I'm a recovering addict myself.
HaHaHaHaHa, then again, I'm not sure I would want to work with ME!.
I can be pretty stern, but some have called it other names too! LOL!
Keep com'in back.................

By Tmarta (Tmarta) on Sunday, July 14, 2002 - 10:22 am: Edit

I have a knife taken out of my hand a month ago by a "former head chef at nurmerous country and yacht clubs" yeah, right. He had been assigned to KP or whatever you call it in the navy and then apparently took a class. He knew NOTHING about food or presentation. No instinct, no feeling for food, just "this is the way I learned it". He was an old fool. When I gave notice I told them not to try to hire another real cook back there because anyone stronger would break his arm if he tried to add ingredients to their work. I only told him off, and conplained to the boss, or dropped it and told the jerk to take it over.They hired a former caferteria lady. They know it won't work. They begged me to stay, they tried to talk me into staying part time.I expect a call any time this coming week. Not unless they stick to promises of big change. But I don't think I can handle the stress of simple "food prep". I want to create. I think I'm a snob.

By Mbw (Mbw) on Monday, July 15, 2002 - 04:26 pm: Edit

Junkies AND Cafeteria cooks!

Yes I will choose drunk chef that can cook over a sober CCA grad in a heartbeat too. CIA now I might reconsider...

"I picked a bad time to stop sniffing glue"
AIRPLANE the movie

BTW over 10 years for me! Ok Ok I drink, smoke and consume enough coffee to keep an accounting dept up for a week, but bye bye heavy ••••.. Auzzies are still doing coke ya-know?? Talk about down under sheese.

"Come here and taste this for me. Is there enough salt?"
1979 My first chef. Smoker, snorter, drinker NON-taster

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, July 15, 2002 - 05:57 pm: Edit

I think I know that Chef...................
is he still alive???

By Mbw (Mbw) on Monday, July 15, 2002 - 10:57 pm: Edit

First chef?


I hope so.

He was the MacCallum House Chef in 1979... Mendocino Ca! Last seen alive in Aspen Colorado driving a Limo..

Robbie? (Ro BEE)

You out there?

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Tuesday, July 16, 2002 - 12:09 am: Edit

from chef to limo driver.
so thats where all the old chefs go.

By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Tuesday, July 16, 2002 - 07:36 pm: Edit

Oh My!!!
Here I sit, hoping for a little support, reading poor Tmarta's dilemna and get horribly insulted all at once. So, should I tell my tale of shame?

Yes, I am a cafeteria lady, a chef (and I don't say that lightly), a caterer, a restaurant pastry chef, and a CCA graduate. Have I covered everything?

Let me tell you that I too take great pride in what I do. I am probably not as good as many of you, but I have put in a few years (I changed careers from Probation Officer to cook) and have worked with some wonderful chefs. I know the basics and have been told that I am quite good - what that means anybody knows.

CCA has really "dropped the ball" in the education they offer and have become a "drop in the bucket", but that does not diminish what I learned there before the "fall".

I have participated in pastry competitions in SF and am one of 2 decent wedding cake sources in the mountain area where I live. For 9 years I have done desserts for a small local inn (reputed to be the best in the area). I work too much because I choose not to live in a city (schools have great benefits), pay scales here are scary, and I really want to teach the kids. I think that is where our future lies. ROP is much needed here and I hope to fill that void.

Besides, I stop by the lake on my way home just to cool off. Be kind, and give us strugglers a break, guys. Sometimes we have to try harder!

Lots of love and thanks for a great forum!

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Tuesday, July 16, 2002 - 07:51 pm: Edit

you just got here!, who insulted you?

By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 10:51 am: Edit

Hi Spike,

I'm not really insulted, just teasing & letting you all know that CCA graduates who are now (blush) "The Lunch Lady", can have good knowledge, habits, work history and pride....

I live in a remote area and have about worked myself to death trying to make a living and work someplace I can be proud of. There are very limited opportunities here and I have taken the cafeteria position to get benefits. The rest I squeeze in because I love it ... I just can't help myself (sigh).

I really am glad I found this forum because there is very little comeraderie with other chefs in this area, we all work way too much! Thanks for sharing and helping and supporting a place where people like me can come, just for contact with real professionals. I reallly miss that!

By Corey (Corey) on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 11:20 am: Edit

Hi, I am a Buffet Chef in Las Vegas,
never worked in a cafeteria, yet...

By Tmarta (Tmarta) on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 08:51 pm: Edit

Ladycakes, I didn't mean someone who needs an honest job in a caferteria,(I've had a few I'd rather not "brag" about here, AND my sons' high school has been trying to get me in theirs for years!), I meant someone who only knew how to open cans. Someone only "caferteria" trained, not a real cook.(When I complained that they had told me to come in and do pastry, but was content if she did a simple box cake, she blanched, "I don't do desserts". That isn't "doing" desserts. I said, "For heaven's sake, they were baking off frozen pie crusts and filling them." She said that she still couldn't even do a cobbler! Sheesh!) I know there are "real" cooks in simple jobs, especially in less-than-urban areas.I'm looking around now. The Inn was not what it was cracked-up to be, and after looking around, and hearing the conflicting ideas, I turned them down. I'm really bummed tonight. I didn't mean to sound snooty. I can't afford to be now.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 09:11 pm: Edit

Ladycakes, sometimes, when you mature and you realize that yeah, cooking is great but, the bills have to get paid; reality sets in.
I work for Miami-Dade County public schools(tuition $2,400 yr.),I work from 6AM to 1PM, I have every holiday off, paid, I have 5 weeks vacation paid a year, I get 1 sick day a month, I get an 80% pension after 30 years service, I get free medical, dental, vision, life insurance...ect. Oh yeah, I make about 60K a year now!
I applied at J & W (where tuition is 17K a year)because they are so "up there" in the business community and I thought, they have to be better, I also applied at FIU (where tuition is 7-8K a year) a fine Hospitality University. To make a long story short , the dean at J & W told me not to waste my time there, and FIU said...imagine the consulting jobs you'll get to make up the difference in salary.
I said, screw you....I'll keep my lowly job working for the public school system!!!
Don't judge a book by it's cover is my best advise here...good luck and keep the cafeteria line moving!!!!!!

By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 12:08 pm: Edit

You guys are great! What an "up" way to start the day! I love working with the kids, and believe me, our cafeteria is different than anything I had as a kid! We do everything from scratch in two of our outlets, with frozen c*** in the snack bar. I do all of the desserts, with some of my employees standing around with their jaws hanging down, watching how to make pie crust. After 8 years in the cafeteria they still don't know how to make pie crust!!! I do green chile chicken enchiladas, 4 cheese lasagna, teriyaki chicken bowls, burrito compuestas, Oriental chicken salad, etc. Just trying to educate their palates away from burgers & fries :>)

My favorite is the seniors' final when they invite 4 adults apiece to consume their efforts in a formal setting. The adults, and the kids, really enjoyed it. This is my first year and I am looking forward to really developing the ROP into a model program.

Chefmanny, that 60thou sounds great, I'm just in the beginning stages, but it's nice to know there is an "UP" to aspire to.

Tmarta, I was just responding to my own lowly lunch lady feelings, like I said I am really not insulted. I just found it amusing that so many adjectives that applied to me were mentioned.

Corey, a coworker of mine from my Marriott days moved back to Vegas because of the high pay there. (I think he also enjoyed the free drinks he got while gambling away his paycheck.) Nice guy, but we haven't kept in touch. Vegas must be really hot now, here it has been in the hundreds every day for a week until yesterday. Nice to have 95 degree days (never thought I'd say that).

Thanks you all for your support, it's good to be here!

By Tmarta (Tmarta) on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 07:27 pm: Edit

My Goodness! Come out here and together we'll get real food to these poor kids! They let you do that? My God, I couldn't get them to let me do it in the Assisted Living Gardens when they actually told me that that's what they hired me for!
Obviously, Kentucky is backwards in even more than I realized. I gotta get outta here!
OK,OK, in some places, cafeterias rule!

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 07:33 pm: Edit

T in assisted living the co. get like $2 to 3 A DAY to feed each patient!!! Really for 3 meals!!!
Welcome to insurance, medicare,...ect.

By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Friday, July 19, 2002 - 05:08 pm: Edit

Tmarta, this cafeteria was just built last year and it is beautiful! The kids were used to going off campus and really resented no longer having that privilege. We are trying to make the transition less difficult and with each new class of freshmen, it will be easier. It helps that I have the full support of my bosses. In our three outlets, we serve at least 30 entrees a day! A little different than the old gray peas and powdered potatoes :>) Our school is relatively small too, about 1200 kids. I am really focusing on the ROP program though that is where I really want to go.

By Tmarta (Tmarta) on Saturday, July 20, 2002 - 03:21 pm: Edit

Spike, this place had an $5-a-day budget, and that was "on paper". This place is expensive, and the residents are basically catered to. If there was filet mignon or prime rib on the menu, then you'd get maybe 80 0/0 of the residents ordering from the menu. The sides alone at any given meal were numerous, almost anything that could be ordered is served, and there were special orders for the grocery every day. No, it was MY not being able to do my "thing" and the pastries and deeserts that I was hired for, well, professional jealousy was the big problem. Still, it is a beautiful place. Now, As for the schools, the quality of the food has been a big issue at the school board and with the student councils. It keeps getting pushed back because of the dress code problems. It is 1960 in the cafeterias here.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Saturday, July 20, 2002 - 07:01 pm: Edit

I wonder if I'm old enough to live there?
I could eat like that everyday, it's better than how I'm eating now!

By Mbw (Mbw) on Sunday, July 21, 2002 - 07:01 pm: Edit

A Future at Denny's? OR "People will always eat"

in 1986 I moved from Oakland to Orange County California. In Oakland I had worked for 3 years as a dishwasher/pantry cook/prep cook in a "California" cuising restaurant (I'll tell the Alice Waters story later((Big oppps there))). I was making salad dressings, plating salads one leaf at a time (Remember those days??) cutting sushimi. YUM!!

In Orange county I needed work, and Denny's was hiring. I began training at their #1 training store in Orange CAL... There I met Robert Grindstaff. After teasing him about his name I discovered he had been working for Denny's for 12 years, and had NONE of the "REAL" food background I did. However he kicked ass behind the line, and instantly gained my respect, but that is NOT the point of this story.. I would also tease him about working for Denny's and for cooking such low quality stuff when I thought he could do better. After being real nice about my nasty attitude he said, "Look! I understand what you are saying BUT I am 32 years old now, and I retire in 4 years with a FULL pension! last time I teased him about his job. Still makes me wonder if I shouldn't have stayed with the Hyatt.

Robert also told me a story about his two roomates. One sold expensive sport bikes in Laguna Beach, and one was a waste water treatment worker. The Bike salesman would come home and laugh. HA! Your a fry cook, and you work with the other end the S--T! They would counter, "People will always eat, and they will always ••••, but YOU will not always be able to sell sports bikes.

You know they are right.

OH BTW: After my Denny's training I was placed at the Costa Mesa Store and my first week there my manager came up to me and said, "I have been watching you Mark. I just wanted to tell you, you have a future here at Denny's" My response??? Two weeks notice.

Next stop Santa Ana Church Rectory Cook... Pope stories later..


By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Monday, July 22, 2002 - 02:06 pm: Edit

It seems we all have our stories, each more interesting than the last. I am waiting on the edge of my seat for the pope stories! :~)

One of my friends here is the executive chef at a resort on the lake. He has responsibility for a dinner house, banquet department, bar & grill, and patio dining with jazz on the lake. He told me two weeks ago that he has given up on chefing as a career. That he wants to just stay where he is. ??? I guess that's why his current reviews haven't been that great. Even in my position, I try to bring what I know and my professionalism to bear.

Even at Dennys? lol

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Wednesday, July 24, 2002 - 10:04 pm: Edit

You know how they separate the men from the boys at the church these days Mbw? with a crowbar!
Don't get your panties in a wad now like someone else did at a religious joke!
Whatever you do in this field, do it to the best of your abilities, even if it is selling hot dogs! Sell the best hot dog ever!!!

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Thursday, July 25, 2002 - 09:13 am: Edit

Here's a bad one-

How do you get a nun pregnant?

Dress her up as an altar boy.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, July 25, 2002 - 05:44 pm: Edit

Those are good!!!!, Did you write these down Corey??, for your stand up?
Hey MBW, where are those Pope stories?

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Thursday, July 25, 2002 - 08:04 pm: Edit

Another one for the Vatican!!!!!
"Bless me Father, for I have sinned.
I have been with a loose woman."
The priest asks,
"Is that you, little Tommy Shaughnessy?"
"Yes, Father, it is."
"And, who was the woman you were with?"
"Sure and I can't be tellin' you, Father.
I don't want to ruin her reputation." "Well, Tommy, I'm sure to find out
sooner or later, so you may as well tell me now.
Was it Brenda O'Malley?"
"I cannot say."
"Was it Patricia Kelly?"
"I'll never tell."
"Was it Liz Shannon?"
"I'm sorry, but I can't name her."
"Was it Cathy Morgan?"
"My lips are sealed."
"Was it Fiona McDonald, then?"
"Please, Father, I cannot tell you."
The priest sighs in frustration.
"You're a steadfast lad, Tommy Shaughnessy, and I admire that. But you've sinned, and you must atone.
You cannot attend church for three months. Be off with you now."
Tommy walks back to his pew.
His friend Sean slides over and whispers, "What'd you get?" "Three month's vacation and five good leads," says Tommy.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Thursday, July 25, 2002 - 08:10 pm: Edit

Tommy, again goes to confession and confesses he has been with another loose woman, Nookie Green, the father makes him say ten hail mary,s and off he goes. Then comes James with the same story, he gets the same penance. Along comes Michael, he has the same story and gets the same penance. Three other boys come with the same story and penance.
On Sunday at service a woman walks in late, she is dressed in a green suit, with a green hat, green shoes, green socks....all of a sudden the priest says to the alter boy; Is that Nookie Green? And the altar boy says,
No father, I think that's just the reflection off the shoes!!!!!!!

By Corey (Corey) on Thursday, July 25, 2002 - 09:20 pm: Edit

Once a john secola the 4th was up for pope in the 60's, at the last minute the council of cardinals rejected him, Why? because they said the people would never follow the commands of a Pope Secola...

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