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Are Chefs Abusive?
Anyone remember that "Friends" episode with Monica being forced to hire Joey so that she could ultimately make a big scene and fire him in front of everyone? :lol:
Strolling through the flower bed.
If I were tiny just like you
I'd creep among the flowers too!
I actually don't mind abusive chefs, a lot rides on them and I've been in their shoes for the cafeteria (yes, a lot of pressure and high expectations there too). What irks me the most of managers being abusive like chefs. Its 1 thing for someone who complains about something they know about, but to argue about something that doesn't make sense. I went toe to toe a couple times with our new director, he made lots of huge changes to the whole cafeteria, introducing new concepts and changing how things ran. We've been opened for 3 days and its been total chaos since and all I can do is have that big "I told you so" grin on my face. Chef and I actually, we grin together whenever he passes by.
F bombs overused lose their effectivness.....thus utmost care must be used in selecting the right time to drop one.....or so I've been told.
working on my book, Better Management Through Sarcasm.
Abuse is defined by the recipient, I guess, but you also have to be able to shake it off somewhat. That's part of the job, as I see it.
First you need to know the rules only then can you break the rules.
I've always had the reputation of being easy to work with and for,but with the disclaimer of "Don't tick her off because you won't like it". If someone is doing something incorrectly or any other issue,it's always been dealt with privately,not in front of everybody else if possible.
There are some exceptions,of course...like a blatant,STUPID mistake [too many examples]..well,I will admit to some nasty remarks coming out of my mouth....I've even made a couple of servers cry:o
Seems to work
So,what did you say?
This server kept forgetting to ring in her add-on's,so you know what kind of nightmare that can be during a rush.I told her that if she had any less brain function,she'd have a machine breathing for her.
Oh, and another time I was directing a food stage, which means I arranged two temp kitchens out of thin air with equipment behind a curtain to stage/prep for "talent chefs" and then the stage setup in front of the masses of people. Well one morning a year and 1/2 ago, one of the sponsoring grocery store manager's wife (now I've been at this gig for 5 years and have a great relationship with the manager)...wanted to walk off with my equipment. NOT COOL.... REALLY NOT COOL. I was in the middle of breakfast run down with my externs/pro staff when one of them said, "someone is taking our shtuff"......so I stopped everything and went over to the "wife" and asked what's up.....she proceeded to tell me that she had permission to take stage equipment.....I proceeded to tell her NO way did she have permission, and even if she did have permission from the guys who loaned the stuff to me, we needed it and the mainstage takes precident over pretty much anything else. She pulled attitude, I pulled growl. She cried. Her husband chewed me out an hour later finger pointed at my chest....was not a fun morning. My cooking staff was sitting 20feet away, didn't hear any of it.....I was told by "the wife's buddy" standing next to us that I was screaming.....that would be the power of the don't **** with me voice.
The chef I currently work for plays elaborate mind-**** games that only make sense to him (not entirely true, I understand it's to show me that he's in charge, I just don't understand why he's so insecure...):
Me: Chef, I need shrimp for fried shrimp, should I defrost this box of U 12s?
I deshell 4 shrimp.
Chef: What are you doing? I don't want you butterflying all those. Just stop. Use the 21/25s, Jesus.
1 hour later
Me: Chef, we need bacon-wrapped shrimp, do you want me to use 21/25s or U12s (there's at least 8 pounds of defrosted, uncleaned U-12s in the walk-in)?
I deshell 8 shrimp.
Chef: Just stop! Use these (U-12s), Jesus you're an idiot.
This chef believes I'm stealing coats from the restaurant, has told me I need to restock my own plates (dishwashers imo) and meez (despite being the busiest station when i'm busy, and others are free to call for **** when things are slow), and gives me **** when I follow to the "T" what he tells me to do. I've actually gotten **** for wearing khaki cargo pants instead of checks (sorry, dog; it's electric or gas not chef pants or Armani suits) and I don't think my 100% cotton pants are going to melt if oil gets on them, since my ****ing checks are 100% cotton too...
I have had the opportunity to work with some great chefs/managers/cooks/whatever, and I can say assholes are not the norm (it's more 50/50, like life). You always read that a chef is a cook that manages; but, what does that really mean? The lithmus test I'm using now, as I search for a new job, is whether the chef is going to answer my question or tell me I'm an ******* for asking. :beer:
Years ago they were tyranicle if such a word. Today is different. If one strives for perfection and you screw it off, yes he could be.Customers are sometime
very abusive to staff. Everyone has an off day.
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume).
Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...
How "big" is the stick?
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
It has already been mentioned, but constantly berating someone and yelling at them loses its effectiveness after the first few times. The person just tunes you out. I find a well placed "This is extremely disappointing, I know you're better than this" is more effective. It makes the point that you are not pleased and also re affirms to the cook that he/she has mad skillz and isn't just a bumbling f**kup.
I have worked for screamers, and I don't care much for them. Worked for an "Eigenosische Diplomierte KuchenChef" the highest rank Switzerland has to offer a Chef, and I kinda liked his style: He'd ride your butt, but only to the point of "general p'o'd" never in meanness or contempt. If he though you wre un-capable he'd pull you off the line, and if it happened again, he'd fire you. After work he'd buy everyone a drink while we were cleaning up and could make very interesting idle conversation while we were cleaning and sipping our beers. And then next day he was back to riding our butts.
I have been known to embarrass a few people. My second last d/washer for instance, would come in stoned. The first time I took him aside and explaind he would have to go home, and if there was a seond time he would be fired. A few days later he shows up stoned again. Sent him into the walk-in for, zuchinni, I think in. Waited two minutes, opened the door and found him exctly as I had imagined,staring at the case of zuchinni infront of his eyes. I walked past him, and in a 250/ second, whipped out a handfull of zuchinnis, shoved them into his arms, and melted away from the walk-in. A minute later he walks out,dumps the zuchinni on hte table and walks out. Never showed up after that.
Another prep cook I had , I whinged and harped on about leaving a teaspoon of mayo,or a single, lonely pickle in a 16 ltr bucket. "For F's sake, scrape out the last teaspoon in a 1/9 insert, willya" I'd whine. A week later the eejit does it again, happened to be on payday too. End of the shift I told him checks would be late. After work, I grabbed his check and the bucket with a teaspoon of mayo in it, looked up his address, and delivered both to his door....
Or the banquet waitress. Giving instructions to a group of 20-odd serving staff and this chic interrupts me, saying something like at" At "X" (very large and famous catering co.) we did it so-and-so way. My ears turned red.
"Oh, so you work for "X" eh?"
"Yes, part time for 2 years now."
"I thought "X" could train staff to follow instructions and shut up, are you sure you work there?"
She shut up..........
I'm not a screamer, nor am I a thrower of things, but I usually get my point across..........