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People and their stupid kids - Page 2

post #31 of 51
I still remember eating when I was a kid. It was the most traumatic of my early memories.

Roast beef, with carrots potatoes onions, cooked for hours in one of the white spotted blue roasting pans with cover.

The beef was then cut in to huge squares and was so stringy you could hardly saw through it. I was forced to eat those overcooked meals. Every other Sunday, it was baked chuck steak instead of chuck roast. Over done in the same manner.

Mom woudln't/couldn't have pepper, dad wouldn't eat garlic. He'd open a can of King Oscar sardines, ladle the oblong can with catsup and consume it. Couldn't understand why I would gag at the very thought of it.

Also, they'd have this coarse ground bologne that smelled so bad, and was full of "crunchy" things I almost would throw up.

Pies, chocolate chip toll house and peanut butter cookies were the only things edible to me.

Then one day, I got to eat some of my Aunt's cooking. I didn't know food could taste good!?!?!?!?

I borrowed some of her recipes, the first that I can really remember was a rosemary, fennel and mushroom spaghetti sauce that you had to simmer for several hours. It was so good I ate the whole thing without spaghetti.

Got yelled at for using the burner for so long.

Couldn't just toast one piece of bread, "you gotta toast two slices since you're using up the electricity"....

Anyway, that's how I started cooking by the time I was 8 or 9. Had to learn to in order to survive.

Bolting down chunks of overdone roast beef with swallows of milk was the only option left after the dog bit through his chain and ran away. Wished I could have gone with him.

Argument after argument about my not liking my mom's cooking. Even when I was in my 50's, she'd still cook up something stinky and act like I was really going to sit there and eat it. After she passed away, we had to clean out her refridgerator. Did you know that eggs kept in a refridgerator long enough, turn black and completely hollow??

Her version of Maid-Rites was not going to rob me of the thrill of getting to eat real Maid Rites since they're not generally available in Minnesota.

So, I don't have any kids. If I did, I'd try to make healthy food for them to eat, and if they didn't like it, then they'd have to learn to cook themselves. Not a bad compromise, methinks.

post #32 of 51
I hope they are smart enough to walk out when they find out you don't have the chicken too, Because, I for one, don't eat much beef. so I would walk out and tell my friends. It's like you don't want any business.
post #33 of 51
beschemelle is a rare mushroom, right? :o

My kids' mom knew how to make chili con carne before we met. Now she makes spaghetti and pizza too. She's smart and sweet but her own mom wasn't a good teacher.
post #34 of 51
A few thoughts, without any thesis.

* Our place is a in a boutique Hotel. Some time ago we had a family stay with us for a week and they ate in our restaurant almost every night. One of the two children requested pasta (off menu) each time. The first night we improvised and gave him a portion of our "staff sauce." After that we kind of made a game of it. It was like, once we heard they were back, I said to Chef "When was the last time you had a good Carbonarra (sic)?" He's smile and tell me to get the bacon. We took it as a chance to make some classics that normally wouldn't factor into our menu.

* One thing about kids we have to remember is that they can be really sensitive to textures. Often picky eaters are are more affected by the mouthfeel than flavour of a food. Things that crunch tend to be safe, as are base "limp" or soft starches. I've know kids who, as their bodies are developing, driven to nausea by such things as the texture of grape skins, the chewiness of melted cheese, or even pulp in orange juice. Again the taste wasn't the issue it was more actual physical sensation of the food in the mouth.

* For my own part as a child I was repulsed by shellfish. Having a piece of lobster, crab, scallop, in my mouth would fill me with something I can only describe with my adult mind as existential horror. Swallowing wasn't even an option. This was a constant source of embarrassment to my parents. Years latter I learned (after a trip to the emerg.) that I, while not technically allergic, have a dietary intolerance to shellfish. Sometimes there is more to "pickyness" than lack of maturity or bad parenting.

* It is not an offense to the commonweal to not serve chicken, let alone breaded chicken trim, er "tenders". Any restaurant has to have a sense of what they are, of what they do and what they don't. Its a choice we make, hopefully made with all the positives and negatives that will create in mind. If a place's menu doesn't have anything that appeals to you than don't take it personally. Its a hollow threat to say that you will not patronize a place that doesn't serve chicken simply because a restaurant that doesn't offer it wasn't expecting any business from somebody who only want's chicken. It's like critiquing a horror film for not being funny enough, or a French movie for having subtitles.

post #35 of 51

Parents are still kids

Parents want to be popular and the kids friends. :crazy:
They aren’t home all day, have nannies watch them, or are divorced and only see the kids once and a while.
The single parent tries to overcompensate by giving the kid everything or the 'never there' parents try to make every moment worth the 15 they didn’t spend with the kids.
Arrogant snooty parents breed the same as kids. I think that kids are a product of their environment.
Immediate gratification is societies prerequisite.
I have a daughter that had vichyssoise at 3 and liver pate by 4 and she loves all food.
Rat did the right thing in feeding quality.
My comments on parenting are my opinion, but the over 50% divorce rate speaks for itself.
Parents these days have unfinished business with thier own parents and it show up in thier relationship with the kids! Then the kids are the new consumers
post #36 of 51
My kids try lots of different foods. My 14 yr old daughter will eat almost anything and loves trying new vegetables and fruits. My 8 yr old son is a bit pickier than her but will still try things at least once. It's a rule that he has to try a bite when I cook something new (in most cases vegetables) and then can have the rest of his food. If we don't do that, he simply won't try it at all. To his surprise, he learned a few weeks ago that he loves raw broccoli but hates it steamed. Whatever I cook is what you get for dinner. I try to ensure there is at least one thing for each person in my household but never cook special just for one person.

When we go out to eat, I would never, ever consider ordering anything that isn't on the menu. Until starting to read forums like this, I never even knew that was a possibility. lol I don't ask for things to be cooked in a special way or in any way change the menu as it is printed. I'm still the one who seems to always get the wrong combination of foods, something I didn't order, or get my plate after every one else is done eating. Just my luck, I gues! Anyway for my son who loves macaroni and cheese, eating out is a treat. He almost always orders it from the kids' menu because I just don't cook it at home. On birthdays and other days when we allow him to request a particular dinner menu, that's the one given he's always going to ask for. I don't like macaroni and cheese (especially the slimy stuff out of the box) but see nothing wrong with it as a treat. It doesn't mean that I don't feed him better foods most of the time, just that I do allow him to have his favorites sometimes, too. What better time than at a restaurant that has it on the menu and I don't have to eat it, too?
post #37 of 51
My daughters are both adults. They were raised in the same home by the same parents; raised in a home where their father insisted on preparing and eating "quality food." Their palates could not be more different. One daughter, a few days before flying home for a visit, requested a meal of shawarma (lamb), hummous, baba ganouj, and tabouli. Her sister, eight years her senior, wouldn't allow a morsel of said foods to touch her lips. She asked Daddy to make a spicy sesame chicken stir fry, served with the whitest of white rice. The younger might sample a small piece; nothing more.

My most wonderful four-year-old great nephew, adopted from a orphanage in Guatemala at three months old sat at my table last week and devoured my version of a cross between longanizas and chorizo, corn mixed with chiles, black beans and rice. His five year old Anglo born sister wouldn't go near those items.

You can expose children to the broadest of palates and you should, but when push comes to shove, in your restaurant, give the customer the item for which he/she reasonably requests. Your work in an Italian restaurant; yeah, it's unreasonable for a mother to ask for a sushi platter for her three year old. You work high end, full service; make the kid some buttered noodles and chicken strips.
post #38 of 51
You know what, allie, your son and I could eat us some mac and cheese.

Get rid of the box. Create some memorable mac and cheese; some mac and cheese your son will remember when you're long, long gone.

Make a fresh pasta. It's really so easy. All you need is your hands, a rolling pin, and a knife. Make a simple white sauce using fat free half and half and a combination of grated full fat and low fat cheeses. Make your roux using half butter/half olive oil. Sneak in some steamed chicken breast. It'll be great. Trust me.
post #39 of 51

"Kids, nice tajine"

Small goat "bonne femme" its working!!!, lets start a campagne to get the little, .......out of restaurants , get the adults to cook WITH them so they can stay at home and won't ruin the chefs menu, cool..... "I wish I was American"......:D

"Give Scotland It's Oil Back"
post #40 of 51
My kids both ended up very adventurous eaters, but it wasn't always that way for either one of them. They took turns as the official family PITA. Otherwise, my experience tracks yours. And as to sentiments, I agree completely. Well said!

post #41 of 51
Believe me, I've made homemade mac and cheese. That's the only kind I can bear to eat. My son and his dad, however, thinks it's just awful and the yellow box is the only way to go. I haven't tried making pasta but have made dumplings quite a few times. I do make different cheesy casseroles. The one macaroni dish everyone in my homes loves is when I cook the macaroni with my home canned tomatoes, using less liquid than I normally would for pasta, then I drain out the juice and put it in a 13x9x2 baking dish covered with mozzarella and parmesan. Then I just heat it until the cheese is starting to get brown and bubbling.
post #42 of 51
Guess what? I think Dad may be the problem in this equation. When Daddy's the role model and Daddy has a Kraft Dinner palate, there's not much you can do, short of finding an always handsome, extremely masculine and creative chef for a new husband.

Not likely, huh?:crazy:
post #43 of 51
You're probably right in that Dad has a big influence. I don't really want to trade him in! lol

Edited to add this:

I should say that while Dad isn't an adventurous eater like my daughter and me, he eats pretty good. My son will eat seafood, asparagus, raw broccoli, and some other items that his father would never touch. I really can't complain since everyone in my family eats pretty well. Les (Dad) does make a mean pot of chili that he's been perfecting for over 20 years and we both work together to put together rubs and sauces for our bbq. He is really a good cook, he's just a bit more limited than me. Oh yeah, he's the one with restaurant experience in the family. lol
post #44 of 51

Don't Have to Have Chicken Fingers

You don't have to serve chicken fingers, but there are simple things restaurants can do to accommodate little people, and they'll earn you a devoted following.

One of the more popular cafes in my town is known for its simple, fresh ingredients. They offer a "picnic plate" on their children's menu that earns them rave reviews. It's just a baguette, alongside a few less-challenging cheeses and some fresh fruit, for a cost of $3.00. Food no one would be ashamed to serve that meets the needs of most little ones with picky palates. Nothing touches anything else, everything is fresh, and not coated in any type of seasoning.

The original poster to this thread sounds like he/she objected to the presence of children just on principle. I've encountered this a time or two when dining with the kids and found it to be more or less a self-fulfilling prophesy: restaurant does not appreciate children, thus refuses accommodations, provides poor service, makes everyone uncomfortable, causes the meal to take longer than it should, and what do you know, the kids end up mis-behaving. I've never intentionally taken them anywhere where entrees start at 19 or more a plate (restaurants with confusing identities are a totally different topic) so I'm not sure where all the attitude comes from.

I'd also say that many of the posters here who don't have children seem to subscribe to the programming theory of parenting: that a child behaves in a certain way because their parents have taught them to, with a + b logically following directly to c. I'd say that it's quite a bit more complicated than that, and the little buggers just insist upon having their own minds, personalities, tastes and motivations. To use the example cited above of one sibling demanding nothing but French fries and the other lecturing on healthy eating, I do not find this to be mysterious at all. Sounds like just another day in my house, actually. From kid to kid, day to day, hour to hour, children (like all human beings) will surprise you, and frequently roll out ridiculous demands like French fries at Japanese restaurants when you least expect it, just to see if they can. As a parent, I can do my best to have clear expectations and choose the right time and the right restaurant, but in practice, that may all still blow up in my face.

Some of my best dining experiences started out with this kind of scene and ended with a wonderful time, thanks to creative and accommodating restaurant staff who ran with it and turned a potentially awkward situation into a great time for everyone. The places I love most and choose to spend money at on a regular basis typically are restaurants where children are related to in a way consistent with their status as the young of our species, and not as unwanted alien interlopers.
post #45 of 51
Rat In the restaurants I have owned and managed, I find it easier to just have buttered pasta and chicken fingers on hand. All the time. Peanut butter and Grape jam too.

Makes life so much easier that way. :chef:
post #46 of 51
Thread Starter 
As the original poster I am suprised the thread is still going, not every restaurant is for kids, mine is an example of this. I do not think it good for business when a guest can order a 3,000 to 15,000 dollar wine and have kids next to them eating chicken fingers. If you can go out and spend 36 to 60 dollars on an entree and have a 120 dollar+ pp check average you can afford a babysiter. Thats that. Not everyone thinks your kids are as adorable as you think you do.

My sideline thought was that besides not having these assumingly staple items on a menu they are nutritionally deficient and not a healthy choice for children. Especially when we do serve things a kid can eat that are NOT fried and contain local sustainable produce and ingredients.

Yes we do serve whatever the guest desires and we do charge accordingly (and then some, and some more) so we are not turning down people, I just wondered when these two items became staples on every menu in every restaurant in the world. Parents come in and order these without even looking at the menu or asking what can be done for their children who I can only assume have been raised on buttered noodles and chicken fingers their whole lives.
It is depressing. It is often said hunger is the best sauce so I recon if the kids won't eat anything but, then they are not really hungry.

Yes, I do have kids and they will eat most things as they have been exposed to many kinds of foods, our favorite thing to do is go shopping in Chinatown and find something weird we dare each other to eat.
My little girl likes fried bugs-we had those in Thailand, my son loves chicken livers on a toasted baguette.

As far as I am concerned the yellow box mac and cheese IS the only way to go. My .02
Fluctuat nec mergitur
Fluctuat nec mergitur
post #47 of 51
Thread Starter 
Sysco makes life much easier as well. Just open that 10 can...
Fluctuat nec mergitur
Fluctuat nec mergitur
post #48 of 51
I happen to agree with Rat on many of the key points here, especially in his follow-up post. It's a surprise that so much has been said but even more so is the level of personalization that has been exhibited.

In another topic along this line I said that "We are chefs, we cook food....." and I really do believe that to a high degree. I also believe it's commendable to have a Constitution that follows a course of "Staving on a principle rather than feasting on compromise". More need to exercise this on so many other things. Yet it doesn't appear that Rat's operation is starving.

There is definitely more to this situation than what lies on the surface as it is deeply rooted in many of the issues we now face country and world wide. Our society or culture has blurred so many of the lines that once distinguished things. I will refrain from posting any since there are so many things I could list that I'm afraid the point would be lost as well as create other issues that are not needed.

The one point I will mention is the perception of entitlement or over inflated consumer ego that has been created. People have come to expect that because they are spending money at any given establishment, it gives them privileges and rights that really are not there. They "demand" everything and that really does nothing productive for either side. IMHPO once reason is no longer part of the equation, there is no difference between a 2 year old throwing a temper tantrum and an adult demanding something.

I honestly believe it's important for any operation to set parameters for it's own operation. It has to create it's own identity and operate with-in it to succeed, especially if it's not a cookie-cutter style operation. Once you start operating outside your limitations or identity, how the whole of your niche perceives you can be irreversibly damaged and failure can and will follow. Yet there are circumstances that can force issues and create reason but not compromise. But it's a fine tight-rope to walk between reason and compromise.
post #49 of 51
Jeezuz! PM me where you work I'll recommend it to my fried who travels to PA all the time.
post #50 of 51
Yes, where please?
"**** is finding myself left with only vegan food, light beer, and menthol cigarettes."
"**** is finding myself left with only vegan food, light beer, and menthol cigarettes."
post #51 of 51
What really strikes me a lot of the time is that people are insistent that children can't have the same things adults. Again, my days serving instead of cooking are what really showcase a lot of these.

Last Saturday a woman wanted to know what 'children's drinks' we had. After a moment of confusion, I suggested pink lemonade. She asked if we carried Sprite, which I assured her that we did and her answer was: 'That's a children's drink!'

No, lady, Sprite is soda-pop. It is not marketed directly at the little ones.

Again, people telling me they can't bring their kids because thier children only eat chicken. We carry chicken. It's not deep fried, but we have it. Why can't they eat that?

This being said, I don't have children. The closest I have is my four year old nephew, Jackson, who eats what he's told and all in all, is amazingly well-behaved.

When I have kids I'm going to be calling my brother and sister in law every five minutes to see what they did! XD
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