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Looking for some stories!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I am new to the culinary field but loving it...starting as a second career after too much time in the corporate world.

A friend of mine has asked me about some good kitchen rage and/or freakout stories...and being new the industry I do not have any good ones yet. I am hoping that maybe some of you might be willing to share any scary, funny, and interesting kitchen rage/freakouts that have you had yourself, witnessed, and even ran from (or hid in the freezer).

Thanks in advance to all those who share!!!
post #2 of 14
Hello Robbo,

I'll leave it to the professionals to decide if they want to respond, so I'll move this to the appropriate forum. I encourage you to start by using the search tool. You might not be surprised to learn this has been discussed before.

Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
post #3 of 14
I had a self proclaimed "screamer" chef get stuck working late because someone called in on a night he had tickets to some concert he was going to. So to take out his frustration he started throwing stuff across the kitchen, don't totally remember everything he tossed, but salt and pepper shakers were some of them. The kitchen manager and sous chef at my current job like to cuss at each other a lot, not always in a joking manner. The best and most common is the line cook that gets way behind and starts cussing and freaking out then he actually puts himself in the hole even more because of it. I myself had a squeeze bottle of olive oil fall apart on me in the middle of a rush, so instead of doing the smart thing and picking it up and getting more, I threw it across the line and into the microwave, making a huge mess. One thing that I've noticed with all of this b.s. is that every single time, it did no one any good at all. Pointless.
post #4 of 14
Years ago while working in a country club we did board of director meetings monthly on the first Monday when the restaurant was closed.
Myself and a cook named Jimmy had to go in earlier than the chef to set him up for the dinner which he cooked himself and served it with the help of a pretty young waitress. My job was to prep the salad and cold side and Jimmys was to sear off a filet and prep the hot dinner items.

Well anyway Jimmy decided to throw the filet into a 550 degree oven to sear it instead of having to clean the flattop. So the filet is in there searing away when Jimmy caught the eye of the waitress, needless to say he followed her outside on her break and decided to lay on the charm. 2 hours later the chef came in, he was kinda late and in a bad mood, he came over and got my setup from me and then went looking for Jimmy. Over in the hot side of the kitchen there was smoke pouring out of the oven and a little charcoal briquet of a filet left from 3 hours ago. I heard the chef screaming from about 100 feet away as he was carrying a burning roasting pan out of the back door and smoking out the entire kitchen all the way.

Too bad for Jimmy that right outside the kitchen was where he decided to make his moves with the waitress, the chef kicked open the back door withg the burning pan only to find Jimmy and the waitress in flagrante delicto.

He grabbed Jimmy by the ear and dragged him into the meat room refridgerator. For about 5 minutes all you heard was screams, yelps and lots of shouting (it was great). The chef emerged from the fridge with a totally limp vacuum bagged filet- if you have ever seen one fresh from the fridge you know they are somewhat stff. He tossed me the filet and told me to sear it off for him , winking at me he told me he had to "tenderize" it first----by beating Jimmy silly with it.
Jimmy emerged a few minutes later disheveled and pretty shaken up, that was the last time he did that. He got fired a few months later because of the 6 sheet pans of bacon in the broiler incident.
Fluctuat nec mergitur
Fluctuat nec mergitur
post #5 of 14
lol thats crazy....i worked at a resturant that was totally out of control...everyday people was doing some kind of stunt or a cook riding in a wheeled garbage can down the ramp outside and crasing into a wall of milk crates...or a guy sliding down the stairs on a waitress tray, all of wich was recored on cell phones...and anytime someone quit they got antiqued....a bucket of water dumped on them followed by flour.....the red pepper challenge lol thats about all i can say...u just had to have been there but good times, good times
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Why called Antiqued?

Hey shyartist...that is funny! Why is it called antiqued>
post #7 of 14
the water makes the flour stick to you...and u look like an old dusty antique photograph
post #8 of 14

Onion soup for vichyssoise

Most of the times great mistakes (and thus, stories) come from human error, or omission. What happened to a very dear friend of mine, though, was pure, plain, "Murphy's law" bad luck. Its a little long, but I think its worth a read - after all, like they said in Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, the good story lies in the details.

My friend's name is Andrew. He was pretty young, around 25, when he got his first job at a restaurant, as a line cook. The hours were long, the pay not so great, but however tiring and demanding the job was, he really enjoyed it.

The one thing that he didn't enjoy in the line of work, was the Chef. He was one of those chefs that are convinced they are nothing less than a God in their kitchen. And while it is true that, like the captain of the ship, the Chef needs to pull rank more often than not to maintain the control in the kitchen and make sure everything is perfect - after all, good food is his sole responsibility - this guy was the rudest misanthrope of a man anyone could imagine. He would shout, and curse, and throw objects to all of his stuff for the slightest mistakes. But the one person he seemed to dislike most of all was the young, inexperienced Andrew.

One day, a really important guest came to the restaurant: one of the Chef's teachers from his culinary school in France (I think he graduated from "Le Cordon Bleu"). As one could imagine, the chef wanted to make the best possible impression to his former teacher, and show him how far he had managed to get in the culinary arts.

What the teacher ordered for the first course was a vichyssoise soup (also known as potato leak soup), the trademark of which is that it is served cold. Normally, the Chef would have made the soup himself, but he was so eager to chat with his former tutor and tell him about all his great culinary achievements, that he decided to let his staff address the soup order, guessing that they would manage to make a more than a half-decent potato soup without his personal help. As for the main course, he would give his greatest effort to make something really spectacular.

Mind you, it was one of the slow hours of the restaurant, with very few customers, and so it allowed the Chef some chatting time before the dinner rush. And, since the chef was out of the kitchen, the kitchen and most of the frond staff would sit and chat themselves. They knew about the distinguished French guest (Chef wouldn't let them forget how important he was), and, naturally, their main topic of discussion was France. The talk started at French haute cuisine, but soon it escalated to politics, in particular how chauvinist some french people are. The chief waiter, when young, had worked in France, and told a story about a particular customer, that was such a chauvinist, that when he suggested him the vichyssoise soup for first course, the customer would look him as if he personally offended him, tell him that vichyssoise is a soup created in New York (which is actually true, in spite of the french name) and ask for a genuine french soup, like the traditional onion soup.

If you think that Andrew was thrown off track with the discussion and created an onion soup instead of the vichyssoise, you would be mistaken. Andrew was inexperienced, but he tried as hard as he could to be professional.

What happened was that another customer indeed ordered an onion soup. Andrew prepared both of soups, which, as fate wanted it to be, looked very much alike in color and texture - the main thing that would distinguish them was that the onion soup was steamy hot, whereas the vichyssoise was properly chilled.

So far, so good, Andrew prepared both soups, and they were both ready to serve. However, the waiter that would serve the soups was more than a bit influenced by the chief waiter's story. He himself was pretty new to the job, and was terrified of the concept that he could so something so wrong that a customer would give him an ice cold stare, let alone complain about the service.

So, when the waiter had to serve the French guest, who was so incredibly and terrifyingly important for the head chef, his mind went blank and he served the Onion soup instead of the vichyssoise.

But the catastrophe wasn't concluded at that point. Of course, the teacher spotted right away that he was served a hot soup instead of the cold one he requested. What he thought, though, was that he was served a Potage Parmentier, which is the Vichyssoise's warm cousin. The chef was furious with the mistake, but the teacher said that potage parmentier was one of his favourite soups too, so he needen't make a fuss over such a small mistake. So, as they kept chatting, the teacher had his first spoonful of this soup.

What happened after that was borderline chaos. The teacher, since he was a little child, had a violent allergic reaction to any form of onions. Soon after the first spoon, his face and neck were swollen, and he started having trouble breathing. His condition only got worse, so the paramedics were summoned and took him to the hospital for epinephrine shots.

As it was expected, the waiter was fired after being called enough names for a lifetime. But the Chef also fired Andrew, who honestly had nothing to do with that terrible mess up - the Chef mostly fired him cause he needed more people to blame to let out his steam.

Well, Andrew didn't complain for the unfair layoff. He left with dignity, got a job at an other restaurant, and today he is the owner of his own little bistro.

What I know for sure, though, is that he never EVER made an onion soup or a vichyssoise again...

Who would blame him?
post #9 of 14
Violently allergic to onion in any form, and ordered Vichyssoise?
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
post #10 of 14
That's a good question. Me not being a cook, I didn't think to ask my friend about it.

But, I guess, since the guy was a chef himself, he probably knew to order it without any onion.
post #11 of 14
Cold creamy potato soup........mmm mmm good. :roll:
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
post #12 of 14
I worked for the cliche tyrannical Chef, Bob.
He used to yell at me about some stupid thing or another while I was working saute.
I would get so pent up with anger my pan would jump on it's own, no effort required on my part, lol.

One day, he decided to do the same thing to his business partner's daughter, who worked there as the baker.
She was a big girl, and I mean big.
Sweet as heck, but I'd never anger her on purpose.
Anyhow, this scrawny ego-chef starts laying into her about some mistake, calling her stupid, worthless, etc.
The whole time, her face gets redder and redder.
He turned to walk away, then obviously felt he had more to say, and when he turned back towards her, her fist met his face, knocking off of his feet.
Then she starts screaming "you want some more?! want some more?!", and proceeds to wing pans full of banana bread down at him.
If one of the line cooks hadn't jumped between them to try and restrain her I think he would of been killed.
Me? I was too busy laughing my butt off.

She left, and called her dad to apologize, and said she figured she didn't have a job anymore.
But her dad said he deserved it and to come to work the next day.

Bob has mellowed so much since that incident.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
post #13 of 14
There was the time when a waiter was bugging me to make the "real" choc. mousse for a reg.

The pastry chef was on holiday, and I was in charge of pastry side. Pastry Chef was verry old school, had made enough mise en place, including choc mousse for the duration, but we had an unexpected banquet and used up the prep. I B.S'd the recipie and made a decent imitation, but the waiters-not the customers, noticed it was different and wanted the "real" thing.

Pastry chef had his recipies ( never used them..) in a little black book which was locked up in his drawer. The drawer was mounted directly under a 2" thick marble topped table, the slab was at least 6 feet long and heavy. Couldn't pick the lock, it was one of those round-keyed types, couldn't unscrew the drawer frame from the table, the clever old baztard had plugged up the screw head slots with some kind of caramel and glazed the whole underside with multiple, patiently applied layers of nougat laquer, rock hard and slippery-- the screwdriver would just slip off and slice your knuckles.

Waiter-dude was expecting a big tip from reg on Fri. night and knew of my, uh, troubles, and promised a decent cut. One last, glimmer of hope because the waiter owned a car, a Citroen, (a.k.a French VW, a.k.a. "Duck" a.k.a 2- horse) Citroens had a decent scissor jack, very strong and very small. So, I got a few milk crates and stacked them under the edge of the table, layed a a stack of sheet pans on the crates, and waiter-dudes's jack on top of that. Then we cranked the sucker and brought the slab up a couple of inches--enough to get a pair of tongs in the drawer and fish the book out. Ran it off to the photo-copier, then tossed it back into the drawer before the milk-crates buckled.

Pastry Chef was supremely PO'd when he got back, not because we had done it, but because he couldn't figure out HOW we did it, and because we wouldn't tell him.....
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #14 of 14
thats hysterical haha
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