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okay girls, lets rumble!  

post #1 of 123
Thread Starter 

to all you females in the kitchen out there, and i think/hope there are more than a few...from head chefs to dishwashers...would love to hear  about your kitchen experiences...i know we are viewed differently, but does that get in your way, or do you or  how do you make that work for you? or do you?...is it tougher? are you  tougher?...do you let things ride more because you're a female or are you a kitchen nazi?...middle ground? no ground? do you care, or is this just a job, a paycheck or a passion..are you corporate or  a small indie op? punch a time clock and want to clock your boss? pet peeves? do you still go home and walk the dog,feed the kids, do laundry, clean the house and make dinner...are you having fun? any life, outside the kitchen? where do you see yourself in 10 years? come on girflriends...the good, the bad and the ugly...lets have it...time to rumble!

joey

 what works for me?...i have pms and a handgun!....usually gets someones attention!...lets have some fun with this thread...


Edited by durangojo - 7/12/10 at 9:24pm

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

post #2 of 123

 


Good thread! 

 

We are viewed differently and I actually had a head office trainer say to me that he likes to see women in the kitchen and he finds us to be cleaner than our male counterparts.  That just said I had another trainer call me "lady" and that didn't sit well with me at all.  (guy is an arrogant a****** to begin with so I should have expected that out of him anyway)

 

I don't think I'm a nazi but I expect the crew to do their jobs and not screw around.  When I call board I expect communication from the crew and if someone winds up in the weeds or runs out of something just tell me and I will make sure they have help to get back on track.  I won't hassle them for getting weeded.. it happens and it's just how the orders come in.  If I had a dollar for every time I've been in the weeds I could retire right now. 

 

I work corporate right now but I have worked at indie shops. I'd still be at the cafe had the ownership not changed and things went south after that for food quality. 

 

Pet peeves.... too many to mention!  But the biggest is crappy work ethic.  I'm not paying you to play on your cellphone so put it away and do some work!

 

I go home, make dinner, tidy the house do laundry and on occasion walk the dog.  The kids tend to walk her when I'm at work and now that it's so hot my husband has been taking her at 9pm when it's cooler out.  Life outside the kitchen is there.. I do see friends and family.. not as often as I'd like to but working full time does that.  I sew, knit and garden so I keep myself busy in my offtime. 

 

In 10 years I want to have my own place.  The kids will be grown and I can focus on my career.  It's starting now.. my younger one just finished grade nine but I have four more years at least until I can commit to owning a restaurant. 

 

So that's me!

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
post #3 of 123

I am assuming this thread is specifically addressed to those working as cooks in a professional capacity...

 

Perhaps it would be better posted in the Professional fora?

post #4 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishbel View Post

I am assuming this thread is specifically addressed to those working as cooks in a professional capacity...

 

Perhaps it would be better posted in the Professional fora?

thanks, isbel, i thought about that later and have no clue how to move it over...do i have to rewrite the whole thing in the professional forum, or is there a way to move it...thanks

joey
 

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

post #5 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by durangojo View Post

to all you females in the kitchen out there, and i think/hope there are more than a few...from head chefs to dishwashers...would love to hear  about your kitchen experiences...i know we are viewed differently, but does that get in your way, or do you or  how do you make that work for you? or do you?...is it tougher? are you  tougher?...do you let things ride more because you're a female or are you a kitchen nazi?...middle ground? no ground? do you care, or is this just a job, a paycheck or a passion..are you corporate or  a small indie op? punch a time clock and want to clock your boss? pet peeves? do you still go home and walk the dog,feed the kids, do laundry, clean the house and make dinner...are you having fun? any life, outside the kitchen? where do you see yourself in 10 years? come on girflriends...the good, the bad and the ugly...lets have it...time to rumble!

joey

 what works for me?...i have pms and a handgun!....usually gets someones attention!...lets have some fun with this thread...



Sounds like you have it covered

 

Gypsy

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
post #6 of 123

this thread offends my intelligence,

... however, sara moutlon rules.

post #7 of 123

So other than the OP and another user, we've had no replies that make good on the original question. Nice work, gals.

 

Hello, my name is Sosa, I've been working in kitchens for the past three years - two on the line, one in the pit. After two cases of sexual harassment and one nervous breakdown, I've realized that I want to a chef one day. Not a good one, a great one.

 

Day-to-day working experience? Well, it's varied so far. One of my pet peeves is when I try to show male coworkers a technique or trick I've picked up and they're openly dismissive of my advice and continue in their backwards ways. Lo and behold! A higher-ranking cook (so far, always male) walks by, gives them the same advice I gave them beforehand, usually with a deprecating remark, and walks away. Sorry bro, I guess if I had insulted you while giving out advice, things would've gone a lot smoother for the both of us. I'm not saying I know best, but it bothers me when I try to act positively and share what little knowledge I do have with others only to have in thrown back in my face.

 

I'm a black anglophone (English-speaking) woman working in a male-dominated field in a (or should I say "the") francophone (French-speaking) province. I've described myself as an ethnic "cube" before. What the hell does that have to do with anything? Nothing in my mind. Yet sometimes I can't shake the feeling that I'm in Bizzaro Land, and when I do the best work I can, it's not recognized as such, and when I slip up and make mistakes, sometimes I feel like I get the lash doubly hard as other coworkers would.

 

There was one point when I became self-destructive over this, but at some point I also came to the conclusion that this world is full of jackasses. And it might take me a while for these fools to recognize what they're dealing with, but one day, it'll be undeniable, even to the most dense of them. And that thought keeps me going.

 

I've been described as "macha" - the female equivalent of "macho" by an associate before. Does it show through my post? ^_^

 

All that being said, I am a rocker of the double X and damn proud of it. Well, as proud as you can be of a random genetic assigning. Which in my mind equates to being a pretty empathetic, sweet, and sensitive person... without taking other's manure. Well, as much as I can help doing so. I feel like this job requires of fair amount of shit-eating/grinning & bearing it. Any thoughts?

 

Oh, and sometimes when I'm on the line, it takes all the mental strength I've had not to kick a coworker in the cajones.

 

 Example:

 Myself: "Hey, what are we are we going to do about XYZ?"

 Coworker: [grunt... I'm not joking]

 Myself: "Uh, so what are we going to about XYZ?"

 Coworker: [more grunting]

 Myself: "Yeah, so I'm going on a smoke break right now, be back in 5."

 

The thing that keeps me going so far is that it seems to be getting better over time.

 

Oh! And I'm a knitter too. Absolutely need music to keep sane. I like my bike, his name is Charles. I've had a brief taste of the Muay Thai and I LIKED IT VERY MUCH. Also, I like stupid movies, especially if they're framed by a TV show that's hosted on the "S.O.L." +10 points to the first person that gets the reference. These are a few of my favorites things. Other than food, duh.

post #8 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by left4bread View Post

this thread offends my intelligence,

... however, sara moutlon rules.


if you get offended this easily, perhaps a kitchen is not the best place for you!...chill left4bread, just trying to peak a little interest here a have a bit of fun...where's the insult?

joey


Edited by durangojo - 7/18/10 at 8:13am

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

post #9 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by durangojo View Post




if you get offended this easily, perhaps a kitchen is not the best place for you!...chill left4bread, just trying to peak a little interest here a have a bit of fun...where's the insult?

joey



well we are all intitled to our opinion are we not? Take a second look at your original thread girl....just sayin

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
post #10 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsy2727 View Post





well we are all intitled to our opinion are we not? Take a second look at your original thread girl....just sayin


i did just take a second look at my original post.. and still remain confused about what offends exactly, which was definately never my intent...what exactly in the post is offensive.?..i just don;t get it..call me on it, specifically, please..the pms /handgun thing was , like a joke.(i live in the wild west remember)..you remember kitchen humor dontcha? geez..the only reason i even started this thread in the first place was to gather  opinions of working females in all sorts of kitchens with  their experiences in tow, that' s all..simple ,simple....guess i should  just leave laying dogs lie and forgettaabout it.but if you or  someone could enlighten me, i'd be thrilled...aboslutely no offense meant here...ever...i was thinking about more on the lines of women in kitchens... possibly solidarity on some level...guess i'm the wrong tune  in the wrong place...so , why don't you new kitchen mavens start an interesting thread your selves...double dare you?

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

post #11 of 123

whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa

 

I forgot to put the winky face at the end of my post.

Everybody put your guns away.

I formally apologize for my capricious post.  It was a failed attempt at humor.

I didn't mean to pique anyone's contempt.

 

Good thread idea .  I hope it continues to grow and stay on topic.

post #12 of 123

....and what are we learning about women in the industry?

 

Seriously though, I've noticed a huge increase in numbers of women in kitchens and, more specifically, running them. The genders are not the same therefore your influence on the evolution of the work enviroment remains to be seen. A change is as good as a rest so I hope young female chefs dont succumb to '...if you can't beat 'em join 'em'.

 

Since, after reading various contributions, I respect most of the above posters professionally I too look forward to some insight into your perspective, motivations, aspirations etc....the chuckles are just a bonus!

 

If nothing else, may this post serve as a reminder that the girls may be writing but the boys are reading.....at least the smart ones! 

 

I'm out.

"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
post #13 of 123



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by durangojo View Post




i did just take a second look at my original post.. and still remain confused about what offends exactly, which was definately never my intent...what exactly in the post is offensive.?..i just don;t get it..call me on it, specifically, please..the pms /handgun thing was , like a joke.(i live in the wild west remember)..you remember kitchen humor dontcha? geez..the only reason i even started this thread in the first place was to gather  opinions of working females in all sorts of kitchens with  their experiences in tow, that' s all..simple ,simple....guess i should  just leave laying dogs lie and forgettaabout it.but if you or  someone could enlighten me, i'd be thrilled...aboslutely no offense meant here...ever...i was thinking about more on the lines of women in kitchens... possibly solidarity on some level...guess i'm the wrong tune  in the wrong place...so , why don't you new kitchen mavens start an interesting thread your selves...double dare you?

joey


I am not offended jo .I personally don't understand what you are asking. My kitchen experiences have been pretty good with the male gender ...I don't separate myself from them professionally,considering that is all there was in the kitchen 30 years ago....About your original thread it just sounded like you were looking for a male bashing session ....if that's not the case ...right on keep up this woman thread...good ,bad ,ugly ...whatever...lol
 

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
post #14 of 123

Pardon the intrusion.  One of the privilges of being male is sending a bottle to the ladies. 

Pol Roger Rose 2000

 

To truth, beauty, and your good health.

 

BDL

What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
post #15 of 123

Why thank you BDL! 

 

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
post #16 of 123
Thread Starter 

thanks for the boo boo buddy bdl, but i'm a big girl now..thanks gypsy and left4bread for you both taking a second look at the original post...i don't even think i mentioned males in the post and i'm just not the male bashing type..i enjoy the comaraderie of  everyone in the kitchen as its usually such a tight crew working towards the same end goal...a wonderful experience for the customer...i view them(customers) basically as my paycheck..if they don't have a good experience, they don't come back, if they don't come back, business is down, if business is down,eventually i'm out of a job...even though i'm the boss...in my career, i have taken the long way home...i was a private yacht chef in the caribbean for many years, a caterer, a restaurant owner, restaurant starter chef  in the caribbean, which is another story altogether, chef on a small (more goats than people, and only accessible by boat small) island a ski resort chef where i had to ski to work everyday, and now i have been the chief cook and bottle washer at an historic, seasonal restaurant on a high mountain lake in the colorado rockies for the past 17 years..boy, it sounds like i should be atleast 100...i never went the corporate route..i think i did a short stint ( 1 year) in a resort club here because i wanted to be cross trained in all positions...pantry, garde manger, line cook, banquets etc..it was a really good experience, and i learned a ton..but in the end,corporate just ain't my thang. the challenges of running a 'historic' restaurant are many, and most have to do with faulty plumbing, electricity,water heaters, refrigeration,chipmunks, bears, and most recently a bobcat prowling around... i feel like a character in 'don't stop the carnival'..i have a kitchen the size of a postage stamp...i don't have a walk in and most of our refrigeration is ancient. most people have larger kitchens in their homes, and its at least 120 degrees on a cool night.....i am the only cook and we do about 50 to 70 dinners nightly, which doesn't sound like a lot, but its plenty, out of that tiny space trust me...guests come for dinner and they really spend the evening..its an adventure as its 25 miles outside of town...and its local...we are only open 4 nights a week, but we cater on other nights...it is a very busy place...food is eclectic and fun...its rumored to be the best restaurant in town, but its a small town and that comes with its own price tag as you're only as good as your last meal, in my opinion...hard,hard work , but i love it...okay,enough already.... so where do you work? what do you do in the kitchen? are you still having fun? or are you into 'serious' food?...good day all...the handgun is safely put away! (for now)!!

joey

thanks bdl...cheers!


 


Edited by durangojo - 7/19/10 at 10:51am

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

post #17 of 123

I think that while more and more women are working in the kitchen, in general it's still considered to be a male dominated industry and I think the media does play a part in that.  I think it will be a while as Titomike said before we see just what influence the genders have on the industry as a whole. 

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
post #18 of 123

Joey.. wow!  You've done alot in your time in the business.  Corporate for me works right now.. steady pay but there is some room to be creative so I'm never bored. Yes I get frustrated sometimes and tempted.. there is a coffe house opening within walking distance of my house that is hiring a cook.. but having done the coffee house/cafe thing I know that while the potential for creativity is huge the potential for the owners taking over cooking in slow times is also there so... I am staying where I am.  Not to mention I really like where I work and who I work for.  I will approach the coffee house though and see if I can offer cooking classes using their site as a venue.. I did that at the cafe and they were well received.  I left the cafe because ownership changed and with the change came a downward change in food quality and I just couldn't serve what they wanted me to.  The new owners wanted us to use purchased dry mixes for muffins instead of continuing to use homemade muffin mixes (it cost too much to have me in there making the mixes so they figured they could save a couple hours pay and buy the mixes in bulk) they started cheaping out on the portion sizes and  at the same time, raised the prices!  They went from homemade soup to campbell's frozen (again to shave another hour or two from labour cost) but honestly that was done to the detriment of the place.  I've seen reviews of it on the web and every single person has said that since changing ownership the place has gone down.  Interesting too.. since becoming AKM where I am now, we make our soups on site.. and even though they're paying me to be there and make the soup... we're still saving money at the end of the day and our soups sell well because customers know they're really homemade. 

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
post #19 of 123

That's really cool Joey and Leeniak,....I get ya now Joey ....I guess I just needed to hear a little bit about you.

I'm on Sabbitcal for the next year...we'll see what the future brings. I guess that is why I have so much time for this site!

I started in the kitchen of my parents restaurant when I was 12 washing dishes and busing tables. I got the culinary bug then and it never left. I have been the Chef of high end fine dining establishments,catering companies,pubs,conference centers,even corporate chef to a concrete company! It's been a wonderfull ride and I loved it ...but the world's not done with me yet! it's my time and I'm going to enjoy it!

 

Peace

 

Gypsy

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
post #20 of 123

Merci Beaucoup BDL.... simply gracious of you...chivalry is not dead  

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
post #21 of 123
Thread Starter 

thanks ladies...

for realizing the thread was' let's rumble, not 'let's 'grumble'...'rumble' , simply means rallly( think west side story...if you're a jet, your a jet all the way!) ....we all have a life story, which to me is so interesting to find out how  we all ended up in the same place, at the same time,after having such different life experiences......i toast you all with bdl 's virtual champagne, which was really, really,really  goood!.....

cheers chefs

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

post #22 of 123

I love West Side Story!  I remember studying the book back in either high school or middle school... not sure what year it was but I loved the book and have reread it since then and I have no idea how many times I've seen the movie.

 

For me the interest in the industry started back when I was a stay home mom and my husband suggested that I look into food styling when I can go back to work.  I'd rather cook great food than use glue and paint to make it look pretty for photography so here I am.

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
post #23 of 123

Chef BDL,

 

Thank you so much for the champagne, Pol Roger 2000 was an exceptional year, known as " delicious and exuberant."

 

 

ps. The Tempest Act 5 Scene 1

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(161 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(161 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
post #24 of 123

The champagne is running out Petals ....

                                                            at least contribute to the thread fellow Canadian girl  

 

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
post #25 of 123

sorry there Gypsy.....

 

 

I don't have an interesting story to tell really. My mother worked for a Swiss family (private chef) and did much catering throughout her career.

Fifteen years ago I was looking to make a change in my career (RN).

On weekends I used to visit my mother in her place of work and I would assist her on many occasions. It was then I realized where I wanted to be.

One night her boss came into kitchen and introduced me to his friend who was looking for a cook at his estate. He offered me the job and I took it. (who wouldn't)

I spent the next two years being trained by 2 French chefs in Montreal and one in the Bahamas.

My boss and his wife are not Canadian. By taking the job it also meant that I would have to travel a lot, they have a home in WPB (Trafalgar) , Guatemala (near Lake Atitlan), the Bahamas and here.

I have to say its been a humbling experience and I have so much more I wish to know about. In 2006 I fell ill and thought of giving it up but could not. Went through 8 months of treatment till finally surgery.

We do not travel as much as we used to ( I do not miss it) but I concider myself fortunate in sense that I have a job, it is challenging and very satisfying.

When I read the posts here at CT , I am baffled at times , the wealth of information and learning here never ceases to amaze me and I am in constant awe of my peers here who just inspire me to be better. 

What has made me a better cook/chef ?.............my mistakes.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(161 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(161 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
post #26 of 123

Oh But Petals it is a very interesting and " humbling" story ...thank-you. I am curious to all of my peers and ,what brought them to where they are today. I have a ton of friends who are chefs and still in the biz and also ones who have gone onto  a different career and never looked back. Your career path sounds like it was an exciting one full of travel and adventure. I know when your in it it doesn't seem that way. An aquintance of mine travels all over with her husband for his professional riding and she says it does get tiresome as they are grand parents now.

 

Yes mistakes are human ....it's not how we fall it's how we get up .....

 

thanks again for enlightening me

 

Gypsy

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
post #27 of 123

On that note ...I think we better order another bottle 

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
post #28 of 123

Your story is very interesting, petals!  Thanks for sharing it with us.

 

And yes... we all do learn from our mistakes.

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
post #29 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsy2727 View Post

On that note ...I think we better order another bottle 


i'm in! .....thanks for the reminder gypsy of how it is always about  how we get up, not how we fall...petal...wow! you must really be quite the likable person as well as being really good at your job for your employers to still have you stay throughout all that...and little sosa, so tough new and raw..go girl..sounds like you'll be fine...mellowing will take its  place later..for now you need to listen and learn and sometimes kick butt...okay, so whos buying ?what's in your wine cellar? give it up!...my dog just rolled in bear poop and i gotta go wash her down..just what i wanna do at this hour after a long tough night, but you rural(?)canadian girls are most probably use to it.....ending here with a thanks for keeping the thread , and well wishes to you all, chefs...gotta go... smell is really, really bad..oh, if you have doggies at home i make my own dog biscuits and frozen treats.these are treats so good, healthy and people friendly, i swear your dog will clean your house, water your garden, wash your car , and make your bed for you...killing the husband is extra though! (its a joke)....left 4 bread, where are you? what do you do in the brew pub? what kind of food to your serve there? where are you?...man,all these questions are making me really thirsty...tiny bubbles!!! you think we could hit bdl up for another little snooker? bet he's got a nice little wine cellar....but what a stand up guy to do that for us ladies...yeah, we are all kinda special in our own way, aren't we...hey, that was the whole damn point of the thread in the first place wasn't it.night night all...please continue to rock on! ciao

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

post #30 of 123
Thread Starter 

so speaking of women in professional kitchens, whenever i pick up a trade mag or rag, i notice to my chagrin that in all of the group photos, award or 'top chef' mentions, the ratio of male to female is at least 5 to 1, maybe more. makes me wonder why women are no longer choosing this profession...money? hours? dedication? perhaps its different in canada or europe where the  so called 'male dominated' kitchen is still heavily embedded. (at least in europe)...here, i thought we had evolved somewhat, but perhaps am wrong. ....what gives here?  where are the womenfolk? have they all become t.v personalities wearing cute little clothes, in their cute, fake little kitchens, making cute little food for money and ratings? aargh, gag me....is this a sign of the times? and more importantly, why is it a sign and what is it to become of it? i know there are some really smart, really talented, and really dedicated women out there running kitchens...we just don't hear enough about them or from them....hopefully they are too busy making food and running kitchens to give interviews...we really need to celebrate these women who have given or give us a leg up..we need them in our kitchens doing the work, making the food, teaching , and making a difference...what positive difference do you make in your kitchen?...when i had my restaurant at the ski resort a few years back, we were open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner...35 employees..as chef/kitchen manager, i always tried to seek out any interested female kitchen staff..in five years i found 3...i love the balance and interaction of a coed kitchen, but the girls were tough to find....one huge imbalance  was the money differential between the boh and foh...foh made 2x the amount  of $ in less hours..they didn't get dirty, burned, sweaty, have to take out the garbage, or pick up the mats...maybe its that simple really...money....ca ching, ca ching! my policy was for both the waitstaff and the bartenders to tip out the kitchen.....at 200 to 300 fast paced, but not fast food lunches a day, the tips were pretty darn good.... fair is fair.... good day all

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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