or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Cook can't deal with killing.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Cook can't deal with killing.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

A cook I work with is struggling with the killing/butchering of live lobsters, crabs, prawns, etc...
Have you ever had to deal with this? Did you pass the job on to someone else or just tell him to suck it up?

post #2 of 15

I have never experienced this personally and I'm not a chef(6+ years as a line-cook, putting in my time) but I would say pass the job to someone else. I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with that but I think if he is really uncomfortable with it after making a solid attempt, there are enough other jobs in the kitchen for him to take care of. I just don't see the merit in forcing it on him, I'm sure he understands the repercussions/limits of his working in a career where killing/butchering animals is so common.

 

Then again, maybe he just needs to do it once and get over the fear? I'd say try an ultimatum and tell him if he tries a couple lobsters and is still bummed about it then move on over to garde manger/let someone else take care of the dirty work.

post #3 of 15

what method are you using for the lobsters etc? maybe chilling them a little or kind of hypnotising them first might help him if they already appear dead? otherwise there might be better jobs. i mean its not one of my favorites but part of the job you have to accept. 

post #4 of 15

If you can eat it you better be able to kill it.  That's my thinking.

post #5 of 15

Tell him to suck it up, or move on. If a grown man can't drop a lobster into a pot of water, then he needs to find another job. Butchery is part of a cooks job.

 Why hold someones hand because they don't like part of their job?

I don't like talking to customers, but I do it with a smile on my face and I don't like cleaning up, but my kitchen sparkles at the end of the day.

post #6 of 15

I guess I want to know about the "etc" part of the lobsters, crabs, and shrimp.......

As part of my job working for an avid hunter I have had my share of animals to process, and even had to dispatch a few "leftovers" that were not taken by the hunter camp. 

Being squeemish about dropping a live lobster in boiling water, or lopping off the head of a soft shell crab is one thing.

Taking the life of an animal by jabbing a knife in it's heart or banging its head against a concrete block is an entirely different thing.

Guts....your name says it all.

post #7 of 15

Yes I have had to deal with it before a few times, if they are bothered at the fact of killing perhaps they need to learn. 

 

I say they need to suck it up.

post #8 of 15
Another vote for suck it up. If someone cannot perform the duties required for their station, then they should transferred to one where they can do what is required. This is not to say that you can't be flexible to take advantage of an individual's talents.

Course the only live animals I've dealt with is clams and lobster, so it's easy to talk a hard game. Never had anyone squeamish about killing em. The only experience I have near to this, is cleaning sepia. Had a couple of cooks who had issues with popping the eyes out of the head. Couldn't blame them really, it definitely creeped me out quite a bit. For the cooks who where more timid about the process, I let them get away with leaving the task for the ones who didn't mind most of the time. There where no free passes, everybody had to take a turn.
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
post #9 of 15

I think you should bring some live chickens into the dock and tell the cook you're running coq au vin.  Go cut them and save the blood.  :)  Either that or do the lobsters. 

post #10 of 15

Years ago during a  stage for nursing I had to remove an ocular prosthesis, .....because that was the job I chose and  was expected of me. I loathed the idea but it was only then that  I realized what was expected of me ( I could do everything else.... but that area got to me- everyone has their weak points) ......moving forward ......today  (in the culinary sense) I have no problem with any of that.

 

He chose the job, he has to mentally take another approach to it. Gosh , what would he do if that was his only choice to survive ?

 

Petals.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply
post #11 of 15

Oh Petals, I have a friend who likes to remove his own "ocular prosthesis" and wave it in front of me while saying...."I see you....."

post #12 of 15

ChefRoss.....I still get weak at the thought of it.....but give me a lobster / and you have lunch !

 

Petals.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply
post #13 of 15

Recommend the book "On Killing" Lt Col (ret) David Grossman. Our society has distanced itself further and further from its food source, sterilizing the actual acts that take place for us to sustain life. It is good that he feels empathy for the creature whose life he is taking for the nurturing of others. Respect and care should be given to all things that fall in the way of our blades,in the sacred act of giving life to others from life. I would (if you haven't already) show him the most humane way of killing them, explain the neurology behind the muscle spasms, and the importance of doing it correctly to ensure quality of the harvested product. this may have the added benefit of developing a more ethical, conscientious and conservative cook( = $$$). Lastly.. There is an old phrase, sometimes; You don't have to like what you do, You just have to do it. 

Best..

 

 

post #14 of 15

Creatures are gonna be put down for consumption and we are the executioners and the benefactors. This person should just bite the bullet and do it in sterility or reverence or they should go teach kindergarten.

California Cook

Reply

California Cook

Reply
post #15 of 15

They should have known what they were signing up for in their interview. Unless the person hiring them didn't explain the duties of the position. Honestly in my opinion I would not hold their hand. Because I would expect them to be able to perform the tasks i hired them for and if they cant well go bake cookies somewhere or work at a fry house making chicken tenders... I dont care, people that cant handle live meat or raw meat for that matter can be disposed of... To delegate you have to be able to use all of your workers to get the job done.. this worker is a broken tool in my opinon.. call me what you will but ive fired people for not being able to lift and take out the trash just because their lazy college kids.. I am pretty sure I make you agree on my resume you can lift a minimum of 50 pounds.. yet they dont even know how to mop a floor half the time and obviously dont know how to read a resume... Basically dont let anybodys weakness hinder you... and maybe they have a strong point others dont... just do the research first.. try them somewhere else thats heavy duty work.. if that doesnt work I would start looking for someone new.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Cook can't deal with killing.