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Most awkward place you had to cook a dish while at work...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Ok, so with all of us working in busy kitchens we know how it feels when we are crammed for space, especially when you get curveballs thrown at you which makes you have to improvise, i was just curious to see what situations the collective has been in that would make us all sit back and think "man.... that's a beech" 

 

so here's mine,  a couple years back it was a busy weekend, friday - sunday filled with about 8 different weddings/big banquets, one of which requested arancini as appetizers (last minute).. because of all the prep going on in the main kitchen i was delegated to a lesser grade prep area.. and believe me if i could've worked in a better spot i would have, but alas here i was loving my risotto.. 

 

post #2 of 11

That's a pretty good one Chef, cooking on open flame on a dry storage rack. :lol:

 

I don't have a pic, (wish I did now) but this one was in catering, got sent out to a horse rescue event

(this was a cook n grill at-site event) we'd done several times before, in winter, pouring rain and COLD

winds (up off the interstate) When we arrived we were intercepted and told they had "moved the event...

follow us please" so we follow then down the road and up a steep muddy dirt road to a large stable on

the side of a steep hill.

Hmm, it looked okay, brightly lit and pretty warm in there......till I realized it was ALL tables.

I looked at the client, looked to a cubby hole to the side and said, I guess we can stage in

there..." he said "no, that's for the band." I just stared at him, waiting. He takes me OUTSIDE

in the pouring rain, atop the hillside next to a huge pile of sopping wet horse dung, and says

this is the best we can do.  "Youre kidding right? You really want your food cooked here??" I asked,

in a nasal voice because I was pinching my nose closed.

Turns out he was NOT kidding--I wanted to walk out at that point, but I wasn't in a position to do so.

 

So I spent the evening cooking in the rain, sparging whatever food  was soggy and ready to  a table beneath

a too small quick-shade, which would fill with water and dump a gallon or two down on the edge of the table

every 10 minutes or so. Oh, and there were no lights--total darkness. With a chill factor making it about

38 degrees and windy. So there ya go. :blush:

post #3 of 11

Meez, i laughed and cried a bit all at the same time. 

Imagining that situation, must have been hard. 

 

I think the most awkward or god damn worst situation i have been in was at a restaurant, well more like a bar. 

I guess the intention of the bar was to serve mainly drinks, but unfortunetly soon some idiot had the idea to build a kitchen, in a store room i suppose....

 

I went and worked in a kitchen that was literally 9x5... with a portable burner <_<, 2 small fridges, smaller then the ones i have at home. 

2 friers, and one grill which was the biggest thing in the kitchen. 

Oh and their was a sink.... because their was no dishwasher we had to wash the dishes as well, even though their was no room to dry these dishes <_<. 

Their was one side of the kitchen where their was a small table to do prep, but when your in 3 cooks, a space that small isnt helpful at all. 

 

This little run down bar would produce 100-250+ dishes a night, imagine cleaning these plates as well as finding a spot to put the dirty and clean ones. Well ill tell ya, the dirty plates would stay on the floor until someone decided to clean and dry them. 

Everyone bumping into each other, and no room to do anything, hard to breathe, hot as hell, and 3 pissed off cooks, trying to juggle 20 orders all at one time, when we barely had enough room to stretch our arms. I dont mind working hard, but room for mise en place and some space is helpful when doing so many dishes in one night.

 

I could go on for days, on how bad that place was, to this day i wish i had called a health inspector to shut that joint down <_<, food was not being properly prepared. 

One of the nastiest things i remember was the fact the cutting boards were very small, smaller then a sheet of paper. And they were yellow from so dirty and one side was almost black, i assume it was mold. Just gross, seeing the other cook use them...

 

I had to work that night, juggling working friers and washing dishes, friers would get loaded so fast, and oil would just overflow and spill out. The kitchen smelled like a sewer , because the drain hadnt been cleaned out in years along wth some problems in the pipes... GOD SO GROSS.

 

Back then it was a stage i was doing, i only stayed 2 days and i think they were shocked i stayed that long. The last 2 places i worked before was heaven compared to this place lol. 

 

Ugh now i got the heeby jeebies just from remembering... :cry: 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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post #4 of 11

And get this--that was like my 2nd or 3rd event! :suprise:

 

Yours definitely qualifies as a horror story. And I have this disturbing feeling you were doing all

this without proper exhaust ventilation or fire suppression system. Please tell me I'm wrong! :eek:

post #5 of 11

<_< nope, right on the money right there. 

It was a death trap LOL. 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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post #6 of 11

"Do what you can with what you have, where you are."

post #7 of 11

Chef's both of those sound a little on the sketchy side. and I think we all have been through some seriously bad cooking experiences, Not long ago I was hired to cater a party at a clients home for 176 guests, I've only ever worked with this client at my hotel but though yeah what the heck. I arrived 2 days prior to the event to do some prep work and the house was in the worst state I have ever seen anyone live in in my entire life. Christmas trees up (this was August so the were dead and moldy and 3 of them) boxes and bags full or trash news papers and random things filled every room from floor to head high. There was somewhere between 3 and 7 cats and no litter boxes so they just used the trash piles. I never could figure out how many cats there were. The client had ordered 2 cases of live main lobsters the left the boxes in the garage for 2 days. And the Fridge...... Well the client had taken all the shelves out and just piled food in there to get the most space out of it. I almost gave up but the money was too good to pass up. At least the party was in the back yard so no one was allowed in the horders house. I wanted to call TLC by the end of and threw away my whites

post #8 of 11

I bow down to thee in vaild defeat, for thine tale of culinary horror doth admittedly outdoeth mine.:eek: 

post #9 of 11

Boheme i think by the end of the night i would have forgotten about TLC and went directly into THC xD. 

 

That sounds like those stories documentaries like Pet Police or Animal cops or whatever its called where police men or animal caregivers go into a house to save dogs and kittens from suffering abuse or living in inappropriate locations. 

I think i would have taken those cats and set them free xD. 

 

Thank God no one entered the house, i would be ashamed to let anyone see that lol. 

 

I only imagine the smell... those cats must have been doing their business in the heeps of trash for months maybe years.. 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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post #10 of 11

Kaique at least it was only for 2 days and not a full time job like you had man. I hate crowded spaces that kitchen must have been I nightmare, I bet my Studio Apt. during culinary school had more to work with. You're a rock star man lol

post #11 of 11

I wonder if those cats are still alive :rolleyes:

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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