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When bad things happen to good food...

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hi guys...

 

What are the things that make you sad for your food while cooking professionally? I have more than 20 years in the industry and a bit more than a decade as an executive chef, and co-owner, so my attitude towards some orders is "if it makes you happy and that helps my business …I'm happy for you" So, no more tantrums or "I'll teach you how to eat…You ignorant moron" attitude from my part anymore. But deep inside I still feel some sadness while performing tasks as:

 

-Well done and almost charred steak (I'm talking about "prime" quality good and thick beef cuts).

Ooooohhh… I almost forget, sometimes as an added bonus you receive attitude from your client for getting it dry, but that belongs to another can of worms.

 

-Well done sashimi grade "ahi" or bluefin tuna.

Same as above.

 

-A perfectly sous vide cooked chicken breast that is juicy and tender and skin that was carefully charred on the grill… Sent back to the kitchen for getting more cooked (seems like my people is too used to stringy, dry and tough chicken breast and just can't deal with juice and tenderness).

 

Those are just a few examples, feel free to chime in, this is not a campaign to "teach the ignorant how to eat" or to criticize people for their preferences, I just want to know what makes other professionals cringe on food handling…Or maybe I'm the only nagging chef around. Let's see.

 

Regards.

post #2 of 28
Someone sent a piece of salmon asking for more cook; i'm like you, how the guest wants it, i don't mind. After all, they have to eat it, they should enjoy it. But this fish was already done, man. Cooked through. Probably over! If they don't want translucent, ok, but why send it back ifbit's already cooked?
post #3 of 28
When people yelp complaining about prices, comparing the difference between creekstone filets or Newport ribeyes with Costco meats, even though they also say in the same post that it's one of the best steaks they've ever had. I'm not trying to teach anybody about differences in quality but if you don't want to pay more for top product then don't order it
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alaminute View Post

When people yelp complaining about prices, comparing the difference between creekstone filets or Newport ribeyes with Costco meats, even though they also say in the same post that it's one of the best steaks they've ever had. I'm not trying to teach anybody about differences in quality but if you don't want to pay more for top product then don't order it

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grande View Post

Someone sent a piece of salmon asking for more cook; i'm like you, how the guest wants it, i don't mind. After all, they have to eat it, they should enjoy it. But this fish was already done, man. Cooked through. Probably over! If they don't want translucent, ok, but why send it back ifbit's already cooked?

 

Thanks for the replies, both examples are kinda painful to me too. :(

post #5 of 28

I worked in a pizzeria. I love when someone wrote a bad review on yelp saying that he ordered a large pizza with extra pepperoni and cheese, and he was complaining that it was greasy. Really? You ordered it not me. It's like people expect you to stop them from making poor dining suggestions when they already have their minds set on something. 

post #6 of 28
When you have more than one sauce that goes on the plate for the dish to be complete for all the flavors bind together but the B@#ch orders sauce on side!!

When customers ask for the food to be completely separated from the other components. My art is ruined!

Are a well done pheasant so sad.
post #7 of 28

Just today someone wanted to replace a granita in one of my desserts with cherry sorbet. I said absolutely not, I gave them the dessert with the cherry sorbet on the side. Lo and be frickin hold the server comes back and says "they were glad you didn't substitute the cherry sorbet for the granita because they liked it better."

 

People substituting things they haven't even tasted yet! This typically comes from years of eating crap, when they get something actually good they don't know how to handle it. Slathering a perfectly cooked steak with anchovy and corn syrup sauce.

 

The most amazing piece of chicken I've have was by Chef Patrick Ogheard, a proper Bresse hen cooked sous-vide at 145 degrees for four hours, not a hint of stringiness, it reminded me of poached fish. It was a trial run for the dinner the next day. Right on time, the chickens start coming back to the kitchen "its not cooked!" The chicken was so tender the more inexperienced guests thought it was undercooked.

 

It seems like only the italians can get away with telling a customer "NO! You can't order that."

post #8 of 28

What saddens me is as soon as the servers drop the plate, the guest reaches for the salt and pepper shaker on the table without tasting it first. I know this is an old complaint for many chefs but it always bothers me. My staff and I work hard and take great care to get the proper seasonings on our food and then some stupid ignorant guest ruins it by over salting and peppering their food. Then they have the audacity and brazenness to say it was too salty. I have tried to remove all S&P shakers from the table but I have always been overruled. I understand  some people like more salt in their food, especially smokers, but at least taste the food first.  

post #9 of 28

Interesting topic, but perhaps the title should have been..."When people don't understand about good food."

 

I make hand made Dim Sum.

Time consuming and putzy.

Delicious though right?

The customers' plate comes back with all the dough removed and laid neatly on the side of the plate.

Only the fillings were eaten.

 

Make Bolognaise sauce and it simmers all day on low flame.

Customer says to the server that it's too bad the Chef has to buy bottled spaghetti sauce.

 

Have you ever heard of someone being "allergic" to rack of lamb?

post #10 of 28
That's a first on a rack of lamb.But I did have a customer complain to a server that she was allergic to chiffonade and returned the dish.

One that gets me when glutards don't want to eat my bread. And it's made out of Amaranth flour no f@#Kin gluten at all.

When the micro garnish is put to the side. It's not an after thought it serves purpose for flavor.

When patrons ask for A1 steak sauce on wagyu beef
post #11 of 28

heard it all , from no prawns on my prawn salad to this smoked salmon is raw , and  more , so glad I am at stage and age can laugh about it

post #12 of 28
These all bring back memories. Recently, salmon, cooked to a perfect 51c, just like its done at a local Michelin Stared restaurant, sent out 35 portions to a group, 33 said perfect, 2 said, " its raw ". Alas, we cooked it to death for them and then they were happy. To each their own but I felt bad for the fish.
post #13 of 28
Working in a seafood place, the most frustrating thing was when people would accuse you of selling frozen for fresh, or silver salmon for king. First of all because it's rude , and second of all, because, what do you do? Send out more of the same?
I don't mind accomodating people's allergies, the thing that sucks is when they order a dish without asking what might be appropriate; then you send out the plate with almost nothing, just a piece of fish/meat, maybe some rice and plain veg. I feel really bad seeing tthose go out
post #14 of 28

20 years owning and head chef in steakhouse could write a book on it , fav onr  cook this steak well done the customer will die if any red in it  my reply ( in head ) well fu--ing die

post #15 of 28

"anchovy and corn syrup sauce."

 

At the risk of showing ignorance, what the heck is THAT?  Please tell me, it sounds like something I'd want to try.  How do you make it?  What's it for?

 

hmm...you talking about some kind of Woooooooooster sauce?

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raibeaux View Post
 

"anchovy and corn syrup sauce."

 

At the risk of showing ignorance, what the heck is THAT?  Please tell me, it sounds like something I'd want to try.  How do you make it?  What's it for?

 

hmm...you talking about some kind of Woooooooooster sauce?


A-1 steak sauce.

post #17 of 28
Jeez, and all this time i thought A-1 was ketchup with caramel color!
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dobzre View Post
 

Just today someone wanted to replace a granita in one of my desserts with cherry sorbet. I said absolutely not, I gave them the dessert with the cherry sorbet on the side. Lo and be frickin hold the server comes back and says "they were glad you didn't substitute the cherry sorbet for the granita because they liked it better."

 

People substituting things they haven't even tasted yet! This typically comes from years of eating crap, when they get something actually good they don't know how to handle it. Slathering a perfectly cooked steak with anchovy and corn syrup sauce.

 

The most amazing piece of chicken I've have was by Chef Patrick Ogheard, a proper Bresse hen cooked sous-vide at 145 degrees for four hours, not a hint of stringiness, it reminded me of poached fish. It was a trial run for the dinner the next day. Right on time, the chickens start coming back to the kitchen "its not cooked!" The chicken was so tender the more inexperienced guests thought it was undercooked.

 

It seems like only the italians can get away with telling a customer "NO! You can't order that."

Amen to all that you wrote. I feel your pain…Been there and still pisses me off/saddens me. People asking for things that just can't taste/look good. A customer asked me for an steak medium well with beurre blanc from my salmon! The sauce/meat don't match and also the looks of the juices and blood coming out from the steak when they got mixed in the plate with the silky what sauce reminded you a lab experiment gone wrong, very ugly thing. Bad for the meat and bad for the sauce.

 

The sous vide chicken is also a thing that happens to me on a weekly basis but is a direct result of this line that you wrote wich should be written in stone: "This typically comes from years of eating crap, when they get something actually good they don't know how to handle it." 

 

Ssometimes happens the opposite, my client is almost moved to tears by tasting the same food that he has eaten all his life but now he just tasted it the way it was supposed to be and acts as if he just had an epiphany and or a big "O" … I love that and it balances the situation, but the "ask the chef too cook more my chicken" happens often.

 

Thank you all for your replies and sharing with me your experiences!

post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSUchef View Post
 

What saddens me is as soon as the servers drop the plate, the guest reaches for the salt and pepper shaker on the table without tasting it first. I know this is an old complaint for many chefs but it always bothers me. My staff and I work hard and take great care to get the proper seasonings on our food and then some stupid ignorant guest ruins it by over salting and peppering their food. Then they have the audacity and brazenness to say it was too salty. I have tried to remove all S&P shakers from the table but I have always been overruled. I understand  some people like more salt in their food, especially smokers, but at least taste the food first.  

 

You're not alone! ;) happens to many of us!…Yes, also the complaint about salty food!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chefross View Post
 

Interesting topic, but perhaps the title should have been..."When people don't understand about good food."

 

I make hand made Dim Sum.

Time consuming and putzy.

Delicious though right?

The customers' plate comes back with all the dough removed and laid neatly on the side of the plate.

Only the fillings were eaten.

 

Make Bolognaise sauce and it simmers all day on low flame.

Customer says to the server that it's too bad the Chef has to buy bottled spaghetti sauce.

 

Have you ever heard of someone being "allergic" to rack of lamb?

 

Danmed, I was a dim sum cook long ago and hated to see the dough of my most elaborated dumplings coming back at the dish wash station, heart breaking stuff. :(

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef Reginald View Post

That's a first on a rack of lamb.But I did have a customer complain to a server that she was allergic to chiffonade and returned the dish.

One that gets me when glutards don't want to eat my bread. And it's made out of Amaranth flour no f@#Kin gluten at all.

When the micro garnish is put to the side. It's not an after thought it serves purpose for flavor.

When patrons ask for A1 steak sauce on wagyu beef

 

Allergic to chiffonade? God, that customer deserved to be slammed HARD on the head with a book such as "Larousse gastronomique" or "the new professional chef" to teach him what a chiffonade is. But since I've seen it all in the restaurant business (well, that's what I think, but from time to time a new customer comes and find a NEW way to make me roll my eyes) And I share your pain. ;)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by YUMMEY View Post
 

heard it all , from no prawns on my prawn salad to this smoked salmon is raw , and  more , so glad I am at stage and age can laugh about it

 

Damned!! Comedy material… But I've suffered from Carpaccios that are returned to the kitchen for being "too raw", so, I share the laugh with you! :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagom View Post

These all bring back memories. Recently, salmon, cooked to a perfect 51c, just like its done at a local Michelin Stared restaurant, sent out 35 portions to a group, 33 said perfect, 2 said, " its raw ". Alas, we cooked it to death for them and then they were happy. To each their own but I felt bad for the fish.

 

Been there too… I almost want to celebrate a mortuary religious service for the poor salmon/steak/rack of lamb when happens to me, but as you said, to each his own, and if they are happy, as professionals we're supposed to share his happiness… Wich I don't, but since they are paying, I got understanding and resilient to my pain and grief.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grande View Post

Working in a seafood place, the most frustrating thing was when people would accuse you of selling frozen for fresh, or silver salmon for king. First of all because it's rude , and second of all, because, what do you do? Send out more of the same?
I don't mind accomodating people's allergies, the thing that sucks is when they order a dish without asking what might be appropriate; then you send out the plate with almost nothing, just a piece of fish/meat, maybe some rice and plain veg. I feel really bad seeing tthose go out

 

"First of all because it's rude , and second of all, because, what do you do? Send out more of the same?"

​Amen to that, still puzzles me, in that case I just tell the waiter to offer him a totally different dish because all my salmon/tuna/mahi mahi/red snapper/sea bass is exactly the same. I restrain myself of going to the dinning room to slap the customer in the face with the almost live fish, the policy just changes to "No fresh fish for that gentleman" offer him something else and we all will be happy.

post #20 of 28
"Can you scrape the sauce off the fish for them? They didn't realise it would be on it."

I don't know where to start - I could but I @#$%^&* wont? Can I do it fresh without?
post #21 of 28

i need help last night a customer had been recomended by his friend to try us  and try our fillet but try it rare  , so he ordered it rare with on red or blood what the f----ck do you do !

post #22 of 28
Tell the server, to go ask him to describe how he wants his meat cooked, so that you can cook it how he wants it, since neither obviously know what rare is.
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by YUMMEY View Post
 

20 years owning and head chef in steakhouse could write a book on it , fav onr  cook this steak well done the customer will die if any red in it  my reply ( in head ) well fu--ing die

LOL :D Too bad that we can't be vocal on our toughts…But I totally agree with you and with all our colleagues posting his painful experiences here! Thanks for sharing!

post #24 of 28

i need help .....i 'm new to this country USA  i'm from philippines .....i been working as commis chef in the chinese restaurants and manila hotel airport as Demi Chef De Partie .My question is what is the possible question for me a demi - chef ? and my english accent is filipina ....i hope my accent is not sound weird during my interview

post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheffonade View Post
 

i need help .....i 'm new to this country USA  i'm from philippines .....i been working as commis chef in the chinese restaurants and manila hotel airport as Demi Chef De Partie .My question is what is the possible question for me a demi - chef ? and my english accent is filipina ....i hope my accent is not sound weird during my interview

First, Americans don't generally use the term "Demi Chef."  Here, the title will probably be "line cook," so you should search for those openings.

 

Here are some examples of questions I've been asked when applying for a line cook position:

 

"What are your strengths?"

 

"What are your weaknesses?"

 

"Did you like your previous job?  What did you like about it?  What did you not like about it?"

 

"Why do you like working in a kitchen?"

 

"Give an example of a time you went above and beyond expectations."

 

"Have you ever eaten at this restaurant before?  What are your favorite restaurants?"

 

"Why do you want to work here?"

 

My biggest advice is also to ask them some questions.  Although you are the one being interviewed, asking the chef questions about the restaurant and operations shows passion and experience.  It will also take some pressure off of you from answering so many questions.

 

Good luck!  Job searches can be painful!  Can I ask what part of the United States you are in?

post #26 of 28
When i cooked a mustard seed wagyu beef burger with bacon, egg, caramelised onion, lettuce, tomato, beetroot, mayo and tomato relish and the cuntstomer said the burger had no flavour...
post #27 of 28

these ones really burst my knitting 

post #28 of 28

just about to start lunches sun is shining and the world is ok   but the customers will soon f--k that up

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