A very special post by my celebrity guest blogger Cameron Power.
Everyone knows that chefs are angry people. They are self absorbed, self-centred, sadistic, narcissistic bastards who thrive on heaping their shit onto other people’s plates whilst mentally assaulting anybody who comes within earshot of their verbal tirades. basically they are mean-spirited, spiteful and vicious, and that’s on a good day.
As someone who has been a chef for the last decade , from lowly dishwasher, to shit-kicking apprentice, to the highs of an executive chef, I have experienced enough of this career to feel qualified to ask, Why would anybody, and I mean anybody, choose this as a profession? Long hours, shocking pay, the mind numbing routine of sweating, bleeding and being degraded, and all for seemingly nothing. You get home and sleep for two hours before you have to wash and iron your uniform, sharpen your knives and polish your faded boots. Then it’s time to start your wholesomely fun day again.
Anyone who cooks knows that this is a way of life, this is what we chose to do. A career that is based on how hard you work, how much you can drink, how any insults you can fling and how much stress you can endure. Do it without stabbing someone with a bread knife and you’re home and hosed.
There was one problem that we didn’t count on when we embarked on this gastronomic journey, through all of the bravado and bullshit we went through, years of cut fingers, apprenticeships and bullying head chefs this problem kept popping up, that problem? It’s you! That’s right! You, the general public. If we are spiteful narcissists then god only knows what category you bastards fall into.You are the reason that chefs in general are so angry. Wanna know why?
Chef’s are passionate about food. It’s their pride and joy, it’s their lively hood. It’s what keeps them motivated, it dictates their lives. Yes, chef’s are passionate about food… Not people! We cook for our pride, we cook for ourselves, and we cook for the money. Not for you!
Since the days of open kitchens, our lives have gotten steadily worse. Gone are the days when you could throw pans around, and swear and belittle the waiting staff, Oh no no no! In this p.c. World gone mad you can’t even call someone an idiot without getting sued, even if they are medically proven to be an idiot.
Open Kitchens seem to give people the right and authority to say whatever they please to you, good and loud. Not a day goes by without some Master Chef devotee wandering past me and offering some “helpful” advice. It seems now that the wall has fallen people have a new god given right to tell us how to do our jobs. They stand there shouting things like:
- “Hey Chef, that grill looks a little high!”
- “Where is the bathroom?”
- “Hey man, make sure my steak is a good one!”
- “I want my food hot, like… real hot.
Suggestions noted dear customer, here are my responses:
- “Really, well I’ll just turn it up a bit more, like a lot more. Because it’s my grill and I can do whatever the fuck I want.”
- “You chose to ignore the signs, the wait-staff and the manager to come and interrupt my work to ask me that question? For you, the toilet is across the road in that junkie toilet block.”
- “Oh your steak! I’ll just assume it’s the one in the front with the most fat on it. Now I’m going to slightly burn the edges and flip it too many times just to make you feel special.
- “Lucky you told me, I planned to pull it out of the fridge, plate it up, put parsley on and serve it up in the hopes that you’d get salmonella, or mad cow disease, or preferably both.
Don’t bother the chefs while they are working!
Here are some of my other favourite stupid questions that get thrown our way at the most inopportune times. Picture this, You’re in a busy kitchen everybody is running around, screaming orders, dinging bells and cursing and suddenly you hear some genius asking something like
“Do you have steak?” Yes we do.
“Do you have chicken?” Yes we do.
“Do you have pastas?” Yes we do.
“What if I just want a salad? Do you have that?” Yes we do.
“You know what? Maybe I’ll just have fries. Do you have that?” Yes, we do.
“Oh I don’t know, what else do you have?”
Well, we have… A fucking menu!
It gets worse, indecisiveness is nothing compared to pure stupidity. Just when we think we have successfully palmed you off onto the wait staff you decide to up the ante a little bit. Here are some more gems I hear on a daily basis:
“Does the vegetarian nachos have beef in it?”
“How is the grilled salmon cooked?”
“I want it cooked rare, but I don’t want it to be bloody.”
The new emerging trend of irritating customers are the vegans and allergy type people, it seems like every “Steve intolerant” and “Jenny coeliac” has chosen to wander into my humble establishment to bother me with their insane requests:
“I’m a vegan, has your grill ever touched meat?”
“Do you batter your fish with flour?”
“I’m allergic to salt”
“I don’t eat animals, I’ll just have the fish.”
It takes at least 4 years for us to be qualified, it takes nurses around the same time, and yet you trust these people with your lives and you don’t even trust us with your food?
I could go on forever, rattling off various enraging stories, but to be honest, I’m getting angry just writing this. It brings back hateful memories and makes me feel like taking my carving knife to the nearest gluten-free, pasta eating hypocrite I can find.
So, why am I still a Chef? Like I said, Chefs love food, I love food! I just don’t like you!