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Same Shit, Different Depth

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's refreshing to find out that the stories we tell here on Chef's Kitchen Rant are universal. I've just started a new job and I've spent the last 2 weeks pissing myself laughing at some of the tales told.

Ten years ago, at the Hilton International Glasgow, I was pissed off at the way the industry was going. My Executive Chef at the time told me that I should get used to it, or leave forever. I stated then that I'd hate to see the industry in another ten years time. I decided to stay. So here I am, ten years from that day, back in a large multi venue hotel, and I can tell you that nothing has gotten better. That's not to say I hate the job, quite the opposite, I'm loving it, but it's so very interesting, a decade after my original statement, to review just what has gone on in that time.

What was pissing me off was that I'd worked my arse of to get to where I was, taking all the 'old school' shit and abuse to get to the position of Sous Chef. When I first started my goal was to get to that level. It seemed to me that once you got there, you'd made it as a Chef, and life would get a little more rewarding, a little like basic training in the military, only the good ones get through the boot camp. How wrong could I be?

I believe I am one of the few remaining 'old school' chefs out there, and as such I have seen the 'new school' coming on, and it's frightening! Is this the future? Why do I spend my days wiping arses and tying shoelaces for fucking idiots? Why do I, after 20 years in the job, have to work harder than the kids and get paid almost the same as they do? Why am I busting out a Marie Rose sauce in 5 minutes, to save the seafood buffet, when I was working in a totally different venue? Just because Billy Ballbag forgot it, FORGOT! A fucking seafood buffet! Wouldn't that be one of the first items of mise en place you would check? Oh, hang on, no, I'm a fucking arsehole, because I wouldn't clear it up at the end of the night, and now it's my problem. WHAT THE FUCK?

My Executive Chef is ten years older than me (lots of tens in this post hey?)where will I be then. There will be no more old school, and my senior sous will be the kids who still require spoon feeding. Oh fuck!

Come back sometime in 2019 for an update to this post :)


Waiter Extraordinaire said...

In ten years from now fine dining will be obsolete and those newbies will all be working in chain restaurants. All hotels will just offer continental breakfasts in 10 years in order to cut costs and for dinner everyone will be eating elsewhere. Plus miles of drive thru fast food places.You will write a book and it will be a best seller!

ranting chef said...

Hey, Hellraiser, great post. I'm sure I've heard those words before. LOL. Hope you have your wellies on!
p.s will see how it is in 2019...

purplegirl said...

All I can offer is sympathy and ... "Billy Ballbag"? HAHAHA!

Hellraiser said...

@Waiter Extraordinaire, sounds feasible, but I really hope not, otherwise why did we all work so hard only to see it all fall down in 10 years?! As for the book, I doubt it, I'll still be blowing the noses of fucktards who need their mummies! Thanks for your comments and continuing support of our blog :)

Hellraiser said...

@Ranting Chef, you know it... you've heard it a million times from me. I've got my fishing waders on, you know, the ones that go right up the thigh! 2019 you and Wifey will be living the dream as nomads and will ahve forgotten about your previous life as a Chef! :)

Hellraiser said...

@Purplegirl, another regular and constant supporter, thanks so much! =) You know Billy Ballbag, he works along side Waitress Cryalot, Waiter Dumb Ass and Ass Hat Fry Cooks, hehe!

mavster said...

Poor Billy Ballbag, fuck me is he going to be the future of our industry? wondering around the kitchen blaming all in sight for his lack of passion, his ability to pass the blame, where has fight gone to protect, respect all of us who work the line together, bring back the days when we would stand together and protect those who were part of our brigade, not try to fuck them over when they aren't looking.probally the question we should all ask ourselves how do we stop this influx of whimps to our world of the professional chefs

Hellraiser said...

@Mavster, I totally agree, we always used to protect ourselves, even when you knew one of the team fucked up. I was always taught that if you took the shit for someone else's mistake, it would work 100 times better in your favour from you own team, your own brigade! These days I'm sure there's a knife pointed at my back at all times and I never know where it's going to come from.

This is the future. How do we stop it? Refuse to let apprentices to go to TAFE. Teach them on the job in kitchens accredited to do so, by real Chefs, in the real world!

bulletholes said...

In ten years you will still be making a nice Marie Rose in order to save the day, trying to get the guys to make a proper baked potato, and cringing when some apprentice that was rasied on a dock wants you to "Smell the shrimp".
If you have to ask, its probably no good, and you can smell it halfway to the Waiters Station.
You will still be hoping the potwasher will be here today, that the list you left has been halfway completed, and that you didn't forget to order the Lobsters.
You hope that 20 minutes before the Party for 500, you and the guys are having a coffee, all set to go, instead of tearing atround the kitchen, sweating your paper hats off.

God Damn, its a blast ain't it?

bulletholes said...

In ten years you will still be jammin' out a nice Marie Rose at the last minute, trying to get the guys to cook a proper baked potato, and hoping your crack-head pot washer shows up today.

Because you can do a day without a GM, but you can't do one without a potwasher.

You will still cringe everytime the Sales guy comes through with a last minute update, and the apprentice that seems to have been raised on a dock approaches you asking you to "smell this shrimp" when you can smell it halfway to the Waiters station.
If you have to ask, dude, its bad.
And you will be hoping that 30 minutes before the party for 500 that you and the guys are standing around having a coffee, ready as hell, instead of running around like crazy and sweatin' your paper hats off because you are not.

God Damn, its a blast ain't it?

Hellraiser said...

Hi Bulletholes :) You know what? It is a blast, I still love it. It's great to have a rant and let off steam here, because the more we write here, the more people that pop up with identical stories! It's somewhat reassuring, knowing that it happens all over the world.
Smell the shrimp.... it's happened to me, lol, several times, little bastards!!!

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