I’ve realized that chefs are full of stories. Lots of stuff goes on in a kitchen and if you manage to get a chef to start telling you about some of it you’ll never be at a loss when someone asks you to tell them a story. During one of my classes we started talking about first kitchen jobs and the pranks that get played on rookie chefs. I like the chef that I have for this class because I find him sarcastic with a dry wit, (I don’t think everyone gets his humour, but I enjoy it). I see him as someone that’s hard to fool or put anything past but apparently that wasn’t always the case.
One of his first apprentice jobs was working in a ski resort. He was eager to please the head chef and do well and subsequently accepted everything the chef told him as truth. So when the head chef called him over one day and told him he needed to go across town to another resort to fetch the lobster gun, he didn’t even question it. Instead, he trudged through deep snow to the other resort, intent on returning with the lobster gun, whatever that might be. While he was making his way over there, the head chef of the first resort called over to the other resort and let him know that one of his apprentice chefs was on his way over and to send him back with something ridiculous.
Chef arrived at the second resort and was welcomed in. They told him they had packed the lobster gun and it was ready for him to take. And then they pointed at a box the size of a refrigerator. Once again, Chef didn’t ask any questions, he just accepted that he was going to have to lug this thing through the snow and back to his kitchen. This was no easy feat, that box was seriously heavy and when he finally arrived back at the kitchen, sweating and out of breath, the head chef and other cooks were waiting for him.
They proceeded to open the box and pull out the following items: a toilet, bricks, books, a bag of flour and some old railway ties. No lie. They all thought it was hilarious, (as do I) but Chef was not happy. So what did he do to make up for it? He made sure to play pranks on all the new apprentices who came after him. He then warned us not to fall for it if anyone asked you to go fetch a lobster gun, a can of steam or a caraway splitter. He also made it clear that if someone told you to hang the spaghetti to dry, they were pulling your leg, (this supposedly happened in a kitchen he worked in when a cook told an apprentice to hang up all the spaghetti after cooking it and to leave it to dry overnight, when the head chef came in the next morning the kitchen was covered in spaghetti and hanging from the ceiling tiles, he wasn’t impressed).
So that’s my story for you today, I hope you enjoyed it. All of the photos that accompany my story are of stuff I either made at school or were inspired by things made at school. The lamb curry and the quiche lorraine were made during two separate cooking labs. The mac and cheese and the lasagna, (with spinach and mushrooms) were both made at home with leftover béchamel sauce that I made in the lab. And the brown sugar bruleed grapefruit with kumquat garnish was shown to us in a demo lab minus the kumquat, (but I made this a while ago when I had a whole lot of them) and I recreated it at home.
For another excellent story, click here!