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Kitchen Unconfidential

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Blue Dog, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. Blue Dog

    Blue Dog
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    Kudos to Konatown for this article in the Cooking Thread:

    http://www.gq.com/food-travel/alan-richman/200901/chicago-michael-carlson-schwa-charlie-trotter

    I absolutely love to read shit like this. Professional chefs, as a whole, are a fucked up and fascinating people. I'm a little bit of a foodie, but I have never worked in the service industry other than for two years as a barback/bartender at a casino, and the entire lifestyle intrigues me.

    I'm sure that there are a lot of people who who have worked in that field, however, so this thread is for you:

    Focus:

    This was one of my favorite All-Star threads from the old board- Share with us stories of fucked up shit that occurred behind the scenes if you have ever worked in a restaurant/bar. Fucking with customers and their food, crazy managers/head chefs, sleeping with everyone of your coworkers while doing lines of coke off of a cucumber- you get the picture.
     
  2. Dcc001

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    A certain pub in Calgary (not the one I worked at) had a bartender who was a shameless coke fiend. To the point where he'd do rails off the bar if he thought no one was looking. Not such a big deal - probably it happens a lot. HOWEVER, if something happened and he was about to be caught, he's just brush the unsnorted coke into whatever drink he was pouring at the time. How'd you like to be a customer there?

    The girl I took over the job from (managing and keeping the books for a pub) had a husband who was a red seal chef (in Canada, it essentially means he had completed his apprenticeship and could be considered a professional). He was hired as a sous chef at one of the most popular, 'in' restaurant/clubs in the city...and walked 3 hours later because he was afraid of having his career associated with that kitchen. The best story I heard from it was that their chicken wings (made fresh!) were hauled in from the truck and dumped, raw, into a galvanized garbage can. When service was on, the garbage can was dragged out of the cooler and set in the middle of the floor - all day - as the kitchen staff scooped what was needed out of it. At the end, it was simply shoved back into the cooler. The wings weren't rotated; you can just imagine what the bottom of that pail looked like. AND PEOPLE EAT IN THIS RESTAURANT! LOTS OF THEM! *shudder*
     
  3. big B

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    I worked in the restaurant business for 4 or 5 years for a pretty nice restaurant/bar, and have an absolute shitton of stories. They range from:
    Kitchen's about to close and somebody ordered a burger. Just pull the old one you just threw in the trash out and heat it up!
    To, hey I hear there's a new waitress out front, let's bet on who can bang her first. ( I hold the record for quickest turnaround by the way)
    We've done blow off the bar afterhours, in the bathroom during hours, and off the manager's desk while on break. I've done nipple shots on the pool tables, gotten head in the parking lot, and gotten absolutely hammered drunk on the clock.
    It got to a point of ridiculousness that people had to be scheduled on opposite days just to keep them from hanging out/banging/drinking in and around the bar.
    God I truly miss that place.
     
  4. Kubla Kahn

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    The amount of ex cons working in the industry can be breath taking at times. Two I remember:

    One had been convicted and done serious time for kidnapping and keeping the guy locked in his trunk for a few days. The other did six months for a similar stunt when he beat the shit out of someone messing with his niece and then left him tied to a tree in the middle of the country. The second guy is a bartender and huge deadhead at my old work and routinely gets us utterly hammered for free when we come in. He also has an extensive liquor collection courtesy of the bar.
     
  5. Decatur Dave

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    I washed dishes mainly at one restaurant, though my 'illustrious' career spanned a few joints. This particular one was one of those places that changed names every few months, and had the reputation around town of being mob owned. Their fuck it all attitude allowed me to work illegal hours for my age, smoke weed in the back and drink on the job. I wasn't old enough to be doing blow with and banging the waitresses, but the level of shit I was openly doing at a job being that young was a rush. My entire career of 'selling dope' happened while I was washing dishes from about 16-19, and run out of that one particular kitchen.

    Just as every cook is a character, it seemed every floor whore... er, waitress, smoked weed. I figured out quick, if I run to pick them up a bag, they'd leave me on the clock, cover my dishes and I'd get to smoke a pinch or three out of their bag. There would be some nights I'd spend the majority of my time on my buddies couch as opposed to up to my elbows in dishes.

    Cooks are on a completely different level of any other profession I've ever met. Between getting me drunk while on the clock, to literally having alternate (and mostly homo) lyrics to every song on the radio, all the dudes I ever worked with had me cracking up. This was back when internet was pay by the minute, so I attained the level of deviance and perversion from listening to those cooks that was ahead of the curve back then. I will say though, I've also never felt like someone had my back at work more than those guys. That's one of those gigs I look back at and smile.
     
  6. Primer

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    I worked in a kitchen for a year just after high school and it was truly one of my first eye opening experiences.

    -People drinking on the clock and doing coke on the cutting boards, then using them to cut stuff with - mixing the coke in with whatever (does it cook out? I have no idea).
    -Leaving work, heading over to one of peoples houses, partying all night then showing up to work still drunk from the night before and working.
    -I'm certain that every surface in that entire building was used for some sort of drug use. Not a single person ever got fired as everyone except me was constantly under the influence of some sort of drug at all times.
    -While I wasn't there, rumor had been running around that one of the line chefs was banging one of the waitresses on the line and got an order. So, instead of finishing up quickly and going to cook the order, he threw the meal in the deep fryer (it was like a burger and fries) and continued fucking the waitress. The man managed to cook an entire meal while fucking this chick.

    God I miss that place. I've run into a few of the guys I worked with and they've turned into absolute shit, except for one guy who actually turned out pretty well and is now running his own place. If the pay wasn't absolutely shit, I would work in one in a heartbeat again - maybe if I was in school again.

    Edit: Forgot to mention that one of the guys who worked there grew weed in his apartment walls and dealed to pretty much everyone under the sun. It was pretty strange to see him talk about it as he didn't look like your stereotypical dealer. Acted really straight laced, dressed well and never did drugs/drank on the job. He just went missing one day after about six months and nobody has seen or heard from again - we can only assume.
     
  7. dixiebandit69

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    For about a year I worked two jobs: one at Wendy's, the other at an upscale private club. Guess which one had the cleaner kitchen?
    While working at the private club, after my first two weeks, we were shut down by the health department with a laundry list of violations. We all had to come in and basically clean the place from floor to ceiling before it could be reopened.
    Even after that, we still had a terrible roach problem.
    There was zero cooperation between the staff behind the scenes, almost everyone was drinking or smoking weed on the job, and the food was just awful. Most of the stuff we served was frozen or from a can, and we charged top prices for it.
    Guess how much that $20 bottle of champagne cost? $2.50.
    When someone ordered a drink with top sheld liquor, the bartender would make it with well-grade booze unless the customer was right there watching it made.
    Probably the funniest thing I remember though was this one evening where we were holding a banquet for medical professionals. We were really swamped, and when I was in the back getting my entrees ready, this one waiter had just taken a tray full of biscuits out of the oven (they were pre-made frozen biscuits, by the way. Nothing but the best at that place), and then took off running through the kitchen to get them out to the tables.
    The next thing I know, there is a loud crash. He tripped, and the biscuits went everywhere. He looked up at me, then looked down at the bicuits for a second, then started putting them back on the tray! It struck me as so funny that I was giggling to myself for the rest of the night. Whenever any of the poor saps I was serving asked me what was so funny, I had to tell them that I just heard a funny joke.
     
  8. Guy Fawkes

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    When I was in high school I was a toast boy at a local diner. Basically I fucking buttered toast and refilled coffees at the counter. The diner was "famous" for it's hash but after working there I would never eat the stuff again.

    The hash was a mix of potatoes and meats but the ingredients were the garbage cuts of meat, semi rotten potato chunks and pieces of grit/grease bits from the grill. Nasty. If something got burnt, throw it in the hash. If something fell on the floor... throw it in the hash.

    It became a running joke between the younger kids that worked there to say throw it in the hash or take out the hash instead of trash.
     
  9. Kubla Kahn

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    Same shit happened at the "it" club/bar I worked at. These are the real thieves. But I guess if middle aged dudes are willing to pay 150+ for a regular bottle of Patron it isn't too far off pouring knock of "top shelf" tequila into the bottle. More times than not we'd run out of named brand shit and fill the bottles with the tons of give aways from the lesser known high enders. A bartender once told me if anyone asked her to make their drinks stronger she'd fill a straw with it and place it in the glass. She said no one had ever questioned how strong her drinks were after that first sip.
     
  10. Decatur Dave

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    As if we needed another reason why you DON'T drink out of a straw.
     
  11. Gargamelon

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    In high school I worked at a pizza place for two years. I've come to accept the "stoner delivery driver" as one of the most accurate stereotypes out there. Ask anyone who has worked at a pizza joint, they are always weed havens.

    I had an interesting history of bosses. The head manager was an overbearing, mean-tempered son of a bitch who had been the manager for 17 years. I can't believe that guy never got sued-- as soon as an employee would leave, his face would turn purple and he would start screaming profanities... "MOTHERFUCKING SHIT FOR BRAINS CUNT!" And this was towards the sixteen year old girls who answered the phones. I heard from other employees that as soon as I left, he would usually call me a cocksucking faggot.

    The string of weekend managers I endured was ridiculous. Doug was the only good one-- a twenty year old stoner who would sell us weed and shrooms as soon as we cashed our paychecks. Doug is the only person I've ever met who I would classify as "addicted" to weed. He literally couldn't function if he wasn't high. Sometimes he'd bring in hash oil and share it with all of us. This always got me in a particular mood where I'd experiment with all the ingredients. I highly recommend beef jerky and Funion pizza if you get the chance.

    All the other managers were great role models for a teenager as well. Two come to mind. One was Mark, who was hired after Doug transferred to another store. I never trusted Mark, even though he appeared to be earnest and hard-working. There was something off about him, the kind of thing you can't put your finger on, but you just know that dudes got some secret issues. Sometimes Mark would go on deliveries for twice or three times as long as it should've took, and make weird excuses. One time he tried to sell me some beat-up DVDs that looked like they'd been stolen from a bargain bin. And then money started going missing from the register.

    And then I saw him shooting up heroin in the back shed.

    Marks replacement was Sasha, a fat, unbelievably obnoxious woman who lived in the local Trailer-park. She'd had a son when she was 15, lived mostly on welfare, and when she did manage to finally get a job, spent all of her money on booze and cigarettes. The worst part was she got another trailer park skank hired, and they always enjoyed informing me, in graphic detail, that they'd had a threesome the night before. Let me reiterate that they were both incredibly ugly. It was during this time that I learned to run the entire store by myself, because sometimes Sasha would go drive around looking for furniture in peoples trash (while still on the clock of course).

    Surprisingly, the food there was damn good. Of course there were rats in the ceiling, the back rooms looked like gritty torture dungeons, and there were numerous health violations, but I still eat there when I go back home... hygiene issues don't matter when it's going through a 600 degree oven.
     
  12. Arms Akimbo

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    I seriously loved working in restaurants. I've been from crummy places to 4 star schmanciness I rather loved how the environment was pretty much the same anywhere you went.

    I worked at one of those national franchises that has a ton of stuff on the walls and uses the fryer more than anything else in the kitchen. We had one girl who was the stereotypical career waitress who hated her job and complained about it every second but when she got in front of the customers she had the biggest, fakest smile ever. It'd be common to gather and talk around one of the soda machines, but one night she wasn't saying anything. We asked her what's up, to which she spit a piece of ice out of her mouth, into a glass, and served it to a table.

    I also worked as a waiter at this lame excuse for an Asian-fusion place that had an open kitchen. Open kitchens are one of the worst ideas ever. First, it usually just adds a ton of unnecessary noise to the dining room. It also makes communication more difficult among the staff. But the absolute best part were the screaming matches that would ensue between the cooks and the wait staff. Each side is always blaming the other for being incompetent. Throw in your favorite lexicon of incredible profane insults a room of 40 to 60 paying customers and watch the fun. Saw people walk out in the middle of a shift more than once.

    The rule for eating at the 4 star place was to never get ice in your drink. We didn't have an outside dumpster. Instead you threw it into a large room. Well right next to this room was an industrial-sized ice making machine. Think of what you see on the floors of hotels and put it on steroids. The size of the machine and its proximity to rotting waste meant a lot of flies found their way into the ice cubes. Yes, a fly in your ice cube. I know it sounds like an old joke shop cliche, but it happened a lot there.

    Pretty much anywhere had to hemorrhage money with how much theft was going on. My manager at the aforementioned franchise would park his car behind the restaurant, and have the busboys load coolers full of steaks and such. Inventory be damned. As for the booze, you might as well not even bother. That stuff was never safe anywhere.

    Finally, I'll leave with this. Restaurants. The final bastion of tolerated sexual harassment.
     
  13. carpenter

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    I'm sorry for resurrecting an old thread but, I had completely forgotten something that used to happen on a nightly basis.
    I was working at a 100 seat 'fusion' restaurant behind the line. We would do about 190-250 covers a night, a real sweat-box.
    There were five of us on the line, a prep in the back along with the obligatory, non-English speaking dishwasher.
    We also had the worthless sous-chef who did alot of pretending to work.
    They had promoted this waiter to floor manager, and while a simpering little dickhead as a waiter, he was a raging asshole as manager.
    Every night, the bartender and the manager got a free meal. The bartender, the person most usually being of above-average intelligence in any restaurant, has a standing order of a nice piece of fish before the kitchen shuts down.
    The manager/cock-stain, waits until the kitchen shuts down to decide what he's gonna have. Every fucking night.
    He'd usually order a 16oz. New York strip, well-done, as douchebags are so fond of. But, if it was too tough? He'd demand a new one.
    We did everything from pre-cooking to tenderizing it to within an inch of it's life. If he ever saw one on the grill he'd order something else.
    Our chef was a spineless, corporate, culinary degree waving pussy, who couldn't flip a piece of fish unless it was in a non-stick pan.

    If you can imagine the most depraved and absolutely hideous things that you can do to a piece of meat, they were done.
    Floor-mat stomping? The grill cook carrying a steak in his ass all night? Bong water, chew-spit, dog-shit? Oh yeah, nothing was left out for this dickheads dinner. HE NEVER FIGURED IT OUT.
    The absolute best was at an after-hours party we were all at. Dickhead runs up to us and asks; "Why is there a steak in the urinal?"

    The last that I heard, he's working at Macy's. Ahh sweet irony.
    Anthony Bourdain ain't got shit.
     
  14. WASPnest

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    One time when I was working as an expediter, a busser was getting shit from the Newfie grill cook for something. Knocking over a ramekin or something. So this busser pipes up "whatever, I'm going to college, I don't have to take this shit from a 33 year old line cook."

    It was one of those moments where everyone just breathes in and quits making noise so they can hear better. This cook proceeded to completely tear the shit out of the busser. I can't even try and imitate it. He covered everything; likeliness of failing college, probable virginity, girlish physique, what happens to guys like that in prison, allegations of homosexuality and general incompetence, all in the most grating Newfie accent.

    And it was perfect. I bet if I'd have written it down I would have found that it fit some complex poetic meter.

    He ended on "so that, Cody, you little fuck, is why you need to shut the fuck up and do what I fucking tell you."

    The busser started crying.