A Humorous Guide to Working in a Professional Kitchen
By Glenn Morel
Recently I accepted the Job as Executive Chef back in a professional kitchen. I’m reacquainting with the grind that is like stepping into a chaotic circus, where pots and pans juggle flames, and the chefs perform culinary acrobatics. (I haven’t fallen YET) It’s a world of sizzling drama, spicy personalities, and absurdly timed food orders. So grab your apron, tighten that chef’s hat, and let’s dive into the laughter-filled realm of the professional kitchen!
The Language of the Kitchen:
Entering a professional kitchen is like stepping into a foreign land where the language spoken is a mix of gibberish and expletives. “86 flounder!” you hear, and you’re left wondering if you missed a bus or a secret code. But don’t worry, you’ll soon learn that “86” means they’re out of something, and you’ll be “in the weeds” when the orders pile up like a mountain of dirty dishes.
The Dance of the Chefs:
The kitchen is a stage, and the chefs are the dancers, moving in a synchronized chaos. It’s a tango of sharp knives and slippery floors, where a misplaced step can result in a culinary catastrophe. And let’s not forget the chef’s secret weapon – the “mise en place” dance, where every ingredient is prepped and ready to go. (Then cleaned! And DON’T touch my knives.) Just hope you take care of your feet and wear great shoes.
The Line Cook’s Battle:
Line cooks are the unsung heroes of the kitchen, battling flames and time constraints with their trusty spatulas. They’re like culinary ninjas, dodging grease splatters and catching falling pans with lightning reflexes. But be warned, the line cook’s arch-nemesis is the “ticket machine” – a never-ending stream of orders that seem to multiply faster than rabbits on a farm. (My Grandfather raised rabbits.) It’s a race against time, and the victory is served on a plate.
The Mystery of the Walk-In Fridge:
The walk-in fridge is a mystical place where chefs venture to seek ingredients, only to lose themselves in a labyrinth of half-empty jars and forgotten bags of produce. It’s a place where time stands still, and the cold air seeps into your bones. If you ever find yourself lost in the walk-in fridge, don’t panic – just follow the scent of garlic and hope for the best!
The Art of “Chef’s Special”:
Ah, the elusive “Chef’s Special” – a dish born from a mad scientist’s laboratory, combining ingredients that defy logic and taste buds. It’s the chef’s way of saying, “I dare you to try this!” But fear not, for the Chef’s Special is often a delightful surprise, like a blind date that turns out to be your soulmate. Just be prepared for the occasional experiment-gone-wrong, like the infamous “popcorn topped fish” incident.
Working in a professional kitchen is no ordinary job – it’s a thrilling adventure filled with laughter, camaraderie, and the occasional burnt soufflé. It’s a place where chaos and creativity collide, and where every mistake becomes a learning opportunity. So, join the ranks of the culinary warriors, embrace the absurdity, and remember to always keep a fire extinguisher nearby. After all, what’s life without a little spice and a whole lot of laughter?
About the Author: Chef Glenn Morel spent much of his career as an event producer after stints in restaurants from Florida country clubs and franchise restaurants to Manhattan fine dining, he is available as a private chef at your next event. Check the experience he can bring to you at http://www.ifihadachef.com.