Friday, May 6, 2011

Things You Don't Do In A Kitchen, Part 1

Over the past 2 months, the team here in the kitchen hired and fired someone. Let's call him...Joel. He had done his culinary school externship with us in late summer last year, and despite initially having a profound "I don't give a fuck" attitude, he turned around half way through the externship, pulled his head out of his ass and did some great work. He was almost hired on, but I happened to be doing MY externship at almost the same time, and I was better than he was.

Naturally, when the time came that we needed to hire someone on, we went to him because he knew us, and he knew our system, and he understands our somewhat unique kitchen language. We were all excited to have him come back, because after a couple months, we did miss the guy a bit. 

We've come to the realization that we don't know why we missed him. 

During those months between externship and job, he somehow managed to wriggle that fat head of his further into the depths of his cavernous rectum, like a baby crawling back into the womb. It was terrible. Kitchens, like other businesses and offices, has a hierarchy. It starts at the Owner, then the Executive Chef (in our case, its the same person), then the Sous Chef, then line cooks, then pantry cook, then prep cook, then dishwasher, with culinary school externs bringing up the very rear. In our kitchen, the hierarchy is very small. It starts with Patrick (executive chef/owner), followed by Rob (sous chef), followed by me (pantry cook), and then bringing up the rear was our sphincter spelunking friend, Joel (prep/dishwasher). 

In the wake of Joel's first month back with us though, we had to edit the chain of command significantly to put his ego in check, so it went from Patrick, Rob, Kyle, Joel; to Patrick, Rob, Kyle, Top Oven, Fryer, Bottom Oven, Timmy (used to work for us, but his work was absolutely horrific), Joel. That's right, we put him after 3 inanimate objects and a former employee. He was that bad.

At first, we were all excited to have him back. However, we had brought him back in because we were expanding, and since we had 2 externs already working with us, we needed him to supervise them and lead the way on prep work, since the rest of us were busy with things that he wasn't qualified to do. Then the problems started. 

***Pro Tip: When you start a job, make sure you understand what it is you're supposed to do***

Joel came in. The externs had been with us for 2 months. We just started a new menu (we rotate it monthly). Joel didn't know anything about it. With this knowledge, and the knowledge that your job is to prep/supervise the externs, your job shouldn't be that difficult. Every day, we would arrive at the commissary kitchen where Joel and the externs were, and we would be greeted with busy externs, and Joel sitting outside with a cigarette in his hand, stroking his engorged belly, telling us there was no prep to do. We would inevitably go into the kitchen and pick up our knives, because there was always prep to do. Rob tells me this is the most accurate description of Joel's behavior that he has heard.

And it only got worse from there. I'd like to keep this post at a readable length though, so we'll finish the tale of the lazy tard tomorrow.

14 comments:

  1. The culinary school kids are always the worst

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  2. I'm intrigued at the depths some will plunge into laziness, and actually look forward to the conclusion of this tale tomorrow.

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  3. Nice read and tasty blog! :p

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  4. Finally a blog with some sense about cooking! Thanks man!

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  5. Jeez, I can really see how a guy like that could easily fuck you guys over if you let him..

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  6. number one thing i cant do in a kitchen: cook

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  7. heaps interesting man, keep it up

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  8. NIce read. I agree with you.

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  9. lol Joel takes orders from a bottom oven. funny stuff. sounds like fun!!!

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  10. I never really thought of what it was like in a kitchen. thanks for the insight

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