A Splash of Humor and a Dash of Asshole

Posts tagged “chef

LOVE…….is not an ingredient

cock_soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Love…..is not an ingredient”

You can’t put “love” in any recipe I have ever worked with. People that refer to “love” as the most important ingredient, should not be cooking. They fall into the same category of people that make such ridiculous comments as “this is like an orgasm in my mouth,” or “food is better that sex.” I don’t want anything I cook to be compared to love or sex. It is possible to passionate while cooking a dish or to love creating things in a kitchen, but love is not an actual ingredient. If you are a shitty cook, throwing a little “love” into your dish will not help it.

Cooking as a career is about passion and desire but the actual act of creating food in a kitchen is about technique and ingredients. There actually are not  many “great” cooks in the world. Chemicals and immersion circulators have there place in professional kitchens, but modern innovation will never surpass classical technique. A cook should always be able to pick up a protein, season it accordingly and cook it perfectly in a pan.

Cook WITH “love” but don’t rely on “love” to save your shitty dish.


Kitchen Zen

There are moments as cooks where the craziness of a kitchen suddenly becomes silent. Times when the the fast paced, balls to the wall kitchen life suddenly slows down and becomes peaceful. These moments are often short but very sweet. Let me preface by saying, none of these are true if you are behind in your day. If you don’t arrive at least an hour before your shift, you will probably never experience any of these moments. Also, if you are a talentless, slow, worthless piece of shit cook, stop reading now because all of this is simply a fantasy you will never experience. You should go get high and drop off that resume at 7/11. Maybe you will someday write an amazing blog about Slurpee Zen, but you will never experience any of these sweet, sweet times. Here are some of my personal favorites:

Pre Service

– Peeling Garlic
– Plucking Thyme
– Skimming Sauces
– Trimming Filet
– Frenching Chops
– Removing Pinbones in Salmon
– Slicing Chives
– Flipping out Your Mise into Clean
Pans
– Crossing the Final Things off of
Your Prep List

Mid Service

– Clearing the Rail
– Slicing Meat and Realizing it is
Cooked Perfectly
– When You’re Fully Weeded and You
Look Up For a Second to See a Hot
Blonde with Ginormous Bazookas
Being Ushered to Her Table
– Tasting a Perfectly Reduced Sauce

Post Service

– The First Ice Cold Beer
– The Second the Shitty Food
Encrusted Boom Box Gets Switched
Back On
– Hearing the Covers Count
– Switching the Lights Off and Hearing
the Door Close Behind You

Let me further explain by stating that none of these are a guaranteed moment of Zen. Most of these things can be a huge pain in the ass if you’re not in the perfect situation. But then again, if you would have shown up earlier you could have probably stopped to enjoy them. I almost forgot the most Zen-Like moments ever………….Getting a Blow Job in the walk-in.

Now please enjoy these photos I boosted from former dishwashers’ Facebook pages. They are the hardest working motherfuckers on the planet, but they also play hard. I’m sure you can tell.

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Chicks………. My Homage to Female Cooks

 

Respected for her net worth? Yes. Respected for her cooking skills? No.

Respected for her awesome boobies? Yes. Respected for her cooking skills? No

There is no such thing as an average female line cook. They are either complete badasses or pretty much worthless. There have been a few select women that stick out in my mind as being instrumental to what food has become. They have overcome what is often considered a “man’s world,” and made a name for themselves. And those women are:

Alice Waters

 

 

 

 

 

 

Respected for: Shaping west coast cuisine, leading the organic movement, having one of the most amazing restaurants of all time, making people think about what they are eating and where it came from, first woman to ever be named the James Beard Foundations Best Chef in America (1992)

Alumni: Mark Peel (Campanile), Dan Barber (Blue Hill), Judy Rogers (Zuni Cafe), Suzanne Goin (Lucques), Jeremiah Tower (Stars), Paul Bertolli (Fra’ Mani), Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto), Michael Tusk (Quince), April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig)

Julia Child

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Respected for: Encouraging people cook good food at home, making French food approachable, bringing food to television, inspiring so many people

Judy Rodgers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Respected for: Authoring one of the most useful and well written cookbooks of all time, making the simplest of foods elegant, the best roast chicken of all time

Suzanne Goin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Respected for: Bringing Los Angeles back into fine dining, working her employees hard while accepting nothing short of perfection (I was one of them),  being a leader in the fresh/local food movement

Resume: Chez Panisse, Olives, Alain Passard

Elena Arzak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Respected for: Expanding the legacy her father started in Spain, innovative cuisine, running one of the most successful and highly acclaimed  restaurants in Europe, being insanely talented

Resume: La Gavroche, Louis XV, Pierre Gagniere, El Bulli

Nancy Silverton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Respected for: Making the best bread in the world, bringing the bakery back into the spotlight, branching out and bringing artisan style pizza into California cuisine, awesome hair

 

Summary

I have had the opportunity to work with and for some amazing women in my career. They have had an amazing work ethic along with great attention to detail. The funny thing is, the best pastry chef I have ever worked with was a heavy metal loving, semi-alcoholic, unshaven dude.

BONUS:

THE GREATEST MUSIC VIDEO EVER MADE


A Little Light in the Kitchen Loafers

For the most part, we all love each other in the kitchen. Sometimes that love is intense, and sometimes that love is expressed is in unusual ways. It might even get a little out of hand. I really wish that a true reality show would be made about cooks. The world needs to see an accurate depiction of what a cook’s life is really like. Peoples minds have been tainted by the bullshit they see on television. You are not rewarded for having a good dinner service, it is expected. But let’s get back to the point, kitchens can get a little homoerotic at times. Think about it, you’re stuck in a confined space working elbow to elbow with sweaty dudes (for the most part) all day. We are bound to lose our minds a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, there is no man on man action happening, but things do get a bit crazy. Let me explain:

1) Throughout the day, anything that even mildly resembles a dick will in fact be used as one.

Various sexual activities will also be simulated with said objects

2) After a long, tiresome day in the kitchen we will all go out together. While we are out, we will consume large amounts amounts of alcohol. After consuming the alcohol, we will tell each other how much we love each. Occasionally, we will prove our love for one another.

3) Camera phones have changed everything. Things that you used to do just to get a laugh, are no longer private. Someone will take a picture and capture the moment forever.

So let’s wrap this up before it gets out of hand. Cooks love each other and we are not afraid to show each other. I’m not sure if any other professions out there have the camaraderie that kitchens do. I consider my fellow cooks to be an extension of my family. We understand each other and like to be around one another. It’s not gay at all, I promise.

Bonus Pictures:

Dishwashers are the epitome of fashion

Nudity is always funny


Expendable Youth

For the most part, culinary students are complete pieces of shit. Read this article and then I will explain my point.

Top Chef Dreams: Are Cooking Schools a Rip-

Off?

By KAYLA WEBLEY Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Click here to find out more!

Students at the San Francisco branch of Le Cordon Bleu culinary school

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
The idea of becoming a gourmet chef and maybe even owning your own restaurant someday is one of those enduring fantasies that percolate through each generation. And today, with the popularity of starmaking competition shows like Bravo’s Top Chef and Food Network’s Iron Chef, the concept of cooking your way to a new career is even more alluring. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the bottom lines of for-profit education companies in the business of selling those chef’s-hat dreams are soaring.

As the economy continues to limp along, the drive to get a leg up in competitive fields like gourmet cooking is only increasing. Overall enrollment at for-profit trade schools, which include culinary schools, has expanded by about 20% a year for the past two years, according to the Association of Private Sector Colleges & Universities, a group that represents for-profit schools nationwide. For example, one company, the Career Education Corp., which operates 17 culinary schools in the U.S., has seen enrollment increase by more than 46% since 2008, according to company spokesman Mark Spencer.(See “The 20 Best- and Worst-Paid College Majors.”)

And the students flocking to attend culinary schools are paying a pretty penny. According to data recently released by the Department of Education, tuition at a culinary school can run upwards of $30,000. For example, the Orlando branch of Le Cordon Bleu (LCB) charges $35,130 for its 21-month associate’s degree in culinary arts. Thanks in part to that hefty price tag, LCB’s parent company, the Career Education Corp., has seen its profits balloon. Last year the company reported revenue of $1.84 billion, a 63% increase from 2007.

But the numbers aren’t as good for students at culinary schools. Many enroll sold on the idea of being a chef but wake up to the harsh reality of low-paying line-cook jobs and mountains of debt on graduation. About 800 current and former students are involved in a class action in California that alleges that the LCB branch in Pasadena, formerly called the California School of Culinary Arts, “falsely led students to believe they would be able to obtain employment as chefs after graduation — and make a chef’s salary, thereby enabling them to pay off their loans within a reasonable period of time,” according to Michael Louis Kelly, an attorney representing the students.

One of those students, Daniel Vasquez, says he has had difficulty finding work other than as a line cook — a lower-paying job that he likely could have gotten without footing the bill for culinary school. Vasquez became interested in the culinary institute after seeing a commercial on TV that he says led him to believe that if he went to the school he would become a chef. When he enrolled in 2005, he says, he was told by an admissions officer that on graduation it would be “easy” for him to obtain a job as a sous chef (an apprentice chef) for which he could expect to start at $18 an hour. Vasquez was so convinced that he took out $65,018 in loans to cover the tuition for the 18-month program ($45,148), as well as associated fees, supplies, his uniform and living expenses.

In the years since graduation, Vasquez, for the most part, has been unable to find culinary jobs that pay more than $10 to $12 an hour and as a result has been unable to make payments on his loans. And although the school changed its recruitment materials nationwide in July 2009 to make it clear students cannot expect to be chefs on graduation — it now lists more realistic postgraduation career opportunities — that’s cold comfort to Vasquez, who is now nearly $80,000 in debt. “I’m not sure I will ever be able to pay it off,” Vasquez told TIME. “I never would have borrowed the money if I knew I wouldn’t be able to repay it. I went to this school so I could be ahead, jump-start my future, but now, who knows.”(Read about the cult of the celebrity chef.)

That’s the problem, says Eric Greenspan, rising Food Network star and head chef and owner of the Foundry on Melrose, a high-end restaurant in Los Angeles. He thinks students enroll in the programs hoping to skip to the head of the pack, only to find out that they still have to start at the bottom. In entry-level cooking jobs like that of a line cook or work with a caterer, a typical starting wage is $9 to $10 an hour, Greenspan says. “These kids are paying law-school prices, and [culinary schools] are training them for minimum-wage jobs.” He says students would be better off getting their foot in the door with a chef they admire and working very hard to climb their way to the top. “How do rock stars become famous? They work hard. They don’t go to guitar schools,” he says.

That argument taps into the perennial debate over the usefulness of higher education: Are creative careers like cooking, fashion design and even journalism best learned by going to school or by getting your foot in the door and training on the job? One of the largest benefits of going to school is making connections to people in the field. That was true for Jim Hanson, who graduated from LCB’s Minneapolis branch nine months ago. He says the $34,000 or so he paid for his associate’s degree in baking and pastry arts was worth the cost — even though he had to take out student loans — in large part because the school connected him to his current employer. As a student worker at the school while he attended classes, Hanson was introduced to the owner of Chez Arnaud, a French bakery in Minneapolis, where he now works as head baker (and recently won a local award for “Best Baguette”). “It was all worth it,” he told TIME. “Without [Le Cordon Bleu], I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere near this job.” Hanson, who estimates that he will be able to pay off his student loans in five to 10 years, says the cost of the program was intimidating at first since he would “be paying for this for a while,” but ultimately he decided it was a financial risk he was willing to take. “This was an investment I wanted to make for myself,” he says.

And it’s true that the onus is on the students to make sure their aspirations are realistic in relation to their budgets and their local job market. “Students are always making an informed decision and should fully understand what is involved,” says Brian Moran, the interim president of the Association of Private Sector Colleges & Universities. “If they are taking loans, they need to understand their responsibilities — the total picture.” And, of course, no degree can guarantee a job. “The education our students receive from experienced chef instructors puts them on a career path,” says spokesman Mark Spencer. “But as with all education, it’s no guarantee of success.”

But as Greenspan notes, culinary schools do a very good job of tapping into the psyches of wannabe chefs. “Culinary schools sell people on their love of cooking,” he says. “They’re selling the dream.” Indeed, a recent advertisement on Google for the Arizona Culinary Institute, a private, for-profit school that charges $25,990 for its nine-month program, read, “Ready to follow your dream?” But if the number of competitors on Top Chef and The Next Iron Chef has proved anything, it’s that while there are a lot of people who want to be chefs, far fewer see those dreams come true.

– Taken from time.com

Let’s start from the beginning. Television shows such as “Top Chef” and “Iron Chef” shouldn’t be blamed for kids having minimal success upon graduation from culinary school. I have never seen a contestant on either of those shows whose job description is “recent culinary school graduate.” The majority of contestants on either show run very successful restaurants around the country and have spent a lot of time honing their skills. I’m sure they started working either washing dishes or prepping for minimum wage. Most of them probably spent a few years working for free and soaking up as much knowledge as they possibly could.  On the other hand, all of the contestants on “Hell’s Kitchen” are totally talentless pieces of shit that have no business being in a kitchen. They are the assholes that I spent years firing and reducing to tears.

Next, lets take a look at one of these bullshit culinary school commercials. Let me break it down for you.

-What is that bullshit cream sauce and why is it being poured over a sliced chicken breast with raw tomatoes around the plate. At least the garnish was creative………dried parsley flakes. They always “set it off.”

-“Love to Cook?” It should say “Do you love to make no money while spending your nights in small, insanely hot spaces next to degenerates with sharp knives and direct access to fire?”  It takes a lot more than the love of cooking to spend your life in a kitchen.  Let me simplify it for you. I’m sure most of you like jacking off, but it’s probably not a smart career choice. For most people at least.

-Little blonde girl in the floppy hat needs a hair net

-“Prepare to become a chef.'” No, this school will not do that. The proper way to prepare would be to work hard, learn and stay humble.

-That cantaloupe bowl full of berries is a complete embarassment

-Ah, there is Blondie again selecting wine pairings for the evenings tasting menu.  Wait a second, I totally read that wrong. She is actually an extern from the culinary school and they are drinking in the basement after a hard shift. Mr. Busboy turned sommelier is dropping some bullshit line about the wine being old world and full-bodied. Twenty minutes later the wine is gone and she is being bent over a case of Korbel. That what really happens.

-“This could be your perfect career!” This statement is absolutely true. If you love the rough neck kitchen lifestyle and that is the only thing that makes you happy, then it could be the perfect career. Otherwise, it will break you down and make you cry yourself to sleep at night.

-You don’t need the free brochure to find out how to land a “hot culinary career.” Skip the phone call, find a job working for someone you respect and work hard. That’s really all it takes.

If a commercial like this one really inspires you to fork over the money for culinary school, you more than likely are wasting your money. People who spend the time and become a chef knew that’s what they wanted long before they were sitting on their couch watching Jerry Springer and wondering what to do with their lives. They are passionate about food and that’s all they could ever imagine doing. They go home at the end of the night after working long hours and think about their mise en place for the next day. They dream about new dishes and flavor combinations. Cooking is their life, not something they like to do.

Let’s talk about this lawsuit. 800 students are suing a culinary school because they “falsely led students to believe they would be able to obtain employment as chefs after graduation.” This should be thrown out immediately without wasting anyone’s time or money. You can become a chef upon graduation, if you work hard enough and put your time in.  I actually am a graduate of the exact culinary school being sued. I believed I was going to become a chef after I graduated and that I was going to be paid a good salary as soon as I had my diploma in hand. I graduated and spent years working hard for next to nothing. Did I blame the school ? No, I realized I had to work hard if I wanted to eventually become a chef someday. It’s not the schools fault these 800 students are not chefs, it all a reflection upon the students themselves.

Now let’s get to the issue with Daniel Vasquez. He was informed by an admissions officer that he could easily find a Sous Chef gig paying $18/hour upon graduation. First of all , a Sous Chef is not an apprentice chef, but we will blame that fuck up on the author of the article. Secondly, the chances of becoming upper management in any career after completing an 18th month certificate program is slim to none. Do I blame the admissions officer? No way, I blame Mr. Vasquez. He should have researched his career choice a lot more before dropping $65,000. Most people these days are looking for the easy way out, as I believe he is. He is a line cook making shitty money at some bullshit restaurant and saw this lawsuit as a way to make a few extra bucks without having to work for it.

The bottom line is this. Working in restaurants is not easy. Becoming a Chef is even harder. Very few people become successful chefs and even fewer are recognized for their success. It takes a lot of hard work to make it through a night of service in a busy kitchen, and you will not be compensated well for that work. You have to have dreams of becoming a chef because you love the business, not because you want to be rich and famous. Simply “loving to cook” is not nearly enough.

 


The Restaurant of my Dreams

I often lay awake in bed, daydreaming about one day owning my own restaurant. I think about everything from each dish I would put on the menu, to who I would have on the line next to me.  Sometimes these daydreams last hours and often prevent me from getting anything close to a good night of sleep.  Over the last few months, I have been keeping a list of my thoughts.  Some are genius, some are simple revisions to things that have been done before and some and some are plain crazy. Here is an outline to the restaurant of my future:

The Concept

 

The overall vibe to the restaurant would be small and modern. Tan paint with some chocolate brown accent walls. Minimal artwork and mild, intimate lighting. It would need to be small, between 40 and 60 seats with a few more high-tops and stools at the bar.  The tables would be dark, polished wood without tablecloths. No bullshit like candles or wine bottles on the table, maybe just a small peppermill and a vessel for salt. The music would be louder than most restaurants with a wide range of music. Everything from the Pixies and The Cure to A Tribe Called Quest and The Pharcyde. The feeling would be relaxed and unpretentious, with the focus being on the food rather than the décor.

 

The Kitchen

 

* The kitchen would be setup in five basic stations:

1. Fish:  This station would be run by the single greatest line cook I have ever worked with, Lorenzo. His station would consist of a six top range and a French top to the right that he would share with the meat station. A long salamander would be located above him and stretch the length of the line. All fish entrees, as well as hot apps would be fired on his station.

2. Meat:  Owning this station would be a man I would trust on the line, no matter the circumstance. His name of Ryan, unless you are a Hispanic, which then his name becomes Bryum.   His station would consist of a large charcoal grill and the other half of the French top that he shares with Lorenzo. Not only would he be responsible for all meat entrees but he would act as the saucier as well. Constantly reducing and mounting sauces on the flat top.

3. Pasta: This would be my home away from home. I would be positioned at the end of the line and act as expeditor as well. I would produce all the pasta dishes as well as veg for the other entrees.

4. Cold:  The cold station would be located directly across from the hot line, creating a alley in between for food to be picked up.  It would be a 2-man station ran by interns and “virgins” (the idea of virgins will be described later in the post).  They would create all salads, cold apps, fried items and plating of charcuterie.

5. The Rover:  In a perfect world, this station would be run by the most talented culinary mind I know, Douglas. He would be positioned in the alley between all the stations. He would see every single plate before it leaves the kitchen. He would place final garnishes and keep tickets organized, making sure the right food went to the right place. He would also know every dish on the menu and be able to hop on any station at anytime to pull people out of the weeds.

Here is a mock up of the kitchen setup:

Yes, it is drawn in crayon. And yes, my food looks better than my artwork.

 

The Menu 

 

Our menu would be simple and approachable. The basic menu would change four times throughout the year with the four seasons. It would always consist of 2 fish entrees, 2 grilled meat entrees, a braised meat entrée, 2 pastas, 3 cold apps, 3 hot apps as well as a few salads and various desserts. Instead of having a pastry chef, each cook would be responsible for the creation and execution of one dessert.  There would also be 2 app and four entrée specials everyday. A charcuterie plate would be also be on the menu everyday. It would simply be served on a butcher block and contain a large selection of cured meats, pickled veg and plenty of condiments.  It would constantly be changing as the various sausages and cured meats became ready.  The theme of the menu would not be based on a certain cuisine of the world, but rather on what is fresh and available.

The Chef’s Table

I feel like the idea of having a true chef’s table has been overlooked in our society, we would change that. It would be a table with a full view of the happenings in the kitchen. You would get to see the good and the bad. No menus would be handed out, you would simply be fed what we would like to feed you and it would keep coming until you asked it to stop. The chef who created the dish would bring it to you and fully explain it to you. You would never see a server or need to order a drink. If you are a picky eater, please don’t ask for the chef’s table. Allergies would be taken into consideration, but the experience would be a lot less awesome. Eating at this table you would be treated like royalty.

The Schedule

 

Closed Mondays (meetings and menu planning would take place as needed)

Open Tuesday through Sunday 3 – 11

Happy hour from 3-5 everyday with drink specials and full menu served

Every first Sunday of the month, the last seating would be at 9, we would re-open from 11-2 for “Family Meal.” It would be a time for people in the service industry to come in and hang out. You would show your food handlers card and pay a flat fee to get in. We would have a keg and some bottles of cheap wine, as well as a few platters of charcuterie and other tasty vittles to enjoy. The music would be loud and it would just be a night full of love between fellow kitchen slaves.

The Basic Daily Routine

 

9:00 A.M. – I roll in and get prep lists together, finish various paperwork and get set up for the day.  I figure out family meal, get the radio turned on and start rolling out pasta.

12:00 P.M. – Cooks, and externs roll in and start to get to work on their prep lists. Stations begin to get set up and orders are received and put away. Minimal talking takes place to ensure focus.

1:00 P.M. – Specials are put up in the pass and everyone gathers around to taste and discuss any changes that need to be made. We all get our final mise done and proteins pulled.

2:00 P.M.  – Family meal and shit talking commence.

3:00 P.M. – Game faces on and radio turned off. We turn from relaxed and chatty to focused and quiet.

—————————-  Service Commences and we Kill It   ——————————–

9:00 P.M. – I hop off the line, do all of the ordering and get some office work done

11:00 P.M. – Service is done, radio is turned back on and we all rally out putting food away and cleaning up.

12:00 A.M. – Lorenzo breaks down and season’s proteins (always season proteins the night before, thanks to a Judy Rogers). Ryan works on stocks/sauces. Douglas and I make charcuterie magic. One virgin assists where prep is needed and the other one mans the dry erase board. As we work and crack a few beers, we brainstorm specials for the next day and they are all written down on the dry erase board (an extensive collection of cookbooks and reference materials would also be located in the kitchen).

1:00 A.M. – We finalize our specials based on our brainstorming session and place and final orders accordingly. From here we either go our separate ways and head home, or try and get a few cocktails at a local bar before last call.

The “Virgins”

I am referring to people that have little or no experience in a kitchen at all. These are the people we want working here. These are the people we love. We enjoy “bringing them up,” and showing them the things we have learned in our years in kitchens. They are such an important part in the operations of our kitchen.  They would always be treated with respect, but also be put through the school of hard knocks. If they didn’t listen or made a stupid mistake they would be put in their place. If they needed to, they would be allowed to cry and hold their heads in shame. The next day the slate would be wiped clean and they would start fresh. I am not a fan of screaming and yelling in the kitchen, but I also feel like kitchen employees should not be coddled either.

 

The Front of House

 

I idolize Chef Michael Carlson of Schwa in Chicago. He has opened a very successful and amazing restaurant without having servers in the dining room. It is every chef’s dream to work in an operation like this, but I don’t feel like I could go that route. I feel like servers are a very important link in a restaurant. The key is hiring servers that give a shit about the food being produced. Servers in my restaurant would have to understand the food being served.  Server training would involve working multiple shifts next to a chef at the pass before ever working the floor. This not only ensures that they would know and understand every dish, but it would also allow them the time to ask any possible question they might have about the food.  On the other hand, I would have all new kitchen employees spend a shift trailing an experienced server and running food. This would also have them gain a respect for the servers as well as understanding the flow of the restaurant. Camaraderie between the front and the back of the house is so important to running a successful shift. I have never worked in a restaurant where this has come to fruition and I would accept nothing less.

 

The Conclusion

This restaurant would be amazing. Enough said. Now……..where can I get the money to make it happen?

THE ALL STAR TEAM:

Starting on saute: The Puerto Rican Papi Chulo

 Starting On Grill : Bryum Culito

Starting on Pasta:  Coby Coby Na Na Na

Starting at Rover:  Doug the Enforcer



Chef’s Wives

Are you married to a chef, or thinking about dating one? Do you understand your role as a chef’s wife? Let me go ahead and lay it all out there for you.

1. Do not complain about the hours we work. The more that you whine and bitch about the long days and absent nights, the longer we want to stay at work. We will find extra shit to do before we leave to buy a few extra minutes of peace before going home and listening to your bullshit. Another thing, if we say we will be home at 1 and we walk in the door at 2, please don’t ask why we are late. We were busy.

2. Do not call the restaurant to talk to us unless it is an absolute emergency. Emergencies are limited to someone being dead, almost dead or something being on fire. The worst thing you could do would be to call the kitchen to ask what time we are going to be home. This actually happened to me a long time ago and the kitchen phone was subsequently thrown at the wall and broken. Trying to reach us on our cell phone is also unacceptable. Having your man pick up his cell phone on the line is putting his life in extreme danger. He will be either verbally or physically abused and you will be to blame. The one exception to this rule is a simple text message letting us know that you can’t wait until we get home so that you can blow us. Any call or text of a sexual nature is always accepted and greatly encouraged. You can be our “sexual sous” anytime.

3. Do not expect us to come home and cook you a tasting menu. When we cook at home we don’t want the same pressure we have at work. It’s like asking a stripper to give you a lap dance when she gets home, it’s just not happening. Another thing, please don’t try to make us five-star meals at home. We want you to cook us the stuff that we know and love. We would much rather have you make us a casserole or your famous beef stew, than try to make some sorry ass attempt at coq au vin. Stick to what you know, it’s called comfort food for a reason.

4. Please do not tell us how shitty we look or how bad we smell when we walk through the door after a long shift. You think we don’t know our hair is messed up and we smell like crap. The combination of fryer grease, sweat, raw garlic and fish residue will never be the new Drakkar Noir. Trust me, we know that. How bout you throw those clothes in the laundry and bring me a cold beer while I take a shower.

5. Don’t touch our knives or tools. Get your own set, and only use those. My wife couldn’t even tell you what my knives look at, and that’s the way it should be.

If you can live with these things, then go ahead and marry that chef. If not, go to your local bank and find your new man there. He will pull those long 9 to 5 shifts and come home in his shirt and tie every night. He will probably be stoked on that shitty chicken recipe you jacked from Rachel Ray too.