Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Top 10 I hate about chew (from the other side)

Simon Thomsen, a respected (well, whom I respect anyway; more so I want his job) food critic/blogger wrote a '10 hates when dining out'. I would like to offer a chef's top 10 gripes for perspective's sake, so...

Ten things chefs hate (not authoritative)

1. Late Tables - Especially on a Sunday afternoon (I'm looking at you all of you who think 3.30pm is an acceptable lunch hour). We're tired, most of us don't even get paid by the hour, and we need all the rest we can get. The last thing we want to do is wait around for half an hour after a dinner rush for one table!

Please, be considerate - if you want dinner after 10 go to a pub, maccas or Chinatown.

2. When you order things not on the menu - If you see a combo of different ingredients from different items on the menu that tickles your fancy, try it yourself when you're at home; don't make me stab you.

3. People with Allergies - No I did not notice that the apprentice did not wash his chopping board after grinding nuts on it; why is it my fault a customer died?

4. "my T-bone/rib eye on the bone is medium and I ordered medium rare" - check near the bone you idiot.

5. When mis en place ends up on the floor - if someone elbowed your pickled ginger, in which you spend an hour peeling, slicing on a mandolin (along with some of your finger) and triple blanching 10kg of ginger all over the floor (in which you also have to waste time cleaning up); you would be peeved.

6. When it's only our station that's getting orders - does the whole restaurant have to order the same thing? and not order entrees?

7. Peeling fresh tumeric - ok, fine maybe it's just me hating orangy-yellow fingers for 3 days.

8. Not having enough time to eat - Imagine, cooking for so many people that you don't have time to eat yourself. That alone is reason to give respect to chefs. Even worse, some places are just so busy you don't even have time for coffee!

9. Dumb*ss waiters who don't communicate to each other - that takes 15 minutes to cook and you took it to the wrong #@$#@ table?!

10. English Chefs in the fine-dining industry - guys, relax. And stop using the 'C' word.

It's good to vent sometimes isn't it? :)

As a disclaimer, I would like to say that the above doesn't happen all the time, and I am lucky enough to be happy for the most of times (albeit, tired) - but our bad days can be near suicidal.


  1. I would have thought they'd be a special sub-category for the allergy one regarding conflicting, contradictory or imaginary allergies. It's almost like a trendy thing to say that you want to have gluten-free.

  2. Haha I agree with all cept #3 man. That's a bit harsh haha

  3. lonefoodie: haha that would possibly be a hybrid between 2 and 3 - but gluten-frees I don't mind because I can put whatever I want in it (no, nothing dodgy, I just save on prep)

    FFichiban: I know it's harsh - but why do you have to come to a chinese restaurant if you're allergic to nuts and mushrooms? One person was even highly allergic to garlic! Start to see my POV? hehe

    allergic people who are offending reading that, I'm not the Kyle Sanderlands of the culinary world - just call in advance to notify us of your allergies, even if it *is* fake. I don't want your blood on my hands

  4. Haha umm I'm sort of a #3 person, but mine is really mild so it's never much of an issue for me and I usually let them know when I book a table. I wish more places would make it more obvious on their menu if there are nuts in their dishes though!

  5. Hi, this is a great blog from a really interesting perspective -- there aren't a whole lot of blogs out there written by chefs :)

    was wondering if you've seen Time Out magazine's "Sydney Food Awards" yet? the online versh is

    Do you agree with their rankings? I'm guessing as a chef you'd have a bit more insight :)


  6. stephcookie: I know I'm sorry! when you kinda put a face to who's eating the food I guess I do feel bad for sounding so blunt about it

    Mary: My dream job is Claudes. But you notice how many long-term chefs that come out Tetsuya's and Rockpool (a lot of pastry chefs especially from there) are head chefs with great PR and good food? eg: Sepia, Yellow (the pastry shop in Kings Cross; yellow building - my favourite)

    No fine dining establishment can compete with Marque's $45 3-course for value, Go to Tetsuya's only during the australian Black Truffle season (July-Early August), and TimeOut is correct in saying Quay has the most amazing desserts.

    As you can see I am also a very poor chef.

    I don't necessarily agree with the rankings necessarily (and what is Glebe Point Diner doing there? I assume the editor lives near it), but I wouldn't complain working for either one of them :)

  7. Being a chef doesn't give you much time for a social life - but how do you even have time to blog??? :) But anyway, we appreciate the view from the other side...

  8. trissalicious: any hobby that lets you do it in bed is good for a chef (that might have come out wrong). Just don't expect photos galore like the other blogs (did it again).

    thank you for following :)

  9. ok...note taken...never doing 1-4 anymore! lol

  10. Interesting! Will now know to come in late, change up the meal and have an allergy. LOL! Thanks for the tips!