|Béarnaise Sauce - The Sweet Taste of Revenge
The culinary adventures
of Jeff the Chef
from the kitchen
The adventures of Jeff the chef - Fictitious kitchen stories
based on plausible events...
My name's Jeff, Jeff the Chef and this is my story…
As many of you will concur the robot coupe (robot to its friends)
is possibly the world's finest food processor...
For the second time that week we had lost our robot coupe, and
for the second time that week Bobby (chef garde manger) sent
me down to the dining room kitchen to retrieve it. As boldly
as ever I asked the sous chef " hey Bri' can I have the garde
manger robot?" Brian looked down at me with his usual scowl,
the look that said "f*** off college kid, you are nothing and
I am everything." If that was what he was thinking part of it
was true, I was a college kid and in the big picture of the
culinary world I was nothing. I was working at the hotel to
gain experience, learn a few things and get a taste of the day-to-day
monotony and repetition that I discovered to be the reality
of kitchen life.
Brian shoved the food possessor into my chest. Still scowling
he said, "It is not the garde manger robot coupe, it's the kitchen's,
it's everybody's, OK?" I nodded and scurried back to my glorious
department, taking my red face and the said piece of kitchen
equipment with me. That night we locked it in our cupboard....
The next day proved to be interesting, a learning experience
of sorts. I was about to realize that in the culinary world,
being paid next to nothing went hand in hand with taking abuse
from a sous chef.
At 10am Brian arrived in the kitchen, we were his first port
of call. Bobby and I were working on a most interesting task
- peeling twenty dozen hard-boiled eggs. Brian screamed "Bobby
what did you do with my robot, we were looking for it everywhere
last night?" Now at this point of the conversation a smart commis
chef would keep their mouth shut and let the big boys do the
talking, but no not I, I had recognized a floor in Brian's argument.
I pitched in "Hold on Brian, I think it is the kitchen's robot,
doesn't it belong to everyone?" For about half a second I felt
really cool, and then came the reprisal. "Listen boy" said Brian
"the grown ups are talking, and when the grown ups are talking
people like you keep their mouth shut. Once you have conquered
the skill of egg peeling then maybe, just maybe, the grown ups
will let you talk - but only if you put your hand up first."
Suddenly I felt about as big as an overcooked poussin, my big
mouth and small brain had yet again worked their usual magic.
I did not say much for the rest of the day; I peeled my eggs
and worked through my prep list - a bounty of long arduous tasks.
Now the beauty of repetitive tasks is that they give you time
to think and my thoughts were for revenge.
Two weeks later my time at the hotel had drawn to and end, and
the end of my work experience signaled the beginning of a new
mission, a mission of revenge. Taking a piping bag from the
pastry kitchen I filled it with a pint of crusty béarnaise sauce
that was left over from breakfast. I said my farewells to the
guys and set off to the changing room. The number seven maybe
lucky for some but on this particular occasion I proved it otherwise,
seven was the number of Brian's locker. I removed the piping
bag from my knife box, placed the opening of the bag up against
the vent in his locker squeezed it like a champ'. According
to eyewitnesses, when Brian opened his locker he found his clothes
had been successfully napped he was none too pleased...
So there is a moral to this story (you knew there would be).
If you're the little guy in the kitchen, keep your mouth shut
and your head down, don't get involved in arguments that don't
concern you and you won't leave work feeling like a complete
spanner… And if you're a big cheese and you piss off the little
guy, you had best know a good dry cleaner.
Written by: Jeremy Emmerson