The Chef’s Office
Quips, Quotes, and Quacky’s
raspil420 started this whole thing by asking about advice about the field and quite a few people chimed in with different psychobabbles shared with us by mentors, co-workers, chef friends, etc. but the funny thing is that most of them are about someone we worked under at one point in our life…I thought that was kinda cool, it’s nice that in an indirect way we are still paying homage to our teachers, even if that quip, quote or quacky comment makes us re-live moments when we wanted to choke that SOB…
This kinda struck me now because in my professional life, I am mentoring to quite a few people between three establishments and this made me think about what they have picked up philosophically from me, because I am one for the liners that I am sure that some cooks, chefs, dishwashers will remember for a long time, especially since I try to mix so many of my Eastern Beliefs into my philosophical way of being a psycho nut that dresses funny and puts out kick ass food…
Funny thought but anyway.
Raspil420 started it by provoking the idea that share those philosophies, one-liners, blah, blah, blah…
“My first chef told me to taste everything. the head waiter at the
same restaurant told me to stop f***ing up…” Raspil420
“Tonight a woman who has been in the restaurant business for 17 years told me that I should not watch Food Network. I must have given her a look because she amended that advice by saying, well at least if you are going to watch it don't tell a chef that you are working for know that you do. I laughed and told her that I would follow that advice.”
“If it's easy on you, it's hard on the customer. Don't take short cuts…”
George Weideman, Exec. Chef Hyatt Corp 1986
“…Hmm...good one. A chef I worked with years back told me one simple lil line, but if taken to heart, it helps you strive for perfection. He told me, "Make it nice, or make it twice." A good policy to live by I think…”
Trashed Sauté Pan Etymology-
After work tonight I went over to my new Café and washed dishes and cleaned floors and all that happy stuff…and loved it…After work I explained to my lead cook what I was getting off on, especially since we fed 3000 today, 2000 of them within a two hour period at my real job and here I am at ten o’clock (my eighteenth hour since I put on my Chef Coat this morning) scrubbing floors and pots and pans…what’s wrong with this boy????
It all started with a Saute pan that Tim had trashed….I had to scrape, scour, steel wool, and basically scrub the hell out of this thing for a couple minutes to get it clean enough to run through the dishwasher…Here is the point that I made to Timothy, it wasn’t just that the pan was trashed it was about the thought process that whatever was in the pan, was at one point a part of our environment and that it is all about how much you really love food can one really have these visions…man I love food…., and besides that “Good Chefs didn’t start out by being Shitty Dishwashers…”
OK, I’m done….
A chef I worked with years back told me one simple lil line, but if taken to heart, it helps you strive for perfection. He told me, "Make it nice, or make it twice." A good policy to live by I think.
Two sayings that have always stuck very clearly in my mind are....
1)"some days its just a big sh*t sandwhich and everyones got to take a big bite "
2) "excuses are the nails that build a house of failure"
Excuses are the nails that built the house of failure!!!!!!!!!!!!! That Rocks…
As a young aspiring chef I worked with an old school German Chef
named Fritz and Fritz was full of them...
"...Mr. Bonesarelli...da best tool you have in your kitchen is
attached to your wrist..."
(My nickname used to be Bones back in my wilder Biker days)
I worked for a Chef at the Golden Mushroom in Detroit once upon a
life and once while making a huge fruit and cheese display on a
spread table I was finishing off the table with carambola here, there
and everywhere, so in finishing up the table I was putting starfruit
here and there, Chef Andrew came and took the half pan of starfruit
from me and started throwing them in handfuls at my display and told
me that the display was beautiful but "...you're thinking too f***ing
A couple months ago I gave a commencement speech for a culinary
program that I taught at as a guest chef. During the commencement I
had a line that I thought was awesome and I wish that we could convey
this thought process to all culinary graduates...
"...you now possess enough knowledge to go out in the real world and
get your ass kicked!!!..."
I gotta million of them, but those are the few that stick in my
Had a chef from Hungary that used to work for me now and then on an
on call basis when we had huge VIP functions...After one event for a
few thousand I took Chef Jorge out for beer, while talking Chef asked
me how many cigarettes the waitress should allow in an ashtray. My
answer was two, he said " No...one..." I asked Chef why he thought
that and he told me that "...when you take care of the little things
big things don't happen..." I really liked that one...