Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Introduction

“Get fucked cunt.”

The first thing I ever heard in a commercial kitchen. Certainly not the only time I’ve heard it and undoubtedly not the last. I had been led through the swinging doors by the Sous Chef to bear witness to the distant cousin of Bigfoot (if he had bred with a large St Bernard/boulder), brandishing what looked to be a small samurai sword at an equally grotesque colleague who smiled politely and replied with a wave of his flexible spatula: “Well somebody is a tad grumpy. Was ya Mum a bad root last night?”

I smiled. I shouldn’t have smiled.

“Oi, cheffo, who’s the Little One?”

Well I guess I’ve got my new nickname for life.

The chef leaned over the pass,  looked me in the eye and said: “What are your expectations of what a 1st year apprentice does?”

19 years old. 168cm. 45kg tiny girl. I replied with : “Whatever they’re told.”

BAM. Hired.

3 years on I am both sad and proud to say I am not the same person. Being situated in a small box of an environment, day in, day out, 14 or 15 hours of that day next to the same sweaty Neanderthal, sex driven, speed sniffing, adrenaline junkie, fuck knuckles, who just happened to have a secret passion for sous vide veal, foams and micro herbs, has transformed me.

I was not the best, but I was a hard worker. I loved being there and most importantly, I was entertaining.

Keep the chef amused and maybe, we’ll get through a Friday night service without something cast iron being hurled at my head. That’s where this all started. I think differently, I find the ‘funny’ in things. I am an angry, random, slightly patronising little shit who swears too much, rants too much, but geez I love to entertain, make people laugh, make them smile, make their day. This is my collection of random thoughts, jokes, stories, rants and a look into my daily life as a glorified shit kicker.

This is my story.

The Apprentice.

7 comments:

  1. "What ever they are told" .. Perfect! Thats all they should teach these little assholes in tafe..

    ReplyDelete
  2. So truly spoken...I've been in this industry 30 years...I'm sorry our trade is like this but it's an honest depiction of reality....Well worded... Just remember though, no matter what we live in and work in, we can always become better than those who came before us and trained us....In the International world these days the throwing of pans, snorting, swearing and ranting continues in much seclusion and international laws now prevent chefs from acting that way. Use these times as a learning tool and become better than those who treated you badly...never lose the passion and always enjoy the hours. In the end we all live our lives inside the kitchen and those we meet are our friends and entertainment , our collaborators and our muses and our teachers. Never lose the love of cooking, it will give you a great career and greater life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spoken from the heart Aaron :-) Very true and inspirational words.

      Delete
  3. I don't believe we ever lose the love of cooking. Some of us just lose the ability to push on, without BEING loved.

    We don't love it nor do we hate it. We become indifferent, and simply feel nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. officially made it all the way back to the beginning.

    hadn't thought about this blog in years.

    hell, dont know if you get notifications anymore/

    if you do, your blog got me through my apprenticeship and i use it as reading material for all the newbies, hope your doing well peace

    ReplyDelete