Wednesday, 31 July 2013
This is actually a really significant moment for a general shit kicker. It's that moment of "I'M A BIG BOY[GIRL]!!!"
Similar to the feeling of when you first move out of home and have a packet of Doritos and a litre of Grape Fanta for breakfast. Why? Because fuck you, that's why. Nobody is telling you any different. Or like your Dad giving you your first beer or buying fabric softener for the first time or realistically, when you've ever had the warm embracing rush flow through your veins (possibly Scotch-induced) when you get to utter the words: "Kids these days" for the first time.
Either way. You feel all growned up.
But going out drinking with The Chefs when you're a first year adds a lot of pressure, you feel like you need to perform. It's losing your virginity all over again except without the terrified 'other' who won't judge you because they're just as clueless.
These lot are experienced drinkers and back then, well, safe to say they made Charlie Sheen look like a Care Bear. First title: Chef de Partie. Second title: Badass Motherfucker. These boys should have put "8 years drinking experience" on their resume. The boys who had, "24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case" as a personal motto. Drink to excess? They'll drink to anything.
I actually held my own against these boys. It’s nothing I’m overly proud of… But in a way I am. I was barely pushing over 45 kilos, I was this tiny, stressed frame of nothingness and I managed to swash down 5 pints. Don’t remember a fucking thing but somebody used my phone as a video camera so bada-bing bada-boom, we have evidence. It meant that I woke up thinking I had died after being dragged over 35 feet of partially set cement, but it also meant I got invited out every Sunday after that.
Anyway, we were out at the local after a busy night celebrating the fact that I made through an entire 4 hour service without fucking up (personal triumph if I’ve ever seen one) and a group of guys decided to pick a fight with them. No idea why. We’re talking about big hairy descendents of apes here. My Sous Chef was so riddled with muscles and evil glares that we used to call him Roidy.
Chefs in general are not the most elegant of goddesses. We’re rough around the edges, we swear, drink, fight, put up with intense heat, long hours, knives, oil attacks, live crayfish attacks, abuse - both verbal and physical, sexual, whatever. We get things like: “I dare you to fuck me?“ tattooed over our asses or some massive skull with a Shun going through the eyeball over our knuckles; why? Because we can.
But probably the most impressive feature in my eyes, you’re picking a fight with a bunch of delinquents resembling Early Man *cue ape noise*, who can hold a piss in for an entire 205 cover, 7 hour, Friday night service. Now I don’t care who you are, that’s Herculean.
So let me say this once again, you’re trying to take a stab at chefs.
I shall say this loud and clear.
WE FEEL NO PAIN!!
So safe to say the fight didn’t last long. There’s not really much to it when the people throwing punches spend their days thinking: “This fight was brought to you by the letter F and the number 3.”
One guy actually laid a decent punch on my pastry chef. I suppose he chose him because he was the skinniest but the guy was an angry, drug happy Cockney. This kid could fight with one hand when he was still being nourished by his mother’s boob. I reckon he could’ve taken on Tyson if he was in the right sedated kind of mood and Liverpool had just lost.
But my point of this story being: if you’re stupid enough to want to fight, at least be smart enough to know your opponent.
If they turn out to be a professional UFC fighter or an ex-marine, maybe think about backing off.
If they’re a chef? Well… There’s no maybe about it.
She said her hello then did the motherly thing of telling me I have something on my face.
Which basically resulted in her spitting onto her finger and trying to furiously discard it from her vision.
This case of 'problem solving' has the same mentality I see with people in public toilets... We know they're dirty but in our perspective, all germs and chlamydia-ridden bacteria will be discarded with an 8 second wipe of some paper towel...
She didn't succeed though. Because there was nothing on my face.
Turns out the bags under my eyes due to Chef-related sleep deprivation and stress, has an astounding resemblance to dirt or mascara leakage.
I just let my mother spit on my face...
Tuesday, 30 July 2013
Monday, 29 July 2013
If I'm ever walking down a street and realise I'm going in the complete opposite direction that I need to be going, some bizarre part of me can't simply turn around and double back. I mean, I'll look like a complete dickhead.
I have to check my phone or search through my bag or make some obscene arm gesture as in - "Oh fuck, I forgot that thing that was totally important!"
I really think I have too much time on my hands because the effort factor is increasing for every time I need to think of a new thing to have 'totally forgotten'.
Or maybe I'm just retarded...
Can guarantee everyone can find the Snooze button in .7 of a second, in pitch black from 4 feet away. First time, every time.
Snoozing Button Ninja Turtle.
This doesn't really bother me much as I use a transportation device called 'a tram'.
But today I am on their side. I saw a guy who had launched his car halfway up the curb, get given a ticket and the dickhead tried to dispute it with the excuse:
"Come on maaaan, I parked it when I was drunk."
I can deny the demise of the average IQ level of the human population all I want, it doesn't change the fact that my head is hurting from an overload of palm to face contact.
The hardest decision of my day is going to be what PJs should I change into, from the ones I am currently wearing.
Unemployment life has begun.
Sunday, 28 July 2013
Saturday, 27 July 2013
Am I the only one who sees the irony and inappropriateness in a "Keep Off The Grass" sign?
I mean, I'm a bad person because I had a really good giggle. But seriously.
Friday, 26 July 2013
I'm pretty fucking miserable before my morning coffee and on the train, I just want to sit back, relax, read my book and doze.
The last thing I want is to have the worst random train companion that you can have, with the possible exception of the dumb bimbo painfully asking why nobody has stopped Hitler yet:
The Heavy Breather.
It's like a missile being launched without the satisfying crash ending. Motherfucker, get that shit sorted. If I wanted my hair to blow like a fanned Victoria's Secret model I'd shove my face behind the exhaust of a car. That would be less irritating than your damaged windpipe that is clearly crying out for help.
Please excuse me whilst I shove my palms into my brain through my ears in my futile attempt to block this violating and opprobrious torture.
And someone totally just farted.
Because it seems like a constant recurrence where I have people trying to tell me how well they can cook.
.. Or how well their partner cooks.
... Or how well their Mum cooks.
I get it ok. You think you can do what I do. But do you want to know something? You can't.
There are countless differences between my cooking environment and yours. My kitchen stove top does not have a "Save As" button ok? If I fuck up in the kitchen that's it. There's no undo, there's no: "Oh well, the guests will understand."
Guests will NEVER understand. Nor do they appreciate that I can cook a steak to medium rare, every time. Because when my guest is paying 58 dollars for that steak, do you really think they're going to be satisfied when it's not right? A simple: "Oh that's ok love, medium rare, give or take a few degrees." They may as well be saying: "Here, while you're at it take my wallet and the keys to my Mercedes E350... And I'm an understanding laid-back guy, of course you may fuck my wife."
You just sit in your cushy little household kitchen with your nine hundred dollar Kitchen Aid that you have only mustered how to whisk in and casually stress over trying to pull the garlic bread up at the same time as Donna Hay's Pasta a la Primavera without everything going stodgy and cold for your 5 other guests who will probably still accept you at least as a casual acquaintance even if it is only for a Christmas party invite - sadly my reviewers are not the same.
I'll have seven pans going, three of them bipolar and temperamental sauces, two fish in the oven, a salad to prep all while watching the kitchen hand with one eye who keeps wiping the plates clean with a tea towel without actually washing them whilst not forgetting that table 7 is half gluten free even though it's not on the docket and 34, 17 and 3 are coming up on mains all at once because front of house are cunts.
No worries mate.
But it's even different for us chefs at home. I guarantee you when I make a meal it's all: "Thanks gorgeous girl, please pass the potatoes." But you bet your ass if my boy is cooking for me I better act like he's single-handedly built the Great Wall of China, blindfolded, with nothing more than a toothpick and some intuition.
So here's ChefTip Number 1: Putting a damp tea towel or cloth under a chopping board will stop it sliding around.
This was the first thing I ever learnt in a commercial kitchen. (Directly followed by being shown that 'cunt' is a way to express fondness and admiration). How to set up a chopping board. Simple. So, so simple.
This is quite a significant point of my life as a Shit Kicker. The first ever minute I was in a kitchen, the Chef asked me to set up a board and when I pulled it onto the bench he said, "Chuck a tea towel under it - it won't slide."
Since then, I have never set up a chopping board differently. Use it, cherish it, love it. It's a fucking great tip.
But as far as your Mum being the best chef you know, shush, just stop it. Your Mum might be the best cook in the world for sure. Hell, my mother makes the best Kangaroo curry I have ever tasted. And my Dad? Apple torte. I can guarantee you, it can't be beaten. So I do believe you when you say your half-Lebanese mother makes the best... I don't know, falafel. Whatever, my point is, they make it for you. They make it for your brothers and sisters and family friends.
They don't make it every single night, for 55 or 105 covers, plated perfectly, cooked perfectly, over and over, repeatedly and consistently - and fast.
My Dad can't do that. Do you know WHY he can't do that?
Because he's a fucking dental surgeon, not a chef.
Julia Child once wrote: "No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing."
I like that quote. I like to think that the techniques I have repeated day in and out for however many years, mean something. I like to think that what we do, is kind of like porn. You can watch it, be fascinated by it, it will entice your intrigue and tickle your curiosity - but try it at home, it won't look or sound nearly the same or as satisfying and majority of you are sensible enough to realise that it's probably not wise to try and act it out.
You can like cooking all you want, it doesn't mean it will like you back.
And it's the little things that make us different. For example:
I can chop without looking.
I don't follow a recipe. I laugh at recipes. I look at them, study them, then laugh at them and think: "Well fuck, that's not gonna happen, I'm doing it this way."
I can pick up a piece of confit duck with my bare hands. It doesn't bother me one bit, I lost all feeling in them years ago anyway. The sensation in my index finger is left with the skin that is now attached to the grill of my first job. There it shall remain.
We don't have Band-Aids, we have masking tape.
Where my palms once were, I now have scars and calluses.
I don't have an 8 o'clock reservation for two at a delightful little wine bar with my significant other, I have a second sitting, a headache and I'm running out of leeks.
Do you see me walking up to neurosurgeon suggesting that: "Hey, I played Operation as a kid. I can do this shit too."
No. I'm not that fucking stupid.
So please. Stop trying to patronise me and my fellow industry comrades by telling me you can do what I do. You can't. And when you try, you just look like an idiot.
When you try - you do things like go on Masterchef and I laugh at you.
Thursday, 25 July 2013
"You know why you're lucky to have small boobs darling?"
"Oh this'll be good. Why Mum? Pray tell, why?"
"Because if boys tell you that you have beautiful eyes... They probably really mean you have beautiful eyes."
Wednesday, 24 July 2013
"Arrrgh Tim! So messy after last night brah I actually shat in the shower!"
Me: "I think you have the wrong number, but I just laughed so hard I shot mango juice out my nose."
Reply: " <3 "
Pretty sure I have a new best friend.
Tuesday, 23 July 2013
The amount of mistakes I made, as a percentage, was ridiculously low. I owe this partially to never wanting to be told off (Apprentice mode in full swing), but mainly because I'm a bit blind and I study the dockets a little more carefully than most.
So today the Boss runs in:
"Chef!! Where the fuck are the risottos for Table 7?! Huh? You fucking around in here like a lazy cunt?! How far are they?!"
-breathe- Keep calm.
"Excuse me Boss but I don't have a docket for Table 7."
"Fuck! Chef, I haven't put it through!" (I fucking know this you dipshit, I don't lose dockets) "How quick can you do two risottos?!"
"No no Chef I need them now!"
"I need this favor come on help me out!"
"... 12 minutes."
"I'll give you the night off."
"... 4 minutes."
Don't fuck with us. Seriously people, be nice. It's only Wednesday."
Friday, 19 July 2013
Tuesday, 16 July 2013
Some of you may already know this, for others this might drop your jaw, or some might not give a flying monkey's butt fluff but either way, I am throwing in the towel at my restaurant.
It has been a very long, hard and fatigue inducing 14 months, 8 of which I have been running the show and I am both proud and ashamed to say, I am tired.
There are many jobs I can accomplish when I am either bored or unappreciated but very few that I can do when I am both.
Friday is Fight Night in the hospitality world so I feel that it only fair that I go out with a bang in full hospo style - on my knees in a pool of sweat and meat juice, prepared to get completely ass raped by a docket machine.
Friday, August 2 , I will prepare myself for a 15 hour day, at the end of which I will hang up my black jacket and wish them Adieu. As it will be my last shift, I am hoping it will be the biggest showdown my little two man show has ever seen.
I will be sad, happy, emotional, indifferent, hostile, shouty and probably a wee bit drunk (courtesy of the 15L goon sack that resides above the meat slicer). Hoping I can feel the heat and the adrenaline one more time, giving me burns I will never get rid of before I move onto bigger and better things.
Aaaand for the moment I am jobless scum. Assassin's Creed Day anyone?
Peace and fire. ChefLife.
Monday, 15 July 2013
Thursday, 11 July 2013
Wednesday, 10 July 2013
You get the idea?
:) The more foodie related the happier little Apprentice is.
Tuesday, 9 July 2013
Sunday, 7 July 2013
And chefs talk to themselves A LOT.
But I've also heard that people who talk to themselves make better lovers.
Did you know that? Oh why yes I did. Do you agree? Oh why yes I do, thank you for asking.
Saturday, 6 July 2013
Thursday, 4 July 2013
There are many different words for the good old 285ml glass of frothy bier.
Depending which state or even what country you're from.
You have the pot, the schooner, the middy, the half pint etc.
As a chef though, and being German Irish, we call it A Waste Of Time.
Wednesday, 3 July 2013
On a regular basis I both witness and experience the pretentious and mundane bitchiness that occupies 70% of the dribble that escapes the mouths of the women who unfortunately, make an appearance in my daily life.
Today I was on the receiving end of : "Ew, why would you want abs? Boys don't like abs."
Oh well heaven fucking open the skies and break my balls for I had no idea that my destiny was to fabricate the Stepford image of What Boys Want.
I do apologise for momentarily thinking I had a mind of my own -slap- silly silly girl.
Here's a thought, (define: thought: noun: an idea or opinion produced by thinking or occurring suddenly in the mind) could we all just stop for a moment and attempt to comprehend the idea that some women may just do what they do, whether it be diet, exercise, squats or read a fucking book, because THEY want to.
Oh wait, no no. I'm reading Tolstoy because that'll bring all the boys to my yard right? My milkshakes are clearly below par.
Just stop it. I'm not a feminist. But right now my anger management classes are the only thing keeping the royal bitch slapping I'm subjecting you to, at a purely mental state.
And just to completely contradict myself, I'm going to buy something deep fried and covered in chocolate in the hope that I can clot the part of my brain that wished people were simply happy for people who are happy.
Maybe I'll even turn it into a sandwich.
I'm allowed to be proud.
Tuesday, 2 July 2013
Chef's neglect a lot of things.
Clothes, health, relationships, personal hygeine, TV show committments, electricity bills... Pretty much anything that isn't our knives or our booze.
Hell even our shoes get flung in the dishwasher to be cleaned at the end of the night. I've worked as a kitchen hand long enough in my time to know exactly what one of those industrial bad boys can and can't do. A speck of dough will clog it up in a heart beat, leaving you stranded after midnight, poking at the plughole with the rear end of a whisk and a bit of initiative.
But it'll polish the fuck out of your clogs.
So I don't reckon I'll have kids.
I mean, I once killed a cactus. I actually neglected a plant that has been designed by nature to endure all forms of brutality and harsh environments, so badly that it wilted and died in my suburban setting.
I guess you can say I'm just playing it safe.
Boss was being an absolute dick to me yesterday.
So while he was at the bank, I synced our Spotify with my phone (with a little help from YouTube because I am technologically retarded).
Now every second song is either Shania Twain or Beastie Boys and for the life of him, he can't figure it out.
Man, I feel like a woman of the Intergalactic Planetary.
Moral of the story?
Be nice to the chefs. Even the slack ones work harder than your average Joe.
End of financial year.
I do apologise for that outburst. But if anybody here has ever had to do a manual stocktake of an entire restaurant (not forgetting that half opened bag of peppercorns at the back of the dry store at a whopping 170g or the 23g of bay leaves... Making sure you correct yourself with if that is a SINGLE unit of a straw or is a box a unit? - it is VERY important), you'll understand my anguish.
My ass "Chef's Guess" isn't an accurate form of measurement.
Is it wine time yet? Or does that also need to be deducted for tax purposes...
Welcome back to my blog :) it has certainly been a while since I posted and I want to sincerely apologise.
I moved away from the blog because I really didn't believe anybody but my mates were reading it... And, you know, Mum.
I flicked back on just now, as I couldn't sleep. I forgot to order veg and now I'm awake at 1:30am stressing about eggplants. Good one dipstick.
And my page has clearly been shared. I actually have readers? Again, I'm sorry for the shock of this.
I am fully signed on again. Ready and waiting to swear and yell and put shit in bold cos I'm a fearless bastard yo.
Dear Blog. I've missed you.