When I was a first year I was taken out drinking with The Chefs.
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.