“You odious shit stain of a human being” I think whilst falsely nodding in agreement and smiling.
“You incredulous wanker, do you even…fucking… life” I mull over hateful thoughts internally as I try to drown out the incessant, inane string of words dribbling out of the owners wife’s mouth. I am trying to show grace rather than lose control, shoving her face into a deep fryer and going completely postal before being arrested….or even worse losing my job. Yet another prime example of a kitchens worst nightmare appears as if on cue. Telling me how i “should” do my job, or about how the hospitality degree she received from the Broad beach TAFE in 1988, for hotel management, is somehow relevant to my job, and of course what I can do better – to meet their expert standard. I mean after all you’re very qualified; you don’t work here – you have no restaurant experience, you’re the wife of the owner (whom also doesn’t work here) so I trust you know exactly what you’re talking about when it comes to this venue.
What’s that love? You had soft shell tacos for dinner two nights ago, and they did it for 3 dollars so that’s how much It should be when we do it? I agree they’d fit in perfectly with our french slanted bar snacks and classic bistro food. Oh joy you learnt how to use Facebook, someone get this woman a media and events management shirt stat!!. Wow!!…you made tea towels with our restaurant logo and some funny sayings on them? Brava!! I may as well throw in the towel and let you take the reigns. “Boys, stand back, she’s got this one covered!!”
This particular scenario from yesteryear was in the form of an owners time rich wife, who can’t control her own children from running amuck and breaking everything in site, or her husbands drinking, masturbating and cocaine addictions – let alone a professional kitchen. It seems all too familiar, these vacuous creatures lurking within every corner of the hospitality industry; sucking the life forces out of chefs and front of house staff like a succubus on heat. They come in various shapes and sizes, but all are equally as painful as the last.
I present this guide of unfathomably hated anti-kitchen archetypes, that isn’t confined solely to the internal walls of our workplaces, in hope that if you’re driving and see one crossing the road, you’ll better the world by mowing them down.
the bored housewife
Possibly the most common of all. Bored house wives whom have no experience, little knowledge and misguided opinions on how things should be operating. Unfortunately as man and wife are an extension of each other, telling her to “fuck off with your shit ideas” is not just insulting to her but to her husband also (weird right). And who in their right minds would try and insult their employer. Fuelled purely on head strong, oestrogen pumping, blatant disregard to all others opinions, bored house wives will fight against all grains to implement their horrid ideas, usually at the cost of core staff members. Ranging from decor – to menu ideas – to website design and staffing. No stone is left unturned by a house wife who knows all.
The Masterchef customer
Ahhh the masterchef phenomenon. Making people think they can cook since 2009. Don’t get me wrong the notion that people are more concerned with the cooking of, and eating of food will always be a good thing. But like cocaine, babies and firearms; in the wrong hands it’s detrimental. Never have people been so rude or falsely misguided into a sense of know it all-isms “Umm I don’t know if you know…but paella has chorizo in it – THATS HOW GEORGE DOES IT!!!”.
Two things: George Calombaris is a fat annoying Greek. More importantly paella is a Spanish dish, traditionally cooked by men on Sundays for the entire family. The dish varies from region to region and can include, but is not exclusive to: rabbit, chicken, chorizo, prawn, clams, razor clams, mussels, calamari, peas, saffron and so on. We spend countless years gathering knowledge to better our cuisine. So generally speaking – we know what we are doing.
The idea that watching a television show makes you an expert at something is the same as me going down to the latest crime scene and using my investigative powers, because I’ve watched the entire series of the wire (possibly one of the best series ever)
The well done beef-er
As if transported from a parallel universe from the masterchef cohort. Presented to us is The well done beef-er: who’s soul purpose for eating is sustenance rather than substance. Where any food-stuffs in any other language is a taboo not to be trifled with. “pomme what? Don’t you have like..chips?”. “Do you have any tomato sauce for my steak?” As a waiter sighs, and we place the perfectly portioned piece of sirloin into a pan, knowing the end result will be a dry, rubbery, shrunken hunk of arsehole – our hearts drop a little. Because we do take such a high level of pride in our produce. My main qualm with the well done beef-er is why waste your money in a casual fine diner/fine diner? The end result will taste the same and you might as well have just gone to a fucking hogs breath cafe where tomato sauce is already conveniently placed on the table for you (I assume)
All this talk of kitchen enemies has got me flustered. I’m going to go and consume beer.