angry gripe

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by aric87, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. aric87

    aric87

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    So the kitchen I work in part time,(a corporate kitchen) drives me nuts. Tonight, we got a pittsburgh rare steak order and the 2 top stove is in the alley behind the line where I can't see it. I threw the pan on with oil and went back on line while it heated up. My char cook (asshole) decided to come back and tell e it had a little fire, and he didnt do anything about it. Needless to say, a burned rag, burned hand and charred sheet pan later, the 6 foot flames were out and I was pissed. Does anyone else think that maybe we shouldnt do the pitt rare steak since we can't watch the stove during a rush? I told the manager I wasn't cleaning because I had a 3rd degree burn on my palm and she said she got burned all the time and suck it up. grrrr.... This drove me crazy, so I punched out and left. Normally I would have just gone back to work but I was mad at the other cook for being an ass.

    anyway, thanks for reading!
     
  2. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Are you trying to tell me you left a frying pan with (flamible) oil on a 25,000 btu burner unattended?

    You're very lucky the fire supression system didn't kick in, then you'd a had one heck-uva-mess to clean up

    Two words for you,

    Smarten Up
     
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  3. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Pump is right.

    You shouldn't need to be taught how the hot line works.  You don't walk away from a shallow pan over a big flame with anything in it, ever.  If someone sees your screw up, it doesn't become his responsibility to fix.  You're lucky he mentioned it at all.  

    It's really not my business to teach you basic cooking, but your hot-pan technique sucks.  Who the heck taught you to put oil in a cold pan?

    Preheat the pan without oil.  It doesn't take long, but it doesn't take any attention either.  When the pan is hot, you take it off the flame and add a small amount of oil.  When the oil shimmers, smokes, runs free, or whatever your test is (which  usually happens as it hits the pan but won't take more than a couple of seconds back on the fire at most) you're ready for the last step.  Finally, add whatever it is you're going to sear or saute with the pan off the flame if the oil is smoking, or on the fire if it isn't.  Kindergarten stuff.  Presumably no one taught you, or someone taught you wrong and it's not your fault.  But now you know.

    As to whether or not your employers should or should not have some particularly inconvenient dish on the menu during the crush, why do you think they have cooks?  If the luncheon menu were limited to Ritz crackers and peanut butter sandwiches you probably wouldn't be there. 

    They don't call it "work" for nothing.  Butch up, cupcake.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
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  4. leeniek

    leeniek

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    I have to agree with BDL and foodpump.  You just can't leave oil in a pan and walk away.. that in itself is a recipe for disaster.

    I don't know how your kitchen works but it sounds to me that there might be some room for improvement when it comes to communication and working together.  
     
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  5. aric87

    aric87

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    Ok, so i appreciate the lesson. I was actually taught to add the oil to the cold pan, but i was also taught never to leave it and that is how this super efficient *cough cough*  corporate kitchen told us to do it. I realize it's my job to deal with it, however I failed to mention in my pissy whining that the reason I couldn't attend to the pan was because the ass I mentioned decided to step off the line so I was doing his job as well. And there is no suppression system under that hood... also an issue. However, i know that the menu can't be easy, and that's why they hire cooks... but I don't work with cooks, I work with lazy idiots. 

    foodpump... your right, it was a bad idea, but i had no choice, given that the of the three cooks on line besides me, two were stoned (which actually happens alot and the managers don't stop them) and one of those two (the ass) decided to disappear on me. Not trying to say I was right in leaving the pan, but i don't see any other option at the time. 

    BDL... I agree, my pan my problem, but as you'll have read, he was the cause of me walking away, and when it was a little problem he should've stopped it before I had to deal with the big problem. In case I hadn't mentioned, he'd been pretty much useless all night and I'd been picking up his slack, so I would hope he would've done something useful... guess not

    Leeniek.... Yea, that kitchen needs allllooooottttt of help. It's my part time job that I keep for the insurance, however I am actually working into a sous chef role in a private kitchen, and I'll tell you... I work with kids with little to no culinary experience and it's much much less stressfull.... I wonder why? 

    Again, BDL I appreciate the technique help. That is why I am going to school in the fall. I've found that not everything I learned is correct.

    Arrggg. Please save yourselves the aggrevation and never work in a corporate restaurant!
     
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  6. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    You'll find a lot of advantage of oil into a hot pan over oil into a cold pan.

    You won't smoke the oil as badly as often -- that means you won't have to deal with the bad flavor and the gooey mess after it cools down.

    You'll use less oil.  When it goes into a hot pan, it spreads really easily.  You'll find yourself using a tsp where you used a tbs.  The techniques of sear and saute are meant to be done with very little oil.  Food will taste better.

    The pan will release better.  When the pan is already hot, the oil fills its pores better.  Or something.  I honestly don't know why it works, but it does.  If you want to go for super-non-stick.  Put some oil in a cold pan, heat it to warm.  Dump it out, wipe the pan, put the pan back on the flame, heat it, then add the oil you want to cook with.  Sort of an instant seasoning.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  The "release point" is a very important point of sear and saute.  You shouldn't have to use a spat to get things moving in your pan.  It screws up the surface browning and screws up the fond.

    Cooking with butter is a little different.  Obviously you use more butter than you'd use oil because it tastes so good, also you control the pan to control the browning of the butter as opposed to the browning of the food.  But... hint... Preheat the pan, take it off the flame, and add just a couple of drops of oil, swirl them, then add the butter still off the heat.  You'll not only temper the pan, but make it significantly less sticky. 

    Keep your oils in the stove mise in squeeze bottles, or glass with speed-pour tops.  I was taught corn and extra virgin olive in a restaurant kitchen, and that's what I still do at home decades later.

    I'm from a different time, and would have worked out who should have covered for whom and exactly what that meant either over beer or in the parking lot after work.  His choice.  Presumably those methods aren't available for you, the second one shouldn't be, and you're more rational than I was (doesn't take much).  Next time your "friend" asks you to cover for him, tell him sorry in the nicest possible way, and that you have to wash your hair.  Too bad. 

    BDL
     
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  7. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Whoever told you to start in a cold pan, should go back to school. First food will stick to a cold pan or grill. Second you are asking for trouble putting oil in a pan and walking away, your lucky you put it out. If your in a real pinch and want Pittsburgh , throw the steak right on the open flame burner, at least place wont go up in flames. Or put a sizzle pan on top of burner let it get hot then proceed.no oil needed. If you feel the urge to lube the pan, use a non stick spray like pam.
     
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  8. burnthuman

    burnthuman

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    Ed's right on about Pitt rare -- sizzle pan and no oil needed. Pitt goes quick.

    NEVER leave oil in a pan over fire unattended! There is NO excuse for this -- it's a serious error regardless of anybody else in the kitchen.

    BH
     
  9. aric87

    aric87

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    ok, so i'm pretty over the situation now. I would still like to know, do you feel as tough every piece of kitchen equipment should be visible to the main area where all the cooks are? And yes, this particular kitchen lacks many things from the management, to include leadership, the ability to see the lack thereof and the acknowledgment that someone new may have that ability. I've tried to adjust the communication issues.... didnt work. Oh well. 

    And I am pretty lucky I put it out, I am a call fireman as well and the dept showing up to my fire would have been bad.
     
  10. kvonnj

    kvonnj

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    Sorry, Chef, I can't muster up a lot of sympathy... it was your dish and you walked away. sorry it happened... but, it happens.
     
     
  11. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    You knew the layout BEFORE you started the dish.

    Whether or not the layout is good, bad, correct, or incorrect, IS NOT YOUR CALL!

    Now, TBS, if someone ASKS your opinion, give it to them, albeit in a courteous manner?
     
  12. aric87

    aric87

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    right, i wasn't looking for sympathy. I knew it was my fault, I was just pissed and ranting, hence the second post I noted is as a pissy whine session. And I know the layout won't change, but i would like to see if it's a common thing to work in the back alley or if it seems odd to the chef's. And I appreciate the respect, however I am not quite on level to call myself or be called a chef... I think if i did and made mistakes like that, I'd have Ramsey screamin down my throat!
     
  13. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    If you are asking if "I" would lay out the kitchen that way, NO!

    But then again, sometime you work with what you have, and that includes physical layout, equipment, AND personnel /img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif
     
  14. aric87

    aric87

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    very true. That is what I was wondering chef. Of course, no one would intentionally set it up that way i guess. 
     
  15. greyeaglem

    greyeaglem

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    Don't you love working with stoners? What I like best is how they can go on for hours about how great they can cook when they're stoned. Mostly they stand there with their mouth hanging open staring at the tickets like they can't read English, then they cook half of one order and half of another and don't finish one thing before they start the next. They're great though, just ask 'em. I got so sick of working with stoners, drunks and hung over people that it got to a point where I refused to cover for them. It was too much stress. I did my stuff, and if they didn't do theirs the waitstaff would get mad and go to management. Then management would come down on them. They won't if you keep covering for them. If they walk off the line to toke up /throw up, whatever, let their station sit. It's a firing offense in my kitchen to come in drunk or stoned. I tell the crew flat out if they need to get messed up to come to work, they need to find another job. I still get block heads. I like working with the people from the local occupational rehab facility. When you tell the kid with Down's syndrome to clean the salad bar at 2.00, he will clean it at 2:00 and you never have to tell him again. He might come in at 2:00 on a day you're closed to clean it, but hey, nobody's perfect.  
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2010
  16. leeniek

    leeniek

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    Greyeaglem, I don't blame you for not covering for the stoners and drunks.  I agree... if they have to get messed up in order to be able to work they should definitely be seeking other employment.  The best workers I've worked with are the ones who are new to Canada.  They're hardworking, dependable and much more dedicated than some of the ones who have been born and raised here. 
     
  17. kvonnj

    kvonnj

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    Worse than the fact that wastoids, drunks and stoners just suck to work with, and are NEVER what they think they are in the kitchen, is the fact that they're also a serious hazard. Some stoner drifting off in front of a hot burner or a drunken buffoon with a ten inch knife can do a LOT of damage.

      Cooks and chefs are basically crazy to begin with. Add chemically induced stupidity to a healthy dose of crazy and you've got the potential for disaster of Biblical proportions...
     
  18. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry, but I have to agree with what most everyone else has said.  I won't harp on the technique as so many already have, though I do agree with them.  I take more issue with the fact that you just punched out and left without finishing clean up.  Unless you were headed to the hospital, due to your burns, you had a job to finish.  Blowing off the manager and punching out like that makes your actions just as bad as the a$$es you are raving against.  If I were running the kitchen, I would have considered that job abandonment and fired you then and there, though if I ran the kitchen, you'd also know how to properly make a Pittsburgh.

    BTW, here is the definition of 3rd degree burns:

    Third-degree burns occur when the epidermis is lost with damage to the subcutaneous tissue. Burn victims will exhibit charring and extreme damage of the epidermis, and sometimes hard eschar will be present. Third-degree burns result in scarring and victims will also exhibit the loss of hair shafts and keratin. These burns may require grafting. These burns are not painful, as all the nerves have been damaged by the burn and are not sending pain signals; however, all third-degree burns are surrounded by first and second-degree burns.
     
  19. aric87

    aric87

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    thank you chef, being that im an emt i have a pretty good idea of the definition of a third degree burn. A more simple definition is any burn that blisters should be considered a third degree burn, as the only way for the skin to create the pus filled blister is to burn into the cappilary layers, which are obly found in the subcutaneous tissue.  And i would have agreed with the your statements, however I notified the manager that I was leaving and he agreed that it was ok due to the location of the burn and my inability to use my hand, being that is was in the middle of the palm. As far as knowing how to do a pitt steak... that is the way they taught me to do it, and subsequently the new person they trained the very next day did the same thing (i wasnt there to tell him what I learned from the kind chef's here about the right technique). I realize my actions may have been a little childish, however i discussed the situation with the km when i saw here and she agreed with them. And again, I didnt just bail, I did tell the manager first. 
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
  20. Iceman

    Iceman

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    Here's my GRIPE for the day ... NON-SLIP Shoes. Just fine, nice shoes. I've never in my years however, ever slipped and fell. So this time, when buying new shoes, I find a really nice pair that just happened to be "non-slip". Freakin' swell. God forgive that you ever step in or on something ... YOU CARRY IT EVERYWHERE!!! All over the freakin' place. And they ain't easy to clean out. Stupid shoes. One(1) freakin' meatball.  All over the whole place ... like I stepped in a dog-pile. Stupid shoes!!!