Chef Prank

Joined Oct 6, 2002
Walter Scheib, Chef for George W. Bush was the butt of a practical joke in Paris. A false Bernadette Chirac, (the spouse of the French president) asked Scheib to work at Elysee to cook hamburger and pizzzas to fill the cravings of French President Jacques Chirac.

Scheib accepted the job and went ahead with the request. Soon after, he learned he was filmed for a telivison prank show.

According to the newspaper, the Parisian revealed that Mr. Scheib telephoned the White House, then in turn called the Elysée and asked the televison show not broadcast the foreseen sequence to pass to the screen next Tuesday.

Here is the link in French
Joined Jan 26, 2002
ever send an apprentice out to another restaurant for a "lobster gun"? how about asking the same apprentice for a cup of finely chopped flour or a bucket of steam?

pranks for the uninitiated!
Joined Dec 4, 2002
Very cruel.....some chefs are so cruel.
Not me! I could never really stomach pranking newbies. It was too easy; I guess I'm grateful no one ever played cruel tricks on me.
I worked with one meat purveyor who convinced the owner of my restaurant to buy a case of frozen duck legs, right legs only, because they were meatier for the confit. He totally bought it. I didn't even laugh when he told me, I was so dumbfounded. He did figure it out about a day later.
Joined Dec 1, 2002
My Skills Chef instructor sent this one student (who was trying to figure out how to pit an olive) to the Garde Manger kitchen for an olive pitter. The GM chef sent him to another kitchen and then another..finally he came back empty handed, and our phone rang for the next 15 minutes while the chef's called eachother and laughed.
Joined Aug 22, 2003
this might sound like a tall tale but im giving you an eyewitnes account.

two restaraunts to the same owner very close to each other (we shared a dry storage) the executive chef of the first store(my store) sends a new very green and very nervous server to the second store with an old 5 gallon bucket. along with the bucket she was given strict instructions to fill said bucket to the top with steam, she was also told not to lose any on the way back. when she got to the second store she was told she forgot the lid and was told to get that and return. after being sent back and forth a few times she figured it out, and thanks to her i have at least 1 funny story to tell. thanks linda
Joined Jul 3, 2002
In his autobiography, The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen Jacques Pepin writes that his "initiation" happened during his apprenticeship when he was 14. The chef called him over and told him to run to another hotel to get their "machine à désossé les poulets [chicken-boning machine]" (48). The hotel was across town and from there he was sent to yet another place, and then another, etc. He finally was given a large, closed, very heavy bag which he lugged across town back to his restaurant:
"Chef, Robert, the other apprentices, and the waitresses were waiting for me. I lowered the bag to the ground with a proud but thoroughly exhausted smile. They stood there, saying nothing. Suddenly, a horrible doubt crossed my mind. I opened the bag. Inside were two cement blocks. Everyone roared with laughter" (49).

I guess it's one way of finding out that you're accepted into the tribe :rolleyes:
Joined Dec 12, 2000
Bacon stretcher has already been mentioned, but how about sending someone for the banana bender ??
Joined Jul 18, 2000
err ironchef, i think there is actually a small device that is a olive pitter.

have seen , have used, hard to explain.

I will try to find a picture

Joined Jul 18, 2000

there you go!


Joined Jul 28, 2003
how about.....

diceing breading and deep frying butter cubes for a vip guest...
counting the fettucine per order....
chopping the flour....
or what happened to me....

I was a 21 year old apprentice in a very old classical 5 star hotel in Germany (Brenner's Park Hotel, Baden Baden, Germany). When the new apprentices started, the managers would have a welcome reception for them. You have to understand most apprentices are 18 or younger, so most are very nervous. So of course the cooks all run up to get a free glass of champagne to get buzzed for service. While we are up there, one of the commis tells me that I have to go to the chef (who is talking with the GM of the hotel) and propose a toast to the new apprentices. I was there about six months and they loved trying to screw with me. It didn't work, but I thought about it a few times before I figured out what they were doing.

Same hotel, the apprentices are given another apprentice to mentor them and be their 'buddy' in case they have any questions. So we decide to go to the bar with all of them and show them a good time before their first day of work. So after about an hour one of the guys stands up and tells the new apprentices that it is custom to buy the drinks. They did and we drank cheap. Then they all went home because they were so scared of their first day they wanted to be perfect for work. The rest of us stayed out until 2 am and laughed the next day with a cheap hangover.....
Joined Nov 20, 2000
I have been involved with far more pranks than I can remember, though the one that stands out best was this. I was a Chef at a hospital. We would always do something to the new kid on the block, usually they were in the 17 year old range. Well we sent this one kid up to the ICU for I believe it was the Ice Melter. This kid went upstairs to the ICU and as I understand when they tried to tell him that the kitchen was pranking him he got pissed off at them and started yelling at them that they were trying to keep him from doing his job or something to that effect. He wasn't yelling about us, he was yelling at them.
After about an hour we wondered where he was and found out from security that he just walked! When the F&B Manager asked where he was, we told him what happened and he threw a royal hissy fit! I think that was the last time we sent anyone without an injury to the ICU! Never saw the kid again:rolleyes:
Joined Oct 13, 2001
Ive always had the newbie open the new 5 gallon bucket of pickles , fill up a sixth pan , and then dig for that spice bag which is allways at the bottom somewhere . When you open the pickles this bag must be removed or the pickles will ruin . Of course you know how cold pickle juice is so you can imagine some of the blue arms Ive seen on this one .
Oh and you bakers , what about that dough stretcher ?
Joined Oct 14, 2003
@ my boss put my whites in the freezer for the night. sad thing was i had to wear them anyway.

different boss, same place had me move 1000 lbs worth of frozen stuff from one side of the walkin to the other because it was 'colder'
Joined Dec 4, 2003
"Fetch me a #10 can of dehydrated water, grab a grill extender while your over there and a left handed spatula. I need a 10 gallon sheet pan, and a perforated quart dipper."
"Scrambled hard, don't break the yolk."


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
I've actually seen a left-handed spatula in one of those all leftie stores. It truly did work best in the left hand for some odd reason. Held in the right, the angles seemed different, though I really can't figure out what angles they'd change between a rightie/leftie or universal spatula.

Joined Jul 11, 2004
While working in a oldschool style hotel where everyone used thier own tools.
I got our new kitchen porter/runner to go to the main kitchen where the banquet staff were picking up. I told him I had lent out my knifes and that I needed him to go collect them for me, "they'll be easy to find" I said showing him a french knife "my last name is Heinkell, any knife that has it written on the blade is mine" he had gathered close to 2 dozen before anyone noticed what he was doing. :D
Joined Jan 5, 2001
That, nattty, is a true classic. Mind if I use it during my next big fundraising dinner with all the big time rich chefs? I could use a new santuko!
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