Chef who over salts everything!

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by youngjedinyc, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. youngjedinyc

    youngjedinyc

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    I started at a new place recently and its going great except a few minor issues. However, one main issue I couldn't get pass is how heavy my chef likes to salt everything. I would cook things and everyone would agree its perfect ( I have a very subtle but good sense of taste) then my chef would come and say it needs more salt, he would dose it with salt, capers, fish sauce, soy sauce, whatever he can find closest to him! The first time he did that I thought it was kinda odd but then again my father was heavy on the salt as well but this is a restaurant you have to please the mass not just yourself! 

    I thought I was loosing my mind when he did this but being I am under him, I have to follow his rules. I would cringe everytime I send out a dish with his exact amount of salt. I thought I was the crazy one until I found a bunch of bad reviews from our customers about how "the food are f*cking insane amounts of salt" or "I felt like I was swollen for days" to "I needed a 5th beer to get through this meal" to just quote a few.

    Chef is in his mid twenty and its his first gig as head. How do I go about this? He damn well reads the review but continue to over salt. 

    Also been driving me crazy but what do you call these people who have heavy taste for salt? 
     
  2. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Could be a few reasons :

    He may have a problem with his electrolytes or a problem with his adrenal glands.

    Either way, he needs a blood test. Chefs sweat a lot and need to stay hydrated. Gatorade helps a lot as a quick fix.

    Then you have Chefs who over the years , have slowely increased their salt intake to the point their palate has grown accustom to such high intakes that they no longer recongnize they are putting too much salt.

    Maybe he is just young and ignorant and doesn't care. His day will come.
     
  3. youngchefkarl

    youngchefkarl

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    I would show him all of the reviews, and if he refuses to change, I would leave. You don't need to work under a guy like that.
     
  4. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Show him the reviews, they speak for themselves especially when it's an ongoing issue.

    If he doesn't want to change than you can be sure there will be an intervention and you can rest assured that he is not going to like it.
     
  5. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    Is he a heavy smoker?. Not saying its always the case, but I have TWICE now, known a chef who

    smoked and  salted the crap out of everything they ever made. 
     
    iridium12 likes this.
  6. iridium12

    iridium12

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    Would be going along the same lines as Meezenplaz here - does he smoke?

    If not, blood test is a good way to go - not only because there might be something "wrong" with him in terms of health, but blood tests have been known to reveal some other "past time habits" that some people develop to cope with the stress of the kitchen.

    Other than that - maybe just realllly bad taste *smile*

    Seriously - agree with all the other comments here. Show him the reviews, be polite and respectful, but firm. You can even tell him that you are worried about the reputation to the restaurant - something that every chef should be concerned about.

    If all fails - would say: leave.

    You are not going to learn much from a "chef" like him, and worst, when the reviews get more and worse, it might even tarnish your own reputation to a certain degree.

    Best of luck to you with that "salt dog" in the kitchen
     
  7. allanmcpherson

    allanmcpherson

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    Years back I Sous' d for a guy who absolutely demolished his sauces with salt. Catch was, almost all of the reviews of the place raved about the sauces. Every single one was made to order as well (so many pans...sigh). It took me about a week to realize what was up, he made a point of underseasoning just about everything else. Starches, sides, all were bland and pretty fatty. No wonder people loved the saucinhg.

    I am not recommending this strategy, it seems a huge gamble. But Martin was able to pull it off. Mind you, he was in his forties then, and spent most of his life cooking. Also he was a super health nut and seemed to enjoy sashimi more than anything else, so I doubt his palate was junked.
     
  8. chefedb

    chefedb

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    If you consume a lot of alcohol or smoke a lot you will oversalt
     
  9. rbrad

    rbrad

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    Allan........that place seems like it was a total Fiasco.
     
  10. allanmcpherson

    allanmcpherson

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    rbrad, oh dear, are you are a survivor too? Want to start a support group?
     
  11. youngjedinyc

    youngjedinyc

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    Well chef doesn't smoke or heavy drink so makes me wonder if his 7 years in the business was the stress factor.

    I am sure the owner gives him shit for salt but it doesn't stop.
     
  12. rbrad

    rbrad

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    Al.........It didn't leave any lasting scars.I worked with him before he opened his restaurant and knew who you were talking about before I saw his name.A lot of guys that worked for that well known successful Italian chef in town do the same thing.When I started a new job there and saw "yellow salt" on the line I always knew they had worked for him or someone that had worked for him.In a region where the people like saltier than average food it worked out well for him......I think I read recently in the online herald that him and the wife sold their whole empire.....also read that Martin did too.
     
  13. allanmcpherson

    allanmcpherson

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    Gotta love "line salt" or "Chicken salt". The B ' s are still in play, just having shifted things around a bit. They do this every few years, divest, retool, repeat. It is funny to watch the trickle down, it's like at least four generations of cooks now. As for Martin he "retired" quite a few years ago. It was complicated. I use the time there as an example of how not to do things. That said, that attitude of mine is a little exaggerated. As much as I am not comfortable with those sort of short cuts, considering the lack of prep space (like none) it was kind of amazing he didn't use more "tricks".