Weird requests from diners

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by shichangchu, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. shichangchu

    shichangchu

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    Kind of new here and I loved reading the thread about ridiculous and crazy complaints people have had. I was wondering if anyone had any strange or nonsensical requests from diners. This is mine.

    I was working as a sous chef at a country club and there was one couple that were members everyone hated, both staff and CC members. That night he came in and said his meal sucked the night before and he had a couple requests/critiques for his meal tonight that we should follow. The previous night he ordered a scallop dish (scallops were done medium rare) and his wife ordered a stuffed salmon. The waitress brought back the ticket literally scratching her head. She hands me the ticket and it reads. “Scallops, cooked WELL, WELL done but not rubbery. Doesn’t like that taste of salmon so don’t make it taste like salmon” I kind of scratched my head and we start passing the tickets up and down the line and everyone gets very confused but slightly amused. Finally, I call for the attention of both the waitstaff and kitchen and simply ask, “Okay, does anyone here know how to change the biological makeup of seafood?”

    In the end, I cooked both dishes the exact same way but sinfully drowned both in sauce and he loved it. Unfortunately, since his suggestions were such a “success” that became only round 1.

    Anyone else have similar experiences?
     
  2. bazza

    bazza

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    I think I have posted this one before;

    Diner. The mushroom risotto, what exactly is that?

    Waitress. Well it has a mix of sauteed wild mushrooms and some tarragon sir.

    Diner. I love mushrooms, so what is the risotto part?

    Waitress. Risotto its rice sir, risotto is a rice dish.

    Diner. Oh I see, can I have the mushroom risotto then, but without the rice please.
     
    trooper likes this.
  3. chefross

    chefross

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    To say that my boss is picky would be an understatement, but even your example beats that.  
     
  4. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    Just yesterday I had a man come into our coffee shop and request a large latte "but without much milk." 

    I gave him a confused look and asked if he might prefer a cappuccino.

    Thankfully, he was satisfied.
     
  5. lentil

    lentil

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    You would really hate me as a coffee customer!  I drink locally roasted,  plain old unflavored coffee.  Black.  If it's after noon, I drink decaf.  Sometimes when I find myself in the mood for something different and in a "real" coffee shop, I am completely lost.  I feel like I've lost my ability to read and comprehend.  Know what I end up with?  Black coffee.   sigh
     
  6. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    I wouldn't hate you at all Lentil. We sell mostly just that-straight coffee brewed perfectly. 

    Though we get quite a few people who love espresso drinks.

    We make them, but the value of a latte is beyond me. It's mostly milk with a little espresso thrown in. 

    Starbucks has convinced everyone that overly roasted cheap coffee is good, and that if you throw a quart of steamed milk on top it's even better-bleacchhh!

    Consequently, most don't even bother with the lighter roasts which usually have much more complex flavor profiles-I think of our Guatemalan in particular that tastes a little like chocolate, ancho chili, coffee with a little zing of citrus all rolled into one rich cup. Yum.

    We make our espresso drinks authentically-a single cappuccino totals 3 ounces-1 espresso, 1 steamed milk and 1 frothed milk.

    People wonder why it's so small when they get a 12 ounce (the smallest is called a "tall"?!?!?!) at Starsucks that has as much like coffee as if they had waved a bag of unground beans over the cup.
     
  7. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Foodnfoto, you would like this one, I'm a brewed coffee drinker, was at a starbucks early one morning while working on the road, very tired with little sleep, patiently waiting in line for all the fru fru coffe drinkers to place their orders, the woman in front of me ordered something along the lines of a half caf, nonfat latte, extra hot, light foam, some sort of flavoring and get this..... half a pack of sweet & low and half pack of sugar in the raw!...I lost it.. when she turned around, I asked her why she couldn't put her own effin sugar in the coffee!

    Your Guatemalan sound right up my alley... whith a splash of 1/2 & 1/2.
     
  8. lentil

    lentil

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    I agree!  The Guatamalan sounds too good to be true!  I could use one of those right now!  My husband, while perfect /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif in many ways, buys the cheapest coffee on the market.  After a pot of that on a Sunday, I'm happy to go back to work!
     
  9. old man sam

    old man sam

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    just the other day a lady asked if i could do vegetarian fish and chips as she felt left out when dinning with her guests at our fish and chip restaurant shes coming back in two weeks any suggestions,but hears a cracker a mother phoned in to book a table for her daughters birthday ,but asked for extra care to be taken when preparing her daughters food as she was allergic to seafood,called her back to state we are a seafood restaurants and maybe it wasn't the best idea in the world to have your kids party, maybe a different  themed restaurant would be better for your daughters health ,her answer was, i like seafood , hold the bus hear ,who's birthday was it again.
     
  10. prairiechef

    prairiechef

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    Eggs, sunny side up, but I don't want my yolks runny.

    Steak, rare, no blood.

    Salmon WELL, WELL done, "slightly crisp" (sent back because it was dry.)

    Eggs benedict, no back bacon, I'm trying to cut back on fat.
     
  11. shichangchu

    shichangchu

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    I forgot one of my favorite that I still hear. Hollandaise but very hot, like boiling hot.
     
  12. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Yup, jst like my Mom used to make--NOT!!

     
     
  13. trooper

    trooper

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    Some of the odd "Food allergies" are upsetting. It seems that if you just don't like something - you have an allergy?

    People who don't know if they are vegitarian, vegan or pescatarian are hard to please.

    Is butter authorized this week, Sunshine Sally?  No? But fish is ok? How about fish cooked in butter-lemon sauce?

       - OK then. But no egg or cheese-based sides.

    Alright!

    One Fish-o-tarian plate to the window!

    OMFG.

    Or someone with a deadly nut allergy complains about having to scrape walnuts off of a creme friache-dipped fig with walnut-crumble coating.

     OMFG x 10.

        "Yeah, I hope that only results in MINOR swelling of your airway, sir."  SEND IT BACK next time!
     
  14. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    It seems that if you just don't like something - you have an allergy?

    So true, Trooper. But it's just human nature, I reckon, to make things more dramatic. Ever meet anybody at a party who suffered type A lower back pain? Of course not. That isn't as sexy as a pinched nerve or a herniated disc.

    Or, remember the early days of the anti-smoking movement? Anybody who didn't like the smell of smoke claimed to be allergic.

    Samee-same with food allergies. "I don't care for X" is nowhere near as sexy as "I'm allergic to." But some nights it must be that everyone in the world suffering from a particular allergy is in your place. How else explain it, when so few people actually have food allergies? Here, for instance, are some representative figures. In each case we're talking about the percentage of the U.S. population that suffers from them. I'm starting with nut allergies, because those are the most fasionable nowadays:

    Peanuts: 0.6%

    Tree nuts: 0.5%

    Milk: 2.5%

    Fish & shellfish: 2.4%

    Eggs: 1.3%

    Soy: 0.4%

    Wheat: 0.4%

    I've been trying, unsuccessfully, to find the figures for mushrooms, because that's getting to be almost as popular as peanuts.

    The fish & shellfish category is kind of misleading, too, because it's not pure. Somebody can be allergic to shellfish but not finned fish, for instance. Or even allergic to one type of shellfish and not others. A friend of mine, for instance, is allergic to scallops (which, unfortunately, he dearly loves) but not shrimp, clams, oysters or mussels. Go figure.

    Understand, I am not belittling people who truly suffer from food allergies. Far from it. One of my kids grew up allergic to a long list of food products. But the actual number of such people is belied by the significantly higher number of people who claim to be allergic when they're not.
     
  15. trooper

    trooper

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     Yah - the Gluten thing is really fashionable now. I saw a "Gluten Free Pizza Dough" the other day. Seriosuly?
     
  16. gunnar

    gunnar

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    actually, yes it is. my wife is gluten intolerant...not celiac, just intolerant. Headaches, bloating, cramps from mild to downright interfering with her day.  Admittedly I used to get pretty upset with her, as I do all the cooking, but I have seen the results of her being gluten free for a couple of years now.  Other then sourdough bread the only thing she really misses is pizza. A place around here makes a gluten free crust, it's a bit grainy, but honestly, it's pretty good. Totally worth the look of pleasure on her face when she gets a big bite of pepperoni and melted cheese. fashionable? hardly, but a good option.
     
  17. katbalou

    katbalou

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     sigh.yup. allergies it bites to be me. I have celiac(no gluten) while not a "true" wheat allergy, still can't have it. seafood is out, so are shellfish. most wines and mushrooms. the allergy in the wines and mushrooms is to high levels of sufites, both added and naturally occuring. Never mind all the medications I can't take. My reactions are such that I stop breathing, and I do like breathing. So am I a pain in the butt when I go out? not really. I usually am considerate enough to venture out early or on the slower nights of the week. I ask for the gluten free menu options(surprising how many places have this now) or I stick to steak and baked potato, no sauces or extra junk. And I make sure to ask how everything is prepared.

     Took a long time to figure out the main problem(celiac) but I feel so much better now. So it's definitely not a "fashionable "thing. And seeing that it affects 1% of the population it could be a good item to market if you can do it right. Sometimes describing celiac as an allergy is the only way to expain it.
     
  18. trooper

    trooper

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    I take food allergies very seriously - as I'm sure we all do. I've often thougt about how to work in a "Special Menu" or "Special Menu Options" that could be easily integrated into a menu plan with out waste or undue complication. Honestly, I think the current strategy is *maybe* have one or two things on the menu flagged as veg/diabetic/low-cal - but everything else is driven by special orders from the customer, based on what they see as a starting point on the regular menu.

    If a chef could wow customers with a full "Alternate" menu - for veg, pesc, vegan, diabetic, gluten, low-cal, PKU, Kosher, etc... I bet they could almost convert to that menu completely once the word got out, and make money hand over fist. Now: Who among you Executive Chefs are up to the task?  :D
     
     
  19. momandchef

    momandchef

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    I have a shellfish allergy, I had an anaphalatic reaction to shrimp when I was 17, never had an issue before that (not like I ate tons of shellfish anyway) but the ER doctor at the time told me to stay away from shellfish all together. That said, being allergic to shellfish I do NOT go to Joe's Crab Shack (or similar) and expect the menu to be changed for me. I just avoid those places.

    I worked at a steak house in California and had a vegan couple come in and have dinner. All they could basically have was salad with oil and vinegar and steamed veggies (no butter) and they were indignant that we didn't have any vegan dishes on the menu. AT A STEAKHOUSE.

    I do love the "Doesn't like salmon so don't make it taste like salmon" That is classic.
     
  20. iceman

    iceman

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    WOW. I'm not so sure about this "gluten-free" idea. I worked for a while with a guy who had it nailed down solid. I remember doing an Easter Sunday brunch that had +/- 400 covers. He had it set up with so there was a gluten-free equivalent for almost every dish we put out. Those dishes were very very good. We had a really happy/satisfied crowd all day.