Your worst nightmare....


Founder of
Staff member
Joined Oct 5, 2001
When I was coming up through the ranks I had the very common experience of working for a real nightmare of a chef. The guy was an excellent chef, and actually pretty fun to hang out with when he was sober. But, he really put me through the paces. On one night I was learning how to flip something in a saute pan, and this guy made me toast a piece of bread, put it in a small saute pan, and walk up and down the line flipping the toast over and over. I had to do it a hundred times before I was allowed to clean up and go home.

Anybody else have some wild learning experiences?

Best Regards,

[email protected]
Joined May 14, 1999
I used to work for Chef Wolfgang (not Puck) in a fine restaurant in NYC, and this guy was a monster. He spoke with this dramatic German accent and subscribed to Soldier of Fortune Magazine. I am not kidding. He would spend the night in the chef's office reading this rag, day after day. He also read these military training manuals; real US Army publications. I have no clue were he got this stuff. No matter the weather, he wore a full length black leather coat and black leather boots that went to his knees.

He would never say hello or greet me in anyway (I was his Sous). I would say "good morning chef Wolfgang" and he would respond: "Vot are your specials today!" The man proved Darwin wrong. Anyway, NYC is all union, and we had this one grill man that our succession of executive chefs each hated, but he was so tight with the union nobody could terminate him. One day Wolfgang resolved to fire this wise guy, and when he announced this I laughed at Wolfgang out loud (big mistake). Wolfgang was furious that I laughed at him, and I thought that I was surely going to be killed.

Wolfgang waited until the weekend, and ran 10 complex dinner specials, all on the grill station! The kid went down in flames (of course). Wolfgang did this several weekends in a row, and then fired him for substandard performance.

Afterwards, my own life was a living **** (payback time for doubting him I suppose). I ran the saute station because it had the wheel, and he did the same thing to me. I resigned in protest. But I'll tell you this much: Wolfgang taught me how to swim through very dirty water when it comes to dealing with the union's favorites.
Joined Sep 3, 1999
Chef Ron- I work for a hotel in NY, and I can't begin to tell you how many times they tried to fore my butt. Fortunately I fought back and brought in the union. They tried to get me by also cutting my ovetime. I sued them with the union and won my case with a pretty nice settlement. My boss is also German but not fanatical as yours was, although I do see some similarities. Bottom line is that if you ***** enough and get the union behind you you can put their *** in place. They did this all because I am the highest paid in the kitchen and it eats them up.
Joined May 29, 1999
kids, don't try this one at home:
I took on a pastry chef position in a hotel right out of school. lasted 9 months.
bad idea.
would love to have that job now............ 12 years later.
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