Monday, June 19, 2006

True Life: Kitchen Stories.

I just finished watching "Waiting.." a mediocre movie starring Ryan Renolds. I just wanted to clear up any misconceptions anyone might have over the topics in the movie.
When you go out to eat, could one of the kitchen staff spit on your food, drop it on the ground, tea bag your drink or use your food as a sanitary wipe? Yes. If you are a raging B, it is possible and more likely if the cooks are teenagers. Actually, you don't have to be a B or an A, necessarily. You could just be unlucky. I have seen it happen. Well, I've done it myself, ok?

Please don't look at me like that. I didn't know any better back then. The kitchen was staffed with 17 year-olds, and the supervisor was a grand old 19 years of age. Let me put it this way: If you dropped a steak on the slippery ground, that steak wasn't wasted.

(This is also the place that cleaned every pasta pan in a bucket of water next to the stove. By the end of the night, it turned a gross yellowy-orange colour from the mix of tomato and Alfredo sauces. You could bob to get pieces of chicken, bacon or mushrooms off it's slick oily surface. Yuck.)

We weren't as bad as some- most of the time if a steak or chicken wing flew off the counter, we would "sanitize" it by a quick dip in the 350 degree deep fryer. It was more a matter of keeping the complaints to a minimum than any malice, really. Let me give you an example. You've dropped by your neighbourhood chain restaurant with two of your friends. You order 12 chicken wings, friend #1 has pizza, and friend #2 orders a burger. Every person cooking on the line has to co-ordinate to make these three dishes come up to the pass at the same time. It takes a good 10-12 minutes to fry up an order of 12 wings. While the fry cook is tossing them in hot sauce, one flys out of the bowl and onto the sticky floor.

That guy is going to catch so much s*** for delaying the order by 12 minutes for one chicken wing, he is trying to save his (or her *blush*) neck by picking up that wing and tossing it back in the fryer to 'sanitize". On the flip side, wouldn't you get pissed if your order took too long? Or if it had out minus one wing?

I'm not trying to condone it. I would *never* do it again, being older, wiser, educated, and a restaurant diner. I love going out to eat and I wish I did it more. However, I always sit with my back to the kitchen, because frankly I don't want to see what goes on back there.

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