View Full Version : Kitchen Horror Stories?

01-28-2013, 05:04 AM
Anybody got some kitchen horror stories to share? Here's one that happened to me recently. Spoiler: at least the end is ok...

Two months ago, on a Sunday when I was off, one of my guys got out one of my knives (Kikuichi Warikomi Elite, a great war-horse kitchen knife and at the time one of the best I had) and was using it. Huge faux-pas in and of itself. He carelessly knocked it to the floor where it landed on the solid (not holey) mat- OK, now I'm really pissed- but this chef admitted he had been using it AND that he had dropped it, so as mad as I was once I found out, he had come clean; and no harm, no foul: no tip or handle damage at all. But then... one of the sushi managers was walking by at the time, and he proceeded to STEP ON THE BLADE WITH ONE FOOT AND BEND THE KNIFE UPWARDS BY THE HANDLE WITH HIS OTHER FOOT. When told it was my knife and asked *** he was doing, he bent it back and forth a few times and said," see its metal, its fine". He cracked the blade right where the tang enters the handle- a fairly thick but relatively flexible section of metal, and one that you would have to put some real effort into cracking. I discovered all this about two hours later when I came in to do inventory. 3 people saw it happen, yet mr. sushi mgr lied to my face about it & said he never touched it. He even went so far as to say that the chef who had been using it had broken it dropping it. Cracks at the base of the blade from a 3-foot fall to a soft mat, highly likely!! This guy is supposed to be accountable, set a good example with the rest of us mgrs for the team! There are only four of us managing in the BOH, and we are all pretty tight and work together well; I just couldn't believe it. The unwritten rule had been broken: Don't mess with other people's sh*t!!! The BOH GM & I confronted him about it again the next day & he still lied. GM asked him if he had something against me; he said no, and I can't imagine anything I could've done to piss him off. GM asked him to pay for it because other employees had seen him do it, and he refused. At the end of that infuriating conversation, GM said we would not be speaking about it again & I figured that was it, he just got away with it & now I have to manage this kitchen with someone who I not only don't trust, but have a huge amount of animosity towards. I was madder than I'd been in a long time, and as it was right before Christmas, I knew I also had to wait & use a bent & broken knife for a couple months. After hammering the blade more-or-less straight again with a rubber mallet it was at least useable. I didn't really know what to do; I'd certainly never encountered a situation like this before! He offered me some hand-me-down crappy K-mart blade from his junk drawer, acting like he was doing me some huge favor and not just basically admitting guilt. The guy's got about $4000 in knives, he could have at least offered me something comparable to the knife he broke. Some nerve! 2weeks of fuming and trying to decide what to do later, the regional GM somehow got wind of it & called me up to ask ***. He and the owner were SUPER pissed, and sushi mgr got fired 2days later... 2days before Christmas. Justice... but WHY would you ever do such a thing??? I am still completely baffled, if I see someone else's knife on the ground I'm going to grab it BEFORE someone else steps on it, right?! If he had just been honest about it, he'd still have a job... but actually, I'm glad he lied now, since I DEFINITELY don't want to work with anybody who would do something like that:bat:

01-28-2013, 05:16 AM
And you never left your knives at work again. The end. :biggrin:

01-28-2013, 07:09 AM
i would never leave my knives even if they were crappy ones. they're very personal. =D

if he stayed around i'd make sure he'd eat something undesirable that noone would know about except me.

01-28-2013, 10:33 AM
And you never left your knives at work again. The end. :biggrin:

Having had my knives stolen from my car, on one occasion (while I paid for gas) and knowing the caliber of individual at other places I never understand how people leave their knives at work. This really sucks and i can't believe another member of your management team would do that and blatantly lie. At least you don't have to worry about working with him anymore

01-28-2013, 12:10 PM
Yeah huh? It's almost my fault in the first place for being so dumb. All my guys have been working with me for at least 3years and are trustworthy, one of them made a dumb mistake but owned it. Now my knives live in the locked office when I'm not there. I guess I just expected more from someone on the mgmt team, goes to show you don't really know anyone. Saddening really but i learned my lesson:) At least it wasnt the Yoshikane...

01-28-2013, 12:36 PM
I feel very fortunate that I work with the crew I do. Everyone leaves their knife kits at the restaurant. Because everyone respects eachother, and equally respects their gear. Granted we don't have a huge kitchen staff, but in the last 4.5 years I've been there, no one has messed with anybody else's blades.
Sorry to hear that you had to deal with that. A kitchen for most of us, is akin to a second home(or even a first home, if you put in the hours that I do...), so it's very frustrating when you find a member of the crew is being dishonest. Especially a fellow manager.

01-28-2013, 12:37 PM
Never bet against human nature :)

That still sucks though.

01-28-2013, 02:52 PM
if i leave my case at work ive found a little spot to hide it behind the lockers, i dont mind people borrowing my microplane or peeler but not when im off.

01-28-2013, 06:39 PM
I left my Forschner tomato knife at work one night by mistake, came back after a day off and it was nowhere to be found in the kitchen. Not too bothered about the knife, but it annoys me that I have to work with the kind of people who'll take a 5 knife home with them.. Obviously I can't leave anything at all there, haha.

01-28-2013, 07:25 PM
Some kid stole my Kasumi(brand name) paring knife which I loved. I can't prove he took it, but it disappeared while he was the only person in the kitchen and we were all off-site working parties. I didn't realize it until the end of the night -he had long since left.
I take my knife bag home with me every time no matter what. Even if I'm only able to leave to sleep for a couple of hours. I try to never leave it in my car or out of sight. I'm not keen on anyone touching it at all. I've had service staff just throw it in the back of the cargo van. Or squish it and crunch it in trunks and doors. IDIOTS!!!!
I left my Tojiro bread knife out next to my bag a couple of weeks ago. I came around the corner after washing dishes for a few(this is off-site) and the service staff had taken to cutting snacky-size pieces of leftover steak on the stainless countertop. Wow ! and everyone knows this is not acceptable. I lost my s-word.
Like Bruce Banner...."You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
At least 8 people came and used my knife on top of a metal tabletop. I want to poop on all of them.
Like Bourdain says in Kitchen Confidential- "Don't touch my ****, Don't touch my knife!"

02-01-2013, 02:46 AM
Brainsausage, That's the kitchen I thought I worked in until about a month ago. That feeling is starting to return for me (though my knives will, I think, forever live in the office when I'm off). I really do have a very good, honest crew and the sushi bar (the other kitchen) is staffed with the same. Just a fluke jackass I guess, it's gonna happen from time to time. Makes me appreciate the solid peeps that much more...

mr drinky
02-01-2013, 11:51 AM
I want to poop on all of them.

I almost made this my signature line.


02-01-2013, 08:54 PM
I don't mind people using my knives if they ask, but it does piss me off if I get a very short break and don't bother putting my knives away and come back to find them covered in stuff and all over the kitchen. There is also the time this happened (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/8601-Pet-peeves?p=154524&viewfull=1#post154524) to my beloved Konosuke