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jbl
01-29-2013, 10:23 AM
So, what's the worst thing you've seen in a kitchen?

Mine; I was a commis working a large function and saw a CDP, realising he was in the proverbial and a carrot down, taking one out of a veal stock pan to garnish the last plate of bourgignon.

Another, worked with a guy so lazy he tried clingfilming every surface so he wouldn't have to clean down after service

shaneg
01-29-2013, 04:08 PM
A chef was a crumbed and stuffed chicken breast down, so in the deep fryer then microwave for 5 mins the in the fryer again.

He forgot a steak, so seared it in a hot pan, in the microwave then on the flat plate with a few hot grill plates on it to squash it.

Vertigo
01-29-2013, 04:16 PM
Wait, this stuff is bad? Sounds like SOP where I'm from, boys. Lol.

jbl
10-04-2013, 08:42 PM
c’mon guys, there must be some great stories out there!

Von blewitt
10-04-2013, 09:24 PM
My favourite cowboy story ( I never witnessed it, but it came from a reliable source) place an entire box of eggs 180 ish eggs into the bowl of the Hobart mixer ( large planetary mixer ) pulse a few times to smash all the shells, than pass through a fine chinois to remove all the shell.

Chuckles
10-04-2013, 10:24 PM
Oh yeah. That happens. Scary. Worked for a Chef who walked out on a hotel Chef job because HR wouldn't let him fire a guy who did that. Union.

brainsausage
10-04-2013, 10:34 PM
Watched my chef pull a filet mignon and run it under cold water to keep it from going over temp...

cord_steele
10-04-2013, 11:40 PM
How about John Belushi (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQxHe2CT-ec) cutting stuff with a samurai sword on SNL?

turbochef422
10-04-2013, 11:42 PM
I fired a guy for washing the cheese of a cheese burger then sold the burger and left the hand washing sink clogged with cheese.

Mrmnms
10-04-2013, 11:46 PM
My favourite cowboy story ( I never witnessed it, but it came from a reliable source) place an entire box of eggs 180 ish eggs into the bowl of the Hobart mixer ( large planetary mixer ) pulse a few times to smash all the shells, than pass through a fine chinois to remove all the shell.

It works for sure

wellminded1
10-04-2013, 11:48 PM
I fired a guy for washing the cheese of a cheese burger then sold the burger and left the hand washing sink clogged with cheese.


We must of worked with the same guy???? Same kitchen I seen a guy spill beef jus on the line , then proceed to take the mop and use it to wipe the line.

Mrmnms
10-04-2013, 11:55 PM
I was a student manager at a huge dining commons in college. Late one night, I went back in, trying to get my stuff for writing schedules, and caught the manager and his protege assistant, Betsy, a charming 250+ pound young lady, trying to figure out (failing)how to use our biggest steam kettle as a bubble bath. I kept mouth shut. My friends and I ate like kings that semester.

jbl
10-05-2013, 06:11 AM
Great stuff!

jai
10-05-2013, 08:15 AM
ive seen a chef wipe raw fish juice up and use the same cloth for wiping a dessert plate..

Dusty
10-05-2013, 11:24 AM
Mash postato in a Hobart is common, but makes me sad when i see it.

A la minúte cauliflower purée by dumping a head of cauli into a thermomix :(

No creme fraiche? Just hang some sour cream...

This frittata needs more flour so it won't break.

All of those were the same chef too.

Geo87
10-07-2013, 07:48 AM
Yeah, mash potato in Hobart seems common. The worst part is the looks these people give when they see you passing mash through a drum seive . Or roasting the potatoes on a bed of rock salt. Almost like, is this guy stupid or what? Hmmm lumpy watery mash anyone? Or smooth & creamy. Sigh

The weirdest and somewhat controversial thing I've seen that I'm 90% sure is dodgey but some otherwise good cooks swear by this method: custard cooked till its a big disgusting scrambled eggie mess, then purée in a blender and pass . Smooth shiney custard. Still sets my cowboy dectector off like crazy.

Dogeyist things I've witnessed. Braised meat "refreshed" in a pot of dirty boiling water .

Deep frying chippolatas . Washing the wrong sauce off meat & re sausing.
The list goes on.... But it's just too disturbing

NO ChoP!
10-07-2013, 09:01 AM
How about rinsing and patting dry smelly meat and fish....

Adding bachemel to broken hollandaise...

Adding sugar to something that's been over salted...

Had a chef touch a resting steak, proclaim it was under, and proceeded to squeeze the daylights out of it, in his hands as juices dripped from it...

Lefty
10-07-2013, 09:25 AM
Not so much a cowboy trick, but it's still one that makes me cringe/laugh whenever I think about it: The owner of a nice chophouse I worked at would occasionally lose it on anyone who dropped a plate (if the owner was, at the time, coming down from his last line of blow). We'd hear crashing in the distance, and we'd peek through the windows to see a 250 Greek man throwing dinner plate after dinner plate, like a frisbee, towards the feet of the offender. As he would do this, we'd hear, "4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24...should I keep going? 28, 32...oh hell, 36. Now we're up to $40 with the plate you dropped. You drop another one today and you're fired!"

The funny thing is, he was a great guy to work for 90% of the time and I considered working or him again when he opened up his second butcher shop/deli.

Lefty
10-07-2013, 09:26 AM
Not so much a cowboy trick, but it's still one that makes me cringe/laugh whenever I think about it: The owner of a nice chophouse I worked at would occasionally lose it on anyone who dropped a plate (if the owner was, at the time, coming down from his last line of blow). We'd hear crashing in the distance, and we'd peek through the windows to see a 250lb Greek man throwing dinner plate after dinner plate, like a frisbee, towards the feet of the offender. As he would do this, we'd hear, "4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24...should I keep going? 28, 32...oh hell, 36. Now we're up to $40 with the plate you dropped. You drop another one today and you're fired!"

The funny thing is, he was a great guy to work for 90% of the time and I considered working or him again when he opened up his second butcher shop/deli.

berko
10-07-2013, 11:54 AM
he tried clingfilming every surface so he wouldn't have to clean down after service

i know this guy :D

jayhay
10-07-2013, 11:55 AM
Just read down a bit. Good stuff.

https://twitter.com/SryThomasKeller

aaamax
10-07-2013, 02:39 PM
Some good shiiit.
I'm still amazed that more people don't get food poisoning.
How many times I've seen down time during service and cooks prepping raw chicken to go right back to service and plating.
My favorite was a real hands-on owner that would move/replace the rubber mats in the toilets and then come back into kitchen and "help." Or the guys that love to wear the plasti gloves all day and take out trash and come right back to working... flippin' amazing.
I eat at restaurants without any issue, but I will NOT eat food at any place I'm working at unless I made it. A good case of "what you don't know..."

panda
10-08-2013, 02:39 AM
why are these things called 'cowboy tricks'? i just call it griminess.

chefcomesback
10-08-2013, 03:04 AM
Cowboy is a term used a lot to describe "not so good chefs" in UK and Australia. Most of the replies and OP are from those countries listed. Equivalent off that term in US would be "shoemaker" or "zapatero" depending on your crew

Dusty
10-08-2013, 09:01 AM
Why 'shoemaker'? I saw this term today on Reddit and didn't get it at all.

chefcomesback
10-08-2013, 09:27 AM
No idea , if anybody knows please chime in

hobbitling
10-08-2013, 10:22 AM
Maybe their food has the taste and texture of a piece of shoe leather?

Mrmnms
10-08-2013, 10:33 AM
anyone ever use the term "slop jockey?"

JDA_NC
10-08-2013, 10:36 AM
Just read down a bit. Good stuff.

https://twitter.com/SryThomasKeller

LMAO

That is comedy gold right there... Too funny.

I worked at a 'fine dining' French restaurant in California very, very briefly that was ran by some complete crooks. Some of their practices were straight illegal but it was a gold mine of beautiful shoemaking.

All of their purees - which were more like large, dry bricks that you'd pick up in a pan and make stupid looking football size quenelles w/ hatchmarks - were kept for weeks

Frozen veal bones were always broken apart on a sheet tray in the dish floor with a hammer by the dishwasher... Lot of floor spice there

On 'busy' weekend nights, the Chef himself would sandbag 10-20 orders of the two pasta dishes a night... just letting them sit in lukewarm sauce for hours. Delicious.

Everything was stored in XL ziploc bags. Everything. All veg, all proteins, even mussels. So everything also had a nice pool of liquid it was constantly submerged in.... which also doubles as veg stock in some situations.

During service I was told to cook/re-heat 90% of the veg by putting it on a cold plate and letting it ride in the 500 degree oven for a few minutes.... ***

----

Beyond that, the worst thing I've probably seen was at a barbecue restaurant here in NC. We cooked whole (or half) hogs and during the summer one of them got left in the refrigerated van all day while it was off. As you can imagine, being left to slowly sit in some sticky 100+ degree heat for hours, the thing was all shriveled and stunk to f-ing high heaven. At the end of the night, the cook in charge of the pits brings the damn thing in the kitchen and throws it on the prep table like he's about to put it on. I ask him plainly *** he thinks he's doing and he goes, "no, it's okay guey" and proceeds to pour a pitcher of hot water on the hog... which instead of washing the smell off, intensifies the smell 10x. To this day, probably the worst thing I've ever smelled in the kitchen.

chefcomesback
10-08-2013, 10:45 AM
"no, it's okay guey":rofl2:"
It reminded me my old saute cook , who we called Mr.Gepetto since he was the master of shoemaking. When I walked in the kitchen (he was a lunch cook) the smell of burnt garlic would confirm : yep , Walter is working today... :cheffry:

banjo1071
10-09-2013, 09:43 AM
I always thought Geppetto was a carpenter....

chefcomesback
10-09-2013, 09:48 AM
Don't exactly remenber how but Mr.Gepetto got stuck , you are right he was carpenter

CoqaVin
10-09-2013, 11:43 AM
"no, it's okay guey":rofl2:"
It reminded me my old saute cook , who we called Mr.Gepetto since he was the master of shoemaking. When I walked in the kitchen (he was a lunch cook) the smell of burnt garlic would confirm : yep , Walter is working today... :cheffry:

I don't know if you call this cowboy tricks but....

Nothing against Mexicans but they SWEAR they know what they are doing and stuff its kind of funny being the only "WHITE" guy its funny watching these guys just look at recipes and follow them to a T

evanjohnson
10-09-2013, 12:15 PM
Chef used a mop bucket and wringer to squeeze water out of some previously frozen spinach- claims it was a CLEAN bucket and wringer

brainsausage
10-09-2013, 12:22 PM
anyone ever use the term "slop jockey?"

Yup, they're residents of the slop shop, or the hack shack typically.

swarth
10-09-2013, 01:52 PM
I shouldn't read this forum .

panda
10-10-2013, 01:26 AM
man i love this thread, keep it going! especially liked the story about guy plastic wrapping his station as to not have to wipe down after service.

jbl
10-10-2013, 04:28 AM
Same guy used to microwave everything for 30secs to 'bring it up to room' before pan roasting

panda
10-10-2013, 02:49 PM
gross, even fish?

jbl
10-10-2013, 03:46 PM
Eeeverything, he was the long established sous at a kitchen I was brought in to head up. Excruciating

tkern
10-10-2013, 04:29 PM
Shoe making comes from a couple hundred years ago as a blanket term for anyone who was an unskilled hack at their job. Now, it's mainly used in restaurants.

jbl
10-10-2013, 04:47 PM
One I heard was someone in the weeds needing creme anglaise hot for banquet desserts and this custard really was not getting hot, so the guy shoe-horned the centre of the solid top into the pan... Mmmmm, extra vanilla seeds

turbochef422
10-10-2013, 05:01 PM
Again not a cowboy trick but more of a story I worked with a kid who came to me upset because he over cooked a tray of lobster tails. I asked him what happened and he said he kept cooking them because the meat hadn't popped out of the shell yet. That's when I realized he didn't prep them and thought the meat sat On top of the shell when it was done like a turkey timer. Thanks god I wasn't the chef there just a line cook

brainsausage
10-10-2013, 05:43 PM
Same guy used to microwave everything for 30secs to 'bring it up to room' before pan roasting

'Microwave'? Don't you mean 'America Oven'?

knyfeknerd
10-10-2013, 05:49 PM
'Microwave'? Don't you mean 'America Oven'?

Nope, it's called "Chef Mike".

Lucretia
10-10-2013, 06:48 PM
Again not a cowboy trick but more of a story I worked with a kid who came to me upset because he over cooked a tray of lobster tails. I asked him what happened and he said he kept cooking them because the meat hadn't popped out of the shell yet. That's when I realized he didn't prep them and thought the meat sat On top of the shell when it was done like a turkey timer. Thanks god I wasn't the chef there just a line cook

Nothing to do with cooking, but it reminds me of the time a fresh out of school kid was all upset because a whole box of washers was broken. (They were lock washers.)

jgraeff
10-10-2013, 07:36 PM
I've seen plenty of stuff like this

One guy I saw dropped a stuff flounder that landed flat on a dirty greasy floor and without missing a step scooped it up onto a plate.

Same guy dropped a steak into the trash next to the grill and pulled it out wiped it off and served it. I ended up walking out if that place, the manager would clean the honey pot and without changing clothes or washing up come prep good.

Another place guys would micorwave everything from king crab to scrambled eggs

I've seen guys cook corn in the dirty water in the bottom of a steamer.

I've watched a chef slice a rare ny strip and sear it on the flattop and try to put it back together and cover it with sauce and garnish

Some really low standards out there.

brainsausage
10-10-2013, 09:22 PM
The chef owner of a complete shitshow that I worked at a few years back, received a phone call. So I brought the cordless phone back to him, he was in the midst of wrecking some halibut and just grabbed the phone with fish goo all over his bare hands. Gave me the full body shudder imagining how many other parts of the restaurant he'd touched with goo-some hands. I also watched him stand in the main entry way next to a table of customers that he was familiar with, and have a 15 minute conversation, whilst holding a chunk of raw pork loin in a shallow half pan. Mind you- he was holding it off to the side so every customer that walked into the restaurant had to witness this. he was also on his way home. With a naked piece of pork, in a pan...

Mucho Bocho
10-11-2013, 06:36 PM
I've seen a cook replace the milk in pancake batter with his own fresh warm urine. Sick bastard, but he could kick my ass so what could I do.

Mucho Bocho
10-11-2013, 06:39 PM
I've seen a cook replace the milk in pancake batter with his own fresh warm urine. Sick bastard, but he could kick my ass so what could I do. At least he didn't add any salt to the batter.:scared4:

statusquo
10-11-2013, 07:45 PM
I've seen a cook replace the milk in pancake batter with his own fresh warm urine. Sick bastard, but he could kick my ass so what could I do. At least he didn't add any salt to the batter.:scared4:

Despicable

rdm_magic
10-11-2013, 07:48 PM
How did the pancakes come out?

Jbone
10-11-2013, 10:38 PM
we call ours chef mike

ThEoRy
10-11-2013, 11:10 PM
Yo, Mike knows how to cook sh1t pretty fast.

Dusty
10-11-2013, 11:34 PM
Chef de ping!

Dusty
10-14-2013, 09:10 AM
Just thought of one more for this thread. Scrambled eggs, made on an espresso machine with the milk steaming wand.

I worked as a barista when I was at uni, this was at my first day at a job, dodgy cook walks out with eggs in a stainless milkshake cup, it had been going on for years. At the end of the day I took apart the coffee machine there was years of built up egg mix lining the inside of the pipes running from the boiler, just horrible.

Geo87
10-14-2013, 09:14 AM
Waw that brought back memory's 8 years ago I saw exactly the same thing!
The worst part is the coffee machine is almost always in full view of the customers!!
Shudder

Chuckles
10-14-2013, 10:22 AM
Espresso machine eggs! That is really creative. I am trying to figure out how that makes life easier for anybody. It wouldn't even reduce the number of dirty dishes would it? I like the idea in the abstract but what is the practical advantage? Does it make really good eggs or something?

brainsausage
10-14-2013, 11:01 AM
Speaking of eggs- A buddy of mine worked with this guy who every morning would make himself a large omelette comprised of twenty or so quail eggs! This went on for a 6 weeks or so, and the chef eventually found out and fired the guy for it. On his way out the guy says: 'it was worth it! When will I ever be able to have quail egg omelettes for six weeks straight ever again!' Thought that was pretty awesome...

panda
10-15-2013, 09:37 PM
holy crap that's horrific, good thing i dont drink espresso or any other fancy shmancy coffee product, straight up unadulterated black drip coffee for me.

tkern
10-15-2013, 10:54 PM
holy crap that's horrific, good thing i dont drink espresso or any other fancy shmancy coffee product, straight up unadulterated black drip coffee for me.

First restaurant I worked at,our coffee was so cheap and bad that the owners would put salt in the grounds to make it drinkable

Mucho Bocho
10-16-2013, 07:40 AM
Tkern, actually adding a dash of salt to coffee is an old trick. Takes the bitterness away immediately. I'm with Panda, I prefer black drip too.

JohnnyChance
10-16-2013, 12:08 PM
holy crap that's horrific, good thing i dont drink espresso or any other fancy shmancy coffee product, straight up unadulterated black drip coffee for me.

Black drip, soda water, beer, whiskey. Basically all we drink.

Mrmnms
10-16-2013, 12:11 PM
Black drip, soda water, beer, whiskey. Basically all we drink. At the same time?!

JohnnyChance
10-16-2013, 12:13 PM
Sometimes.

Mrmnms
10-16-2013, 12:20 PM
I'm impressed! :D

stevenStefano
10-16-2013, 12:37 PM
When you understand half power on the microwave its possible uses are endless

CoqaVin
10-16-2013, 12:40 PM
Chef Mike!

tkern
10-16-2013, 01:08 PM
Tkern, actually adding a dash of salt to coffee is an old trick. Takes the bitterness away immediately. I'm with Panda, I prefer black drip too.

Not a dash. More like 1/2 a cup

Mucho Bocho
10-16-2013, 01:13 PM
Not a dash. More like 1/2 a cup

LOVE IT

MrCoffee
10-24-2013, 11:31 PM
Ice-cream scoop +duck fat + martini glass + garnish.

Chefget
10-25-2013, 06:00 PM
My favourite cowboy story ( I never witnessed it, but it came from a reliable source) place an entire box of eggs 180 ish eggs into the bowl of the Hobart mixer ( large planetary mixer ) pulse a few times to smash all the shells, than pass through a fine chinois to remove all the shell.

This was our standard procedure at a major hotel...the health inspector saw it and almost peed herself......

jbl
10-26-2013, 09:09 AM
Surely can't be much quicker than breaking eggs by hand?!

jbl
10-26-2013, 09:12 AM
Pretty much any UK restaurant that has 4 fixed seasonal menus a year and lists English asparagus on their summer menu is definitely using Peruvian for the last few weeks of the menu...

Mrmnms
10-26-2013, 10:02 AM
Surely can't be much quicker than breaking eggs by hand?!
Yeah, it is

jbl
10-26-2013, 05:34 PM
I don't buy it. Time taken to wash Hobart and pass eggs vs an egg in each hand. I'd take a bet on that

brainsausage
10-26-2013, 05:39 PM
My money's on the Hobart. Sorry John Henry...

Mrmnms
10-26-2013, 07:50 PM
I don't buy it. Time taken to wash Hobart and pass eggs vs an egg in each hand. I'd take a bet on that
Knock yourself out and try 180 or more eggs by hand vs a Hobart for jollies. I refused to use a mixer as a young new sous chef, insisting on cracking by hand. I thought using the mixer was disgusting. The rest of the crew was amused, puzzled on had since moved on to other prep while I skillfully cracked eggs. In all fairness, I wasn't washing anything when I was done.

panda
10-27-2013, 02:11 AM
all i gotta say is eww and lol @ same time

Von blewitt
10-27-2013, 02:27 AM
I have no doubt its faster but it's also incredibly unhygienic!

Geo87
10-27-2013, 07:44 AM
I'm not gunna try it , but how much faster is it... ?? Really... Surely to pass those eggs with all the shell grit mixed in might take a little while.... Plus washing the Hobart . 180 eggs isn't that much...
I couldn't imagine it being more than a few minutes faster. Unless your really crap at cracking eggs.

Mrmnms
10-27-2013, 05:02 PM
+1!
I have no doubt its faster but it's also incredibly unhygienic!

barramonday
10-28-2013, 09:10 AM
One that sticks in my mind is from when I did stint of temping for an agency in the late nineties .
So I get sent to a large suburban pub with a kitchen preparing both ala carte meals and food for bain marie carvery thing. Turned out the head chef was a real fan of deep fryers, the steamed potatoes, pumkin and carrots for the carvery were all fried ( better than roasting he said). Once service had started ,the call for more peas for the carvery came I was instructed to fry them , I had to ask several times what he said as I thought, no really? He yells, Are you deaf man? ,dip them peas (frozen) in the oil and send em out .

Von blewitt
10-28-2013, 06:02 PM
( better than roasting he said).

I think he's confused between better & easier.

Von blewitt
10-28-2013, 06:03 PM
Double Post

Mrmnms
10-28-2013, 08:40 PM
Hmmm , peas in a fryer. Must have splattered something fierce. Real health food.

jbl
10-29-2013, 11:42 AM
peas in a fryer?! jesus!

jbl
10-29-2013, 11:43 AM
what I don’t get about these guys is why be a chef?! There are easier ways to earn a living. Surely the only way to make sense of long hours, stress, dangerous environment is if you love what you do, and take pride in that.

jbl
10-29-2013, 11:43 AM
Actually, maybe the guy loved and was proud of his fried peas

Geo87
10-30-2013, 01:46 AM
Actually, maybe the guy loved and was proud of his fried peas

Perhaps he just liked making the deep fryer spit oil at him ?
This made me think of something , I saw bacon for Caesar put it the fryer once.... Yup ;)

labor of love
10-30-2013, 02:18 AM
I don't buy it. Time taken to wash Hobart and pass eggs vs an egg in each hand. I'd take a bet on that
i whip up 40 or even 50 egg hollandiases all the time. it really takes me a minute or two to crack and separate 40 egg yolks. true story. of all short cuts, this one is lost on me.

Geo87
10-30-2013, 07:01 AM
i whip up 40 or even 50 egg hollandiases all the time. it really takes me a minute or two to crack and separate 40 egg yolks. true story. of all short cuts, this one is lost on me.

That is a lot of hollandaise! How many plates is that for? Like 300? Function? Or a lot of eggs benedict lovers ;)

2 minutes eh... That is quick , but believable.... Ish ... one egg every 2-3 seconds.

labor of love
11-03-2013, 12:56 AM
yeah. for the weekends at my former job we would go through alot of of holly. cracking an egg and separating an egg about evey 2 seconds sounds about right.

Dardeau
11-03-2013, 01:34 PM
Galatoires Baton Rouge? That's a lot of hollandaise.

labor of love
11-03-2013, 11:15 PM
i cant remember how much holly i would make at galatoires. but at robertos and mansurs, it was usually a 30-50 yolk hollandiase for the weekends. ofcourse that includes bernaise,choron, creolaise and whatever else we mightve been using.

rdm_magic
11-04-2013, 09:16 AM
What method do you use to do it so fast? I don't doubt you can do it, I'm just having a hard time thinking of a way to do it so fast..

labor of love
11-04-2013, 09:20 AM
crack an egg,hold the yolk in your hand and allow for some space between your index finger and middle finger and the egg white should separate itself and fall off of the yolk. if you have poor quality eggs(many restaurants do) the egg white wont be very firm at all, but be very watery instead. which makes the process even quicker.

brainsausage
11-04-2013, 03:20 PM
crack an egg,hold the yolk in your hand and allow for some space between your index finger and middle finger and the egg white should separate itself and fall off of the yolk. if you have poor quality eggs(many restaurants do) the egg white wont be very firm at all, but be very watery instead. which makes the process even quicker.

That's my preferred method as well.

Erilyn75
11-06-2013, 03:37 AM
This thread makes me never want to eat out again :puke:

shaneg
11-12-2013, 04:45 AM
Not real cowboy, but efficient.
When prepping squid/calamari such as arrowhead etc instead of using a knife to score or 'criss cross'or 'pineappling' whatever you may call it,
Try using a matfer mandoline julienne attachment, this also pulls any excess membrane off..
http://I.imgur.com/0N5MgMI.jpg

Geo87
11-12-2013, 05:59 AM
Just remembered another one.

This was quite a few years ago, we needed tabbouleh for a buffet .
If your not familiar with tabbouleh it requires a lot of chopped parsley.
So this guy proceeds to fill a bucket with water and parsley... Gets a stick blender...
Blends the crap out of it and then hangs it in a conical strainer... And wrings out the parsley in a teatowel ... Lol
Tada! Chopped parsley / lawn clippings ;)

stevenStefano
11-12-2013, 07:18 AM
To be honest some of these sound pretty ingenious rather than being dodgy

Geo87
11-12-2013, 07:39 AM
To be honest some of these sound pretty ingenious rather than being dodgy

There is a fine line :)

chefcomesback
11-12-2013, 07:47 AM
That last example with parsley clearly passes the line for me

Geo87
11-12-2013, 07:50 AM
I agree, it was more like lawn clippings than parsley. A true insult to herbs...
It was hard to watch

chefcomesback
11-12-2013, 08:57 AM
I have witnessed a shoemaker dropping the beef tenderloin into the fryer for welldone steak, that was my all time favorite shoemaker trick:shocked3:

panda
11-12-2013, 04:36 PM
People who eat well done filet probably enjoy the crispy fried steak..

labor of love
11-13-2013, 02:18 AM
ive worked in james beard award winning restaurants where ive seen first hand many well done steaks finished in the fryer. just for a minute or 2...not a big deal. and yes, ive witnessed many "complements to chefs" feedback from the guests for those steaks. its an emergency short cut.

sachem allison
11-13-2013, 03:41 AM
ive worked in james beard award winning restaurants where ive seen first hand many well done steaks finished in the fryer. just for a minute or 2...not a big deal. and yes, ive witnessed many "complements to chefs" feedback from the guests for those steaks. its an emergency short cut.

called Texas fondue. They actually have catering companies that will go around with big oil drum fryers and folks get to cook their steaks by dipping them in the oil with a pitch fork until they deem them done. If done properly you get a well seared steak that is quite juicy. I personally let anyone who orders a well done Filet Mignon wait until its done. Could take me a half hour , depending on how polite they are.lol

labor of love
11-13-2013, 04:07 AM
the moral of the story here is....grown adults really shouldnt be ordering well done steaks. just order a burger or something else instead.

Geo87
11-13-2013, 06:24 AM
the moral of the story here is....grown adults really shouldnt be ordering well done steaks. just order a burger or something else instead.

Huge +1 I couldn't agree more...

The main thing that bugs me is the whole process... The farmer raises the cow, it gets slaughtered broken down, packaged, distributed..further meat fab is done . All of that work just for someone to want it completely destroyed and cooked past any degree of tenderness and moisture. A very high quality and also quite intimidating chef once scalded anyone mishandling meat, " that animal died for you...Don't #%## it! " he would say. A men

JDA_NC
11-13-2013, 10:19 AM
called Texas fondue. They actually have catering companies that will go around with big oil drum fryers and folks get to cook their steaks by dipping them in the oil with a pitch fork until they deem them done. If done properly you get a well seared steak that is quite juicy. I personally let anyone who orders a well done Filet Mignon wait until its done. Could take me a half hour , depending on how polite they are.lol

Restaurant Stella! in New Orleans - which some would consider a very nice restaurant - cooks all their steaks this way. They circulate to whatever temp. and then finish in the deep fryer.

Not for me...

Zwiefel
11-13-2013, 11:41 AM
This technique is straight out of Modernist Cuisine. Just a quick way to form a crust....what's wrong with that? Well, that putting it on a hardwood-fired grill wouldn't fix :)


Restaurant Stella! in New Orleans - which some would consider a very nice restaurant - cooks all their steaks this way. They circulate to whatever temp. and then finish in the deep fryer.

Not for me...

JDA_NC
11-13-2013, 02:47 PM
This technique is straight out of Modernist Cuisine. Just a quick way to form a crust....what's wrong with that? Well, that putting it on a hardwood-fired grill wouldn't fix :)

For me, a few things are wrong with it. I'm a little ignorant and old fashioned - so take that into account - but from the perspective of a line cook, working a 'station' where you drop proteins into different circulators, cut a bag & then throw it into a deep fryer is everything I don't want to be doing. Sounds like my version of hell and not the type of kitchen I want to be working in.

I also don't like circulated steaks. I don't like cooking them (the first place I learned to cook steaks at were all circulated, not a fan of temping sous vide meat) and I'd much rather eat a piece of steak cooked from the raw. I feel that it changes the texture from spending that time in the water.

And as far as deep frying - it's the same way I prefer fried chicken done in a cast iron. There is something to be said for the direct surface contact to the heat. You could circulate a steak with whatever butter, aromatics etc to the perfect temp and throw it in the fryer for a crust, but at the end of the day, wouldn't you rather a steak perfectly cooked in a pan, basted at the end with all those things?? I know I do

Edit: I think a lot of things that you can do with cryovac & sous vide are awesome, so I'm not trying to sit here and say all things sous vide are bad/shoemaker. But from my own experiences I am not a fan of doing it for steaks. Just my opinion.

JDA_NC
11-13-2013, 03:18 PM
I think it also depends on how you do it. Not many restaurants can afford to have multiple circulators set up and have it where you circulate to order and then sear it directly from the water. And I also don't feel that is a quicker way to cook steaks - just more foolproof. Most, like the one I worked at, have it where you circulate all your steaks ahead of time to barely rare and then shock the meat, in order to help with pick up times.

I'm not a food scientist but I don't think you need to be one to understand that taking a (hopefully) beautiful piece of meat, then barely cooking it and quickly cooling it down, just to reheat it again, is drastically different than cooking it straight from raw. I don't want my steak to have been sitting around for hours or even days already cooked.

Zwiefel
11-13-2013, 04:25 PM
I get it...partially a, "this is not the job I want" think, and partially a, "not my style" thing.

I'm still trying to figure out what, exactly, I like using SV for in my kitchen. I've done a few "quick steaks" and thought they were good, but missed the spontaneity of just throwing them on the grill/pan. For tougher cuts of meat, it's really fabulous though. I'm still working on it, but it's also really good for certain types of curries (PINK, tender goat!).


For me, a few things are wrong with it. I'm a little ignorant and old fashioned - so take that into account - but from the perspective of a line cook, working a 'station' where you drop proteins into different circulators, cut a bag & then throw it into a deep fryer is everything I don't want to be doing. Sounds like my version of hell and not the type of kitchen I want to be working in.

I also don't like circulated steaks. I don't like cooking them (the first place I learned to cook steaks at were all circulated, not a fan of temping sous vide meat) and I'd much rather eat a piece of steak cooked from the raw. I feel that it changes the texture from spending that time in the water.

And as far as deep frying - it's the same way I prefer fried chicken done in a cast iron. There is something to be said for the direct surface contact to the heat. You could circulate a steak with whatever butter, aromatics etc to the perfect temp and throw it in the fryer for a crust, but at the end of the day, wouldn't you rather a steak perfectly cooked in a pan, basted at the end with all those things?? I know I do

Edit: I think a lot of things that you can do with cryovac & sous vide are awesome, so I'm not trying to sit here and say all things sous vide are bad/shoemaker. But from my own experiences I am not a fan of doing it for steaks. Just my opinion.


I think it also depends on how you do it. Not many restaurants can afford to have multiple circulators set up and have it where you circulate to order and then sear it directly from the water. And I also don't feel that is a quicker way to cook steaks - just more foolproof. Most, like the one I worked at, have it where you circulate all your steaks ahead of time to barely rare and then shock the meat, in order to help with pick up times.

I'm not a food scientist but I don't think you need to be one to understand that taking a (hopefully) beautiful piece of meat, then barely cooking it and quickly cooling it down, just to reheat it again, is drastically different than cooking it straight from raw. I don't want my steak to have been sitting around for hours or even days already cooked.

panda
11-14-2013, 01:25 AM
the only things i like souvied are eggs and carrots

GlassEye
11-14-2013, 02:58 AM
Huge +1 I couldn't agree more...

The main thing that bugs me is the whole process... The farmer raises the cow, it gets slaughtered broken down, packaged, distributed..further meat fab is done . All of that work just for someone to want it completely destroyed and cooked past any degree of tenderness and moisture. A very high quality and also quite intimidating chef once scalded anyone mishandling meat, " that animal died for you...Don't #%## it! " he would say. A men
Yes, I can't agree more. It kills me to see meat ruined or worse, thrown away, that was part of a living creature. Normal people really seem to take offense when I try to explain that an animal had it's life taken so they can have that piece of meat on their plate, and that they should respect that fact.

Dusty
11-14-2013, 05:12 AM
A lot of the smarter chefs I know a heavily refining their use of circulators for meat.

I hate nothing more than the horrible set meat paste caused by cooking a piece of pork belly for say twenty hours, but when circulators became more and more commonplace I began to see "fourty hour pork belly" on menus, and that's just kind of gross.

Chefs need to get a lot smarter about how they're used - even if you're only cooking a piece of tenderloin to fifty-two degrees, if you hold it at that temp for long the texture becomes mealy and horrible.

A couple of years back I even heard of a pretty damn good restaurant circulating ALL of their portoined meat EVERY service, and just icing it down between services [shudder].

I like circulators, for many different things, but it took me a few years to get good at using them well. Importantly though, its imperative that young cooks learn how to cook meat well in a pan or on a grill.

Farrant
12-10-2013, 08:07 AM
Best one I've had is when a sous chef put in a pork joint 30 mins late. So when it was time to serve it, it wasn't ready.

'Ah, shove it in the microwave.'

'Dafuq?'

'Yeah, ******* microwave it'.

From a chef who boasted of working in michelin start kitchens.

Also seen the blended parsley one. It looked crap and actually took longer by the time I had wrung the water out and cleaned all the little parsley bits off the stick blender.

Mucho Bocho
12-10-2013, 09:15 AM
I love all this passion about how meat should be cooked.

Sous Vide is an outstanding intervention when applied with care and knowledge. Cooking jowls or short ribs 72hrs is brilliant. Sure you can over do the treatment and it aint good for everything (seafood) but once you understand how the gentle heat awakens the enzymes without denaturing the proteins, if executed properly, will yield a superior product than dropping a raw cold steak onto a super hot surface. Even bringing the steak to room temperature will have dramatic results. Obviously there's inherent issues with bringing meat to room temp: contamination being the main problem.

Some may have seen these pics before:

72hr Sous Vide Chuck Roast
http://i1051.photobucket.com/albums/s426/dennismpintoii/chuck.jpg (http://s1051.photobucket.com/user/dennismpintoii/media/chuck.jpg.html)

24hr Chicken Ballontine

http://i1051.photobucket.com/albums/s426/dennismpintoii/IMG_2185.jpg (http://s1051.photobucket.com/user/dennismpintoii/media/IMG_2185.jpg.html)

72hr Jowl
http://i1051.photobucket.com/albums/s426/dennismpintoii/belly2.jpg (http://s1051.photobucket.com/user/dennismpintoii/media/belly2.jpg.html)

Dardeau
12-10-2013, 09:40 AM
I love Jowl so much. I've never circulated it, I always rendered the skin, put it on a bed of aromatics, plastic wrapped and foiled it, and put it in an Alto Sham or low oven for ten to twelve hours. When I was at Cochon we had the wood burning oven and would pick it up on there, letting the high temp recrisp the skin. It's getting to be wintertime, maybe I should get some pig face for my face.

panda
12-11-2013, 01:17 AM
i love me some jowel bacon for use in sauces, but lets get back to stories of dumb sh*t that people do in kitchens eh?

kpeddie2010
12-11-2013, 05:45 AM
Lol this thread is great. I remember a sous chef making nage and then straining the nage in a china cab. Then a waiter comes in and says some lady wants puréed veg for her baby's meal and the mother ****** goes back into the prep area where the nage veg has been sitting for three something hours and grabs the carrots to make carrot purée. I see this **** and when he brings it up to me at expo I fucken fly the plate at his feet and I tell him off. Quit that job that night, cowboys now a days ***. Never would want my kids to be exposed to this kind of debauchery.

Salty dog
12-11-2013, 06:34 AM
It comes down to highchairs. Don't got'em. Keep those little darlings out of here.

Chef Niloc
12-11-2013, 11:43 AM
Why 'shoemaker'? I saw this term today on Reddit and didn't get it at all.


No idea , if anybody knows please chime in

I know this is a old post and I haven't read all the pages yet but just in case no one has answered this question here you go.

When I first saw this post I thought "cowboy tricks" were in reference to "cool" or "good things/tricks" that you've seen chefs do over the years. Shoemaker is the term I have always heard used in reference to hacks.

It goes back to the old days when the traditional old-fashioned "cobbler" found himself being replaced with the "Shoemaker". A cobbler hand crafts shoes one by one. it's not an quick or easy thing to do takes years of training and apprenticeship (foreshadowing going on here), obviously these type of shoes were (and still are )very expensive . People with multiple shoes (your wife sound familiar guys) were considered wealthy, terms like keeping your wife barefoot are also a result of this, going shoeless, all sorts of old metaphors towards shoes being expensive. Then with the industrial revolution shoe making factories started to pop up and became more and more prevalent and excepted throughout the world. The workers or shoemakers as they were (and still are) known in these factories needed hardly any training whatsoever and were paid next to nothing.
So a shoemaker is A untrained workmen (rather then craftsmen). Uses shortcuts to produce a cheaper but usually (if not always) inferior product. Needless to say cobblers held them in quite contempt.
As for the foreshadowing, I'm sure everyone notices the similarities the restaurant industry, The well-trained "professional" chef is becoming all but obsolete these days, likely one of the biggest reasons that the pay rate for chefs hasn't increased for over a decade. I am sure you custom knife makers see a little of this two in your industry?

Edit: guess it takes a leatherworking chef to know the history behind this one.

Chef Niloc
12-11-2013, 11:59 AM
Also don't know if this one's been posted already but I guess one of one of the biggest cowboy tricks I've seen then would be washing potatoes through the dishwasher, low temp chemical "to boots" (pun intended)

One of my favorite "Bartolo stories**" was his recipe for Orange bourblanc, which by the way he found necessary to put on just about everything, his blackened tilapia with Orange bourblanc sauce still haunts my memories.
Here is his "secret" recipe
Orange juice ( out of the bar gun)
Heavy cream
Corn starch slurry
Procedure: mix orange juice and cream together thenbring to boil, thinking with Slurry. Important note do not season whatsoever with salt or pepper, God for bid


** The Bartolo reference is in relation to one of my old sous chefs. Some of you older members might remember some of them my "Bartolo saga" I haven't told any "Bartolo stories" in a while so I thought I should reference this.

Bartolo was by far my biggest nemesis and the biggest "cowboy " that I have ever worked with. For some godforsaken reason I couldn't get him fired you save my life ( or anyone else's for that matter*), I finally got him out of my kitchen when they promoted him to executive chef of one of their new restaurants.

* another great Bartolo story is his "cold fusion" New England clam chowder. We had a proofing/holding cabinet combo unit in this place. To switch from proofing (98° high humidity) two hot holding all that was needed was to flip one switch, the switch was labeled proofing /holding. Every day I come in and Bartolo would be holding soups when it was still in proofing mode, and every day I would show him the correct way to use the Box and explain to him how and why he shouldn't hold food in proofing mode.
One day I came in and saw the New England clam chowder boiling away inside the box. I remember thinking to myself this idiots got the cabinet set at 300°. So I pull it out only to realize it's just warm??? It took me a minute to realize the rapid boiling was massive bacteria growth. Best part is even though I told him to throw the **** away he tried to service for staff meal!!! I remember doing a running dive noooooooooo to save a waiters life that day.

Dardeau
12-11-2013, 07:17 PM
That is horrific.

Sambal
12-12-2013, 03:18 AM
People with multiple shoes (your wife sound familiar guys) were considered wealthy, terms like keeping your wife barefoot are also a result of this, going shoeless, all sorts of old metaphors towards shoes being expensive. Then with the industrial revolution shoe making factories started to pop up and became more and more prevalent and excepted throughout the world.



The term "well shod" is a great example of this.

Geo87
12-12-2013, 04:50 AM
Chef niloc.... That is Really disturbing stuff!
I think the worst part of all is these people seem to not get fired or even noticed by anyone with the authority to fire. Scary this person is an "exec chef" but typical lol

This reminds me of another. We needed fish roe for a canapé function. The chef fishes some out of the deepest darkest corner of the walk in freezer. ( I believe most caviar should never be frozen) so its out of date by a staggering 3 years . It's a disgusting pale orange mush not even resembling fish roe. So I tell him it's not useable and it's 3 years out if date. He informs me not only is it fine buts he's kept one for 5 years before.... Shudder.

Sadly it mysteriously fell on the floor.. had to get fresh stuff anyway ;)

aaamax
12-12-2013, 05:18 AM
even though I told him to throw the **** away he tried to service for staff meal!!!
Oh the **** I've seen getting hoisted on the staff... sickening.
My 100% rule is to never eat the "peo-mat" (as they call it here in Sweden) unless I make it.