Biggest Cowboy Tricks

Discussion in 'Back of the House' started by jbl, Jan 29, 2013.

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  1. Jan 29, 2013 #1

    jbl

    jbl

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    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
     
  2. Jan 29, 2013 #2

    shaneg

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    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.
     
  3. Jan 29, 2013 #3

    Vertigo

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    Wait, this stuff is bad? Sounds like SOP where I'm from, boys. Lol.
     
  4. Oct 5, 2013 #4

    jbl

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    c’mon guys, there must be some great stories out there!
     
  5. Oct 5, 2013 #5

    Von blewitt

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    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.
     
  6. Oct 5, 2013 #6

    Chuckles

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    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.
     
  7. Oct 5, 2013 #7

    brainsausage

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    Watched my chef pull a filet mignon and run it under cold water to keep it from going over temp...
     
  8. Oct 5, 2013 #8

    cord_steele

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    How about John Belushi cutting stuff with a samurai sword on SNL?
     
  9. Oct 5, 2013 #9

    turbochef422

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    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.
     
  10. Oct 5, 2013 #10

    Mrmnms

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    It works for sure
     
  11. Oct 5, 2013 #11

    wellminded1

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    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.
     
  12. Oct 5, 2013 #12

    Mrmnms

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    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.
     
  13. Oct 5, 2013 #13

    jbl

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    Great stuff!
     
  14. Oct 5, 2013 #14

    jai

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    ive seen a chef wipe raw fish juice up and use the same cloth for wiping a dessert plate..
     
  15. Oct 5, 2013 #15

    Dusty

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    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.
     
  16. Oct 7, 2013 #16

    Geo87

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    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
     
  17. Oct 7, 2013 #17

    NO ChoP!

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    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...
     
  18. Oct 7, 2013 #18

    Lefty

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    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.
     
  19. Oct 7, 2013 #19

    Lefty

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    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.
     
  20. Oct 7, 2013 #20

    berko

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    i know this guy :D
     
  21. Oct 7, 2013 #21

    jayhay

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  22. Oct 7, 2013 #22

    aaamax

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    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..."
     
  23. Oct 8, 2013 #23

    panda

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    why are these things called 'cowboy tricks'? i just call it griminess.
     
  24. Oct 8, 2013 #24

    chefcomesback

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    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
     
  25. Oct 8, 2013 #25

    Dusty

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    Why 'shoemaker'? I saw this term today on Reddit and didn't get it at all.
     
  26. Oct 8, 2013 #26

    chefcomesback

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    No idea , if anybody knows please chime in
     
  27. Oct 8, 2013 #27

    hobbitling

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    Maybe their food has the taste and texture of a piece of shoe leather?
     
  28. Oct 8, 2013 #28

    Mrmnms

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    anyone ever use the term "slop jockey?"
     
  29. Oct 8, 2013 #29

    JDA_NC

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    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.
     
  30. Oct 8, 2013 #30

    chefcomesback

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    "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:
     

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