Tuesday, 5 February 2008

At least Oliver Twist got to ask for more...

please sir can I have some...
...that is still safe to eat?


I like chefs, I really do! For the most part they are great fellas! Some of my best friends are chefs. They do a tough job in tough conditions under the ever watchful eye of the fat controller in whites. But why oh why do they dislike waiters? And there is no doubt that they do really dislike us. They must do. Why else would they keeping serving us hate on a plate?

Seriously, staff meals suck!

Now if you are one of the guardians of the precious clipboards (managers) you get to dine to your stomach's content, hell some of them work their way through the courses. But not the waiters. Not a freaking chance of it. The best you can hope for is something still fit for human consumption. People say to me all the time that I must eat well what with working in a restaurant. If only they knew. My charming and rotund figure is all a result of my own work, not from the gruel served as staff meals.

I've lost count of how many times I have been served a burger that was tougher than the leathery rump of a Rhino or chicken that was starting to move again. I'm convinced that they search under benches or down the back of grills and fridges for something to feed me with. I'm sure it's like some sort of daily challenge for them, find the dirtiest thing and serve it to a waiter. In my more paranoid moments I imagine the head chef gathering them together at the start of the day and offering a reward for the chef who can find and serve, to a waiter, the sausage he hid the month before. The bastards.

Actually I once wandered into the kitchen one day to find a chef cleaning the crap off my burger before he bapped it. There he was picking the hair off it and blowing on it. NICE! I suppose I should be grateful he took the time to do even that. In fact he expected me to thank him for being conscientious enough to check.

When the chefs aren't serving you the stuff they find/throw on the floor they are re-heating the crap that they cant serve to paying guests, sour soups, bokey bread, pishy pasta etc. Just asking for something to eat can be a test in itself. At least Oliver Twist got to ask for more before he got shouted at. They rant and rave and bitch about never getting a moments peace and "bloody waiters get it fucking easy...." They slam down their copy of The Sun/Daily Sport and swear at you as if you had just told them a table of 20 had walked in 5 minutes before closing. At this point they chase you from the kitchen so that they can root through the bin for something juicy for you. Mmmmmmm crap.

And when you do find one of them you trust enough to cook for you what should you have? Our choices are limited to something akin to a Monty Python sketch, minus the spam. That when people start just putting random foods together. For example have you ever had a sausage roll in a bap? That was a big favourite in my last place of game full employ. Then there is the chicken goujon bap, these work as the mayo covers the 3 days out of date taste quite well. Then there are chips, Irish Stew and chips, gravy chips, salad and chips, soup and chips, coffee and chips. And on it goes.

The holy grail of staff meals though is the steak that was cooked wrong. You hope to get to it before the chef chucks it, plate included, in the bin. I've seen fillets, sirloins, even T-Bones practically hoovered up in under a minute. You have to get it early and get it on your own. If not it's like feeding time on the plains of the Serengeti.

Is it worth it? Seriously is it worth the risk? Sometimes we have no other choice, if it's late at night for example or you're skint. If you have rely on the cooker jockeys for your food follow my advice...
  1. Make friends with a chef, gain his trust, buy him drugs or place his bets for him.
  2. Stay in the kitchen the whole time they are making your meal never take your eyes of the prize for a moment.
  3. Butter him up, tell him his food is great, and he smells fantastic. They fall for that every time.
  4. For the love of all that is good don't let the KP make it. Only the KP hates you more than the chefs.
  5. Avoid the chef's staff meal special, it's off and he knows it. If it glows it blows.
  6. If you have had a fight with the kitchen during service just forget about eating until you go home. Spit is the least of your worries.
Fuck it....just bring your own....you know it makes sense.......

25 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Medbh said...

I never ate the staff meal when I worked at restaurants that offered one. More often than not, they don't, and you have to pay for your food, which the cooks still fucking bitched about making. You're right, Manuel.
Bring your own.

Manuel said...

Medbh: I smoke my staff meal now and wash it down with espresso....that's how I maintain my fine physique....

bendersbetterbrother said...

I think the paranoia would kill me after a while. I'd end up suspecting food I'd even cooked myself.
Sausage roll in a bap. Nice.

Old Knudsen said...

The thing is that waiters are just cunts, might as well admit it. As for never being the star of a movie thats true its a cop on the edge not some snooty bloke that knows menu French and interupts people's meals to ask how it is, fuck I hate that, always about when you don't need them but as soon as you want something they vanish.

Old Knudsen said...

see? where the fuck is he?

Bitchy Waitress said...

Wow...I used to be envious of places with staff meals...not so much...I'd rather be a paying customer (50% off when we're working). Yuck.
And I totally agree with your advice about chefs--make nice...otherwise, they'll make your life hell...

MJ said...

Is "Hide the Sausage" a regular game at your restaurant?

Sam, Problemchildbride said...

I was a kitchen porter for a year, the lowest of the low. I couldn't lift the heavy pots over my head on to their hooks at the end of the night, I just couldn't do it so I "paid" the other kitchen porter to do it by giving him the pizza slice I was allowed to take home at night. Looking back, the guy was an asshole. Then we got a lovely Irish chef who stayed later at night to help me with them. He wasn't an asshole.

daisyfae said...

"pishy pasty"? isn't that the name of one of the first famous drag queens?

Anonymous Boxer said...

When I worked in food service I would only eat the cookies.

Sugar never lies.

nursemyra said...

wouldn't it be worthwhile to bribe them with alcohol?

the chef at the gimcrack always gives me a great meal. (of course I share my S8 drugs cache with her, maybe that's why)

dave said...

At least you're not getting your meal from an airline stewardess.
They've been known to wipe the bread rolls of arsehole passengers around the rim of the toilet.
Nice.

sheepworrier said...

You need to find some common ground with them Manuel - chat to them about air filtration systems on their little dope farm, how much you'd love to shag cheryl tweedy, f**king picky customers who don't know shit about steaks, drowning puppies etc etc.

toast said...

i worked as a KP and i hated the front of house... bastards wouldn't keep me topped up with coke (cola, not the powder, that was only for trained chefs) dying in that heat and they wouldn't bring me free cokes.

hoorbags the lot of them.


its gotta be a symbiotic relationship - and even then the prison ship that is the back of house will always win as they hold the aces.... and the crazies.

Manuel if your bringin them the good stuff and they're stiffin you then its time to start thinking of plans involving Acme Anvils and the like

Crispy said...

Good to see you're all better again. Man you kicked than man flu's ass....

Manuel said...

BBB: classy stuff for a classy guy

Old K: Oh I'm here.....I saw you......I ignored you.....cunty

Bitchy: I know but it's like cosying up with the devil...

MJ: hahahahahaha

Sam: chefs never stay behind to help.....he's up to something....

Daisyfae: bwahahahaha

Boxer: very wise indeed.....

Nursemyra: they have plenty of booze....they need/want other things....

Dave: and where do you think they learnt that?

Sheepo: oh so you've clearly worked in a kitchen then....

Toast: they are like cats...they are only nice to you when they need something.....beware chefs bearing steaks....well done on your IBA nomination btw.....

Crispy: I'm a warrior......

toast said...

hey - was that you? that must have been you - no one else reads that page except my mum, who already thinks my page is the only one on the internets and i am some kind of bill gates - but this confused me greatly - it must have been you - many thanks

Manuel said...

toast: did it cause you deserved it.....

toast said...

bless ye, ye big gay bear

psychicgeek.com said...

At a large hotel where I worked, the staff caff was called the zoo. Everything that didn't sell got recycled there. Eat at your own risk.

sheepworrier said...

Manuel: Too many to remember. I refused to eat out for years because I knew exactly what went on in a lot of kitchens...

The Troll said...

I usually bring my own raw materials and do my prep and cook alongside them.

Mudflapgypsy said...

Mrs M called into Ginger to get a voucher (not for us,grrr..) and the staff were sitting down to fish and chips. I thought that this was pretty cool as all staff meals I have heard of were along the same lines as what you said Manny.

Maybe 'plate carrier can comment and let us know if it is fish and chips everyday?

Native Minnow said...

I'd prefer to cook my own meals. Of course, the chefs probably wouldn't like that either. It really is lose/lose, isn't it?

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