Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The Great American Carbo Scare

"I'll have the Duck with Balsamic Vinegar Sauce and Figs. No starch please, I'm on Atkins"
Not a problem, can I shove this lambbone in your eye? No starch? Do you see Wang's Chinese Laundry on the fucking door?
Can somebody answer this question? What the Hell is wrong with the American dining public?
Let me get this straight. Were fat because we eat carbohydrates? Well, that certainly explains all the obese Asian cultures. No, we're fat because we don't do anything anymore. As we speak, I'm working on a remote-remote control as I am sick of exerting myself pushing those buttons. I want a fucking remote that will operate by me just thinking about changing the channel.I'm sick of my thumb being stronger than the rest of my body.
As Chef's, we are exposed to every social dining phobia neurotic housewives create and the despicable medical industry and press milks.
There's big money to be made on obesity, and do you think doctors are paying country club dues with principles? Nope. They prey on the weak willed. Between them and even lower on the vermin chain, trial lawyers, we now have a society totally deprived of any self responsibility. The media prances around emaciated models touting the ideal body size( and doing an outstanding job of fucking up teen girls heads, which will lead to a neurotic adult woman...one who will spend whatever it takes to be "pretty") while the press does reports on how society caters more towards the beautiful. The concerned doctors -concerned that they're gonna miss a piece of the pie-come up with the next answer. A new form of diet. And then the giant food manufacturer's produce the latest batch of diet foods. Now, proudly proclaims The Really Big Food Corporation, Johnny can sit on his ass and eat a whole bag of cookies!! Thank God they saved mom and dad the trouble of actually telling their kids to get off the fucking couch.The couch by the way resembles the Shroud of Turin with the kid's assprints. See the connection?

To me the real tragedy is that all this nonsense is predominantly vanity based. Industries know that the most important thing to the majority of the public is how they look. And brother they exploit this to the extreme. Don't get me wrong, I'm a shallow pig....but that IS how it works and besides, this isn't about me.

As Chef's we have enough to deal with the general running of the kitchen and cooking food for people without mental problems. But when every third person comes in with some silly carb free craze it really just fucks us up. It makes people ruin the food we create and when that happens, the gloves come off. If you really think, that by leaving off the rice or the gnochi that we've spent an hour and half making, will make you Claudia Schiffer, you're wrong. Stop blaming starches and driving Chef's crazy with your bullshit.
You might want to consider getting up and going for a walk. If you're too depressed to do that, I don't know what to say. Put down the bon bons, get the fuck up you bloated sack and get to doing something physical. Here's the reality LIFE SUCKS GET A HELMET .NO ONE IS GONNA HELP YOU! Especially chefs that are on the edge of Heart Attack Bluff. If I had an extra hand to lend you, I'd use it to bust out these damn petit fours or light another cigarette!

Down With People Up With Chipmunks And Vandalism

Well they're at it again. Vegans. The scourge of dining. First off I'm not opposed to Veganism. It is a personal choice and as human beings we have a right to choice. The problem is that anemic, self righteous lunatics are actually trying to force their tempeh laced thought processes down our throats. Like any other group, their persistence and downright ciminal tactics actually takes away from their cause. They're like little whiny, cowardly babies with even less respect for human life than the "evils" they oppose. Take a look.


Does this guy look like someone you'ld want hanging around you? If he does, please get the fuck away from me. He sums up the whole Vegan hypocrisy. It's ok to wear clothes produced by exploited third world workers but for God's sake, don't eat honey. It exploits bees. Fuck a bee. If they're so goddamned smart and useful, let them form a labor union and organize mass stingings. Don't slaughter cows for meat. Why not? If it weren't for the beef industry, cows would probably extinct by now. Certain atrocities are genuine. I think clubbing a baby seal is sickening and pretty damn mean too. Skinning alligators for luggage and and shoes for the repulsive upper crust serves virtually no purpose other than vanity. Raising animals for fur coats? Whatever. Vanity again. We go to such great lengths to rid our bodies of excess hair so we can put on a badger pelt. Just stop shaving for Christ'sake. Ever been to a Phish concert?Shit.

Whoa....back up...started going in the wrong direction, sorry. My point is these people are actually victimizing people and businesses. It's the mentality of warped right to lifers murdering doctors who perform abortions, to save lives. It's up to one person The mother. It's a personal decision. A choice. It's hers and her's only. The gall of the nutcases trying to impose their version of morals and ethics on anyone else. This "somebody has to be the voice of the(insert cause here)" No they don't.

I like when they say"well, would you eat your pets?"Fuck no.My dog eats cat litter and my cats are full of hairballs. Plus, their my pets. I didn't raise them to eat.Is that concept simple enough?

So, to end, I will say I love meat. Big bloody steaks. Great hunks of pork shoulder or pork chops(pigs are cute and sure taste good don't they?) , foie gras, sweetbreads. I get excited just thinking about meat. The fucking Vegans make me want to break down a lamb in the dining room and drink it's blood.

Fortunately, we have people like Ted Nugent who actually made one of my favorite statements of all time; "Everytime these Peta people get in my face, I'm gonna go out an kill 12 of something!" Now that's a man you can trust! Ted, let's get in that Terminus Eldorado and head on down to a fuckin' steakhouse!
( let it be known Ted eats all the animals he kills, and hasn't bought commercially produced meat in years and he doesn't practice wasteful slaughter)

Can I Get That On The Side?

Sure.If you want to ruin the dish that I've spent all last night losing sleep over.If you feel it neccessary to ruin the integrity of a dish by removing a key element.Hey, the most important part of a dish isn't how it is put together with taste, texture, etc. in mind.No, the MOST important part is that it makes the customer feel worthy by having a "special request". "SEE I AM SOMEBODY!" Yeah. A raging pain in the ass. Can I have that without the caviar?Abso-fucking-lutely.Just order the dish that doesn't have caviar on it. Sauce on the side? Not that big a deal,I mean the sauce is only what ties the dish together. Can I substitute the starch on one dish for the vegeatbles on another? No, but you can order a side of the vegetbles you want. "I'm not that hungry can I just get a half portion?".Well, if you're not that hungry, why didn't you go to a fucking movie instead of going out to eat? No problem half portion 3/4 the price. See I'm fair. My personal favorite are who I like to refer to as "God's Dining Tragedies". These are the people who come in with one of those silly allergy cards that read like this great tome of torture. I don't have one in front of me( I leave them in the kitchen for the cooks to make fun of) but they read something like " I have a medical condition which prevents me from eating: Wheat, salt,cheese, pepper,seafood,butter,corn or corn products, beets,radishes, animals with shoulders or Viking food". Here. Here's a snow pea.Can you fucking eat that?(Yes, if it's raw). I think they should just present a card that say " I can't eat anything.May I sit in the corner with a bowl of hot steam and watch?" Jesus, what's the matter with people these days?

I blame two things. One this silly sense of entitlement that has permeated this country for the last few decades and TV cooking shows. See, now EVERYONE is a chef. The guy selling hot dogs is a chef. Guys who make those bland, tasteless sandwiches are"sandwich artists". The guy who puts the canned jalapenos on your nachos? Yep, he's a chef. Ever seen the sickening pint sized baby chef wear? Toddlers are chefs.It's ok though because don't they just look sooooo cute? Ughhh.
Here's how you go out to eat. Walk in to the restaraunt, sit the fuck down ( at ONE table, stop moving all around!)and order your food.See how easy that is? If you send something back because it's"not what you expected", too goddamned bad. We're cooking the menu, we're not the Amazing Kreskin.I can't read you mind and know what you're expecting. Hell if I could read minds, I'd be up to my ass in poker chips.

I'm gonna cut this short as I have another rant about ridiculous customers and don't want to shorten THAT post. Here's something to remember, when you try to re-arrange the menu and fuck up all the dishes to suit your needs, you are going to be immediately " the asshole on table 7" Believe me, it starts in the waitperson's head as he smiles and says "Absolutely", and gets verbalized past the swinging doors.

Saturday, August 28, 2004


So, after another long Saturday night shift my thoughts immediately shifted to the most despised of all restaurant traditions. Brunch. After 24 years in this business, I still ask myself (or my equally tortured sous-chef)WHO THE FUCK CAME UP WITH BRUNCH? What asshole woke up one Sunday ( a day of rest?)and thought "If only I could sleep in and go eat an omelet at noon" I sometimes wonder if if I could accept this horror if it were just called lunch. Noooo it's brunch. As if a euphemistic name will change how much it is despised. Waiters hate it.Chef's hate it. Less care goes into the food and service than any other shift. Put your worst crew on it and hope they show up because BRUNCH will make employees quit. I guarantee there is more absenteeism on Sunday morning, than all other shifts combined. And with good reason. It sucks. And the sheep that flock to brunch out of tradition, decked out in their silly hats and Sunday finery are enough to make one sick on their own. Cute little old ladies wanting their poached eggs. Closeted,picket fenced husbands in their after church get-ups wanting an egg white omelet and a brandy milk punch. A fucking egg white omelet?What the fuck is that? I wish I could develop a whiteless egg just for brunch. A brandy milk punch? What kind of nancing alcoholic silliness is that? A mimosa. a MIMOSA?....what are we on the goddamned Orient Express? I feel so sophisticated when I drink those!
Here's what Sunday morning is for: Getting up late, moving slowly and waiting until the previous night's headache has subsided enough to form a rational thought as to where to get grease.
My personal way to deal with this is to provide eggs dishes that extend a middle finger to traditional scrunch offerings. Eggs Benedict? No. Eggs Allistair Crowley(with blood sausage no less)Eggs Richey Rich ( with foie gras, redwine sauce and a hefty price tag. If you're gonna dictate my serving brunch, I'm going to drain your wallet)Eggs Florentine? Please. That's far too pleasant sounding for Sunday morning. How about Eggs Burning in Hell (Soft boiled eggs , quickly deep fried and served with a blistering pepper sauce)

The true irony is that despite my best efforts, it never ends. It always works in reverse.

So why don't I quit serving brunch if I hate it? Money and revenge.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Foie Gras ..Love it or shut up

"Stop (serving foie gras) or you will be stopped" Nice message. Especially when it accompanies a videotape of your wife and children. How would YOU react?


Think about it.These are people who put human pleasure beneath the needs of a duck. People who's existence is so menial, that the best thing they can do to qualify their lives is intimidate a hardworking chef's family and tell us to throw hundreds of years of culinary tradition away. It's called a food chain and we're at the top. Personally, I don't want to see things from a duck's point of view. I cook them. Is it cruel? Yes. Do I care ? No. What is my responsibilty as a Chef? To provide my customers with great tasting food.Period. Nowhere in my training do I recall "ethical recourse" or understanding. If I cared, I'd join the Peace Corps. The most repellent of the situation is the knee-jerk reaction of the press hound chefs who would rather turn their back on a colleague than stand up to these cowards. Pull foie gras off your menu?Gutless worms. How dare you fail a moral test of tradition. One that could only be devised in this era of people last. This is the unwritten law that chef's are to uphold.Tradition.Don't apply morals to it. We kill, slaughter and serve animal flesh.

Trash My business, threaten MY family? Do it to my face or the face of any other chef with conviction and you will end up with what you deserve. Multiple fractures. Then you can suck all the vegetables through a straw you want.