Thursday, October 14, 2004

HE'S The Chef, You've Got To Meet Him

No you don't. You don't have to meet me. I don't particularly want to leave my sanctuary. Did you ever think maybe, just maybe I might be in the zone working? I zone out. There is nothing else that even exist for me when I'm working. I don't want to stop what I'm doing, find a coat that's cleanish, get another apron and torchon and leave my post. If I go to your table I'll stand there like an idiot thinking about what's on the stove burning. I'm not a particularly attractive man, I don't feel comfortable inflicting myself on my customers and I hate rattling off the same thing I always do. "Thank you very much, I'm glad you enjoyed yourselves". Then all the other diners feel neglected if I don't go to THEIR table. If I don't, I become the temperamental"artist". I must admit I like the term. Even though I don't care to be called an artist, I like the word temperamental. One review called me a tortured artist. Like there's some nobility in it. All being tortured does is fuck up your creative juices with worry. I like being crazy, but I don't like worrying about shit. I don't like being tortured and that's what this business does to you. Cooking a plate of food gives me about 1-2 minutes of peace. That's it. Don't get me wrong, I am so appreciative of creating something someone actually likes, I can't put it into words. The fact that you enjoyed it means I did my job well and you are happy. Let's leave it at that shall we? Let's not ruin this relationship by getting to know each other on some other level. I don't want to hear about where you ate last night or tell you how I learned. I don't want to know that you cook at home"but nothing like this" and I don't..really don't, want to hear about your kids. ESPECIALLY if one is going to cooking school. "Johnny's going to be a chef one day!" THAT PUSSY? No he's not. I especially like the people who have no idea what they just ate. I've spent my entire life in hot, steamy, deadline filled box and it's the only place I can function. I am entirely a product of my environment and can't function in any other social situation. Ok, maybe drinking in a bar where I don't have to get too chummy.
I like a lot of customers but they know me and know I'll come and talk when I'm ready or IF I'm ready. There's a reason we're behind the swinging doors.
-It's not that I hate people, I just feel better when they're not around- and I've found that most people are guilty of being part of this species. Most. Some I don't know what the Hell they are. I had one guy today poke his head in the door at lunch, started screaming some gibberish and then continued walking down the street screaming and directing traffic. That's really what I wanted to do. I was actually resentful. Such freedom insanity.
Here's a God awful situation I'll soon be subjected too. I was invited to some of our regulars house for dinner. Wonderful people. Nicest people in the world, devoted customers and not a bad bone in their body. That's the problem. All my bones are bad. I have nothing..ZERO in common with them. Plus, they're Jesus freaks. No drugs, no drink, no smoke. Besides cooking, those are my main hobbies. Just praising God for everything. If they were cool and I could go and get smoked out with them it would be one thing, but I really don't want to be subjected to hearing about all the trips they take or how much their house cost. Jesus must have bought it for them. What kind of spiritual loan shark is he anyway?. Don't even get me started on the organized religion racket. Maybe I could entertain them with how I can't afford to go to the doctor. Or maybe how my entire financial future could crumble in a month. Maybe Jesus could spring for the exhaust hood that blew at $2000.00. Oh....I've got lot's of stories! I feel like a total shit for feeling this way about such a kind and generous offer, but don't people understand not everyone cares for human interaction?
Can't we just have an easily recognized division of labor? YOU be the customer, and I'll cook for you. I DO like you, I just don't want to be friends with you unless we have a lot in common. Like good weed, pharmaceuticals, loud, fast punk/thrash music and a sarcastic mean streak a mile wide. All with a healthy dose of skeptical unacceptance. And for God's sake, don't come into the kitchen to meet me! "CAN'T YOU SEE I'M WORKING!"

2 Comments:

Blogger Rikibeth said...

Bravo. If you liked the food, buy more of it, so my boss will stop freaking about the payroll hours it takes to make it, huh?

And. Don't know if it matches your politics, but Fat Wreck Chords' "Rock Against Bush" CD is a fantastic collection of music. I get to be really evil with it because my boss is a dyed-in-the-wool-Democrat so she feels like she can't tell me "turn that shit down" even though she'd never listen to punk any other way. Had it on during lunch prep today. Fun!

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree that the kitchen is where I belong. I hardly ever have time to shave, I have that strange kitchen funk about me and more than likely my whites are stained with the blood of some dead animal. Really, would you want to talk to me? My added bonus is when people ask to talk to the Chef a 23 year old walks out. I have nothing in common with these people. So you have kids eh'oh hey that right I had your daughter on all fours last night,please enjoy your steak I used the same hand I slapped your her ass with. I hear that I am so talented because I run a kitchen. Sure I can cook better than you, that's a given but that's all I can do and I can't do that very well talking to you. I work in an open kitchen now and that sucks. Most days I am not asking people how they're doing, I'm telling them their day is gonna suck. I use the most foul words and gestures and I enjoy yelling. What kind of person wants to see me? Bravo Chef

10:31 PM  

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