Saturday, January 22, 2005

Dude, Where's My Fish?

Suppliers. Don't you just love some of them? Let me first start out by saying the suppliers I deal with from Honolulu Seafood to Jet Fresh have yet to let me down (that much) and when they do, they bend over backwards to take care of the problem. No, this bitch is about the shitheels that can't seem to get their heads out of their asses.
Here's a few better examples;
Tuesday, start of the week...v.i.p. birthday res. for that night.
The fish order just didn't show up. It was all local stuff. 20 pointless phone calls later, I was truly fucked. It just didn't fucking show. After the weekend there is rarely any seafood left in house and in this case, there was none. 75% of the customers walked that night, including the birthday party. It was one of the worst nights of my career. I couldn't believe I let so many people down.
Needless to say, the dropping of the account the next day was one of those situations you really need to take advantage of. Really tell 'em what's on your mind. Loudly. Scathingly. Scarring.

Another time I already addressed on another post. Four hours on the phone to Hawaii and Fed Ex looking for my specialty fish for the weekend. Finally shows up at 8 pm, right in the middle of service. No...sorry brother....put that shit back on the fucking truck and take it back. Too late to check it in , process and sell it.

New Year's Eve...honestly I forgot what year....85-6? 3 o' meat. Wasn't too worried at that point, I figured we'd just do everything else and spend the last bit of time doing the butchering. I like all the butchering done first but you gotta adapt sometimes. Most times shit ain't right. Order finally shows up at 5:30. Tight but doable. Except for the frozen, chine-on lamb racks. Yep. Sure would've been nice to get the split chine off racks I ordered. Thanks fuckheads! The customers ended up helping us butcher them. It was realllly fucked up, but no one seemed to get upset. It was a small place, we were mostly all friends and we were also passing around bottles of Veuve Cliquot.

I wonder if suppliers coordinate their fuck ups with your most crucial times? I mean, it happens with such accuracy as to causing the most headaches and financial loss, it seems almost brilliantly calculated. Goddamn it get us our shit on time!!! Invest in more trucks if you have to; Fucking Hummers would be good..I don't care if you have to crush a soccer mom to get me my product....just do it!
Don't you just get sick of putting out fires other people start? Constantly adapting your schedule to their bullshit. I've got a deadline for every single second of the day, motherfuckers. Throw me a friggin' bone!
Here's one I'm quite proud of. Again Friday night, Kobe ribs show up not split. I could just cut them into ribs but they're too huge. I also hate serving them off the bone. I remembered I had a circular saw in the utility closet. Across the street they were doing some masonry work and I ran over to see if they had a carbide blade. I explained the situation and they just gave me one. They couldn't believe what I needed it for. It actually fit the saw so I just fired it up and split the ribs with a circular saw. It smelled like a thousand teeth getting drilled. I thought the meat and bone would immediately clog the blade rendering it smooth and worthless, but it worked. I love shit like that.
The M.I.T grads that load the trucks are awesome too. I never would have guessed that raspberries, avocados, baby lettuces should all go on the BOTTOM of the load. It's cool though because I like my most expensive things crushed. I am also in favor of hiring the handicapped so it all works out.
Are we the only ones that spend every waking second thing about how we can do things better? I don't care what the fuck you do. If you do it, do it well. On principle. Especially if what you do has a bearing on me or what I do. Use that little pea inside your head...yeah...that rattling noise. That's your brain!
And no, I don't care about the others, just don't fuck my job up!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Integrity Where Art Thou?

I'm back fuckers and I've got more than a chip on my shoulder. I'm pissed about the lack of integrity in our business. I'm pissed about chefs who slap their name on pieces of shit to sell to the public and rip them off. It's the same thing as cooking a dish with no care and garnishing the hell out of it because you don't care. You expose and sell the public the wrong understanding of what we do. You are a bigger detriment to our struggle than a thousand Applebee's. Maybe I'm the minority, but if my name or reputation( my cooking reputation) is associated with a particular item, this item has got to be the best I can muster. It had better be right. It's principle only. You all certainly can figure out a few of who I'm talking about.
Let's look at a couple... two bad and two good.

BAM! is a bad one. Of course this wacky character even sells toothpaste now. He'll sell anything. ANYTHING! Let's take the Emeril knives as an example. First off, they're the bottom of the line stamped Wusthof. They suck. Touted as being the knives Emeril uses. No they aren't. No chef worth a shit would use these. Period. Rip off a gullible public though..that's important. His cookbooks are even worse, few recipes even work in them. I have mixed feelings about this guy a lot because he has actually raised the publics awareness of cooking. Unfortunately, he instructs them to think even less about cooking than they already do. Besides that, anyone who puts cheese and salami in a panzanella should be executed immediately! Fucking integrityless lilly guilders!.

Jamie Oliver is another one. Don't you just wanna rip this guys face off? He's a chef! He's a rocker! He's young and hip! No. He's a pud. I picked up a piece of his cookware and the rubber handle liner fell off. A rubber insert for comfort. What's the first thing we do in a kitchen when we get a few new pans? Throw that fucking rubber handle cover away. To be fair, this was a year or so ago and the new stuff is just a plain handle. But whatever, this site is all about hair splitting. I'd like to kick the shit out of this Cockney cocksucker!

( besides everything else, do we really need another celebrity spice mix?)

Now the good..

Wolfgang Puck. The $400 million dollar chef. You'ld think he would be first on my list. Nope. Why? Because like him or hate him, he has integrity. His food in his restaurants is always good. His frozen pizzas are actually good(for frozen pizza) and the cookware is solid and well made. His mixer is built like a tank. He's never lost sight of the fact that quality is what it's all about. He is, and always will be a cook first.

Daniel Boulud- No great line of spices...sauces or whatever. Two. A smoked salmon that is like eating smoky silk and knives that are extremely well made, forged beauties. I seem to recall him having some caviars also but I might be wrong. It doesn't matter. If he did, it was perfection to be sure.

Emeril selling toothpaste. Rick Bayless promoting Burger King. Although I can't blame them for their pursuit of a buck, I have to wonder if the people even know what the true responsibility of our profession is.