[Sca-cooks] Cooking steaks was Re: lethal drinks

Lady Celia CeliadesArchier at cox.net
Tue Jul 22 23:28:09 PDT 2008

Adamantius said: 

<<And, honestly, in defense of the temperamental chef, if any, it's nice  
to make people happy and give them what they want, but nobody really  
needs me to have paid the tuition money and put in the years to do  
that kind of work. People have asked me for some pretty strange things  
over the years, like the old folks at The Supper Club who wanted their  
mesclun salads finely minced -- how do you make an attractive  
presentation of two ounces of mulch? I always did as I was asked, but  
in this case I'm glad, when it was me putting in the order, that  
someone asked me, "With respect, sir, are you sure you want that?">>

Ok, I can accept all of that... but respectfully, there is a great deal of
different between "With respect, sir, are you sure you want that?" and
trying to help someone who seems a bit lost, and what you said earlier,
which came across to me as patronizing and bullying. I've been a waitress, a
short order chef, a sous chef, a "cook", a dishwasher and a manager.  I've
pretty much seen the biz from most sides, and from my POV, the job of the
whole team in a restaurant is to ensure an enjoyable dining experience to
the customer, so temperamental chefs just aren't something I have a lot of
empathy for.

And while I have a great deal of respect for the extraordinary amount of
work that goes into fine cuisine and superb presentation, I'm simply not a
believer that "presentation is everything".  Those seniors at the Supper
Club probably asked for their salads "finely minced" because that's what it
took for them to eat them (dentures can be a bother at times, doncha know),
and I'm sure that the fact that it might look like mulch was of less concern
to them than the fact that they might get to taste some of it on the way
down if they knew they could get it down. 

Don't get me wrong.  I *love* formal dining.  I actually belong to a formal
dining club.  My palate is not as sophisticated as some. I grew up on
southern fried everything, too much salt, too much grease, and most stuff
pretty bland or overcooked.  But I learned to be a gourmand, if not a
gourmet.  I love it when my food comes out beautiful, but I love it more
when it comes out "to my taste", so that I can enjoy it.  I love trying new
things, and am pretty adventurous, but can be picky about which flavors I
like together.  And I might never have broadened my palate past fried
chicken and hamburgers if I wasn't happy to learning.  But I've as little
patience with chefs who are "insulted" by someone asking for something so
that they will enjoy it as I am vegetarians who think that everyone else has
to eat what tastes good to them.  Call me a heretic, but I'm for diversity
of palate, and ensuring the best dining experience possible (*within
reason*) ;-) 

In service, 

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