Everyone who has some kitchen experience will know that no one really gets away without having their legs pulled. No matter if you start out as a dishwasher or line chef, if you are new in the kitchen it is almost inevitable that you will be cutting a plastic chicken, get flowered or make a fool of yourself in one or another way.
The Ultimate Prank
While most pranks are just harmless jokes, some pranks can become very elaborate. Singapore’s chefs are no different. One Clubvivre chef shared his story of the ultimate prank. For the joke’s sake he has chosen to remain anonymous – meaning the prank has never been resolved. The pranked then-trainee has now become an executive chef himself and with some luck is still not in the know.
The story goes as follow: after his introduction to the kitchen on his very first day, the trainee was asked to collect air samples. The team of chefs explained that the ministry of health demands air samples from kitchens in order to detect whether the chefs smoke in the kitchen. As smokers among chefs are not that uncommon, air samples could be reasonable measure, so they thought. Hooked and obedient to the superior chefs, the former trainee was sent to collect air samples with rubbish bags from every corner of the kitchen for one week. No one ever let him in on the joke. All he simply was told was that his air samples had been approved.
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It is no secret that trainees are given unfavourable jobs, as chefs believe that it will prepare them for the unglamorous side of the profession. Hence, these tasks lend themselves perfectly for jokes. One example comes from Clubvivre Tim Meijers. He had once a trainee that hated lobsters, which made anything related to the animal the perfect task for him. Highlighting the importance of perfect flavour when it comes to lobsters, he explained that the airy and light taste could only be achieved by walking the lobster. Hence, the trainee was sent to walk the lobsters around the kitchen.
Every chef has probably his very own story of either being pranked or fooling his trainees. True classic and favourite amongst chefs is to fill up a bucket of ice, hide a trainee’s knife in it and leaving it in the freezer over night. It is a true pleasure, so the chefs claim, to observe the pranked chef/trainee getting his knife out on the next morning, while the rest of the team has coffee and watches.
Finding What Can’t be Found
As it isn’t uncommon to for kitchen newbies to fetch ingredients and tools, they are also sent on never-ending missions. Just imagine how long it will take until someone finds an ice warmer, egg shaver, dough patch or a bacon stretcher. The world of chefs is truly not easy – jokes are therefore more than necessary.