Have you ever wondered what chefs hate hearing over and over again? If you don’t want to upset a chef cooking your food here is a list of things not to say.
“I would like to order a medium rare steak with no red”.
This is classic. Upon hearing this, a chef will respond either with a facepalm or with his eyes rolling. There is only one request that beats it, which is:
“I would like my steak between medium and medium well”.
Steak can be cooked to a level of very rare, rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, or well done. And here is the truth about the medium-rare steak: the center of a medium-rare steak should be warm with a hint of reddish-pink – this is really a medium-rare.
“There is not enough salt and pepper in my dish”.
Most top chefs (with some exceptions) are quite particular about the amount of salt and pepper they use in their recipes to make it just right. When receiving a request to bring salt, one chef brought ten different kinds of salt and engaged the customer into a long and exhausting explanation about all the kinds of salt available. True story.
“I would like to order a sandwich and pancakes, and I am gluten-free. Could you please rush it for me, I am in a hurry”.
If you meet a chef who gladly accepts a challenge of serving guests with severe allergies, you are lucky. However even he/she would probably freak out by last-minute specific requests.
“I tried this dish somewhere else, and it was different from what you are serving me”.
Comparing a chef to another chef is a dangerous game, just like comparing an artist to another artist. Every chef is different, and every chef wants to be unique. A dish prepared by one chef will never be identical to the one prepared by someone else.
“This Gazpacho is cold!”
“There is nothing special about your food”.
A chef is as no other chef
Special means being different from what is usual. What is usual in a chef world? There is no such thing. Perhaps it is a matter of your expectations that were not met. Instead of drawing such a conclusion, ask this chef why he/she chooses to cook what he/she cooks and what his/her story is.
p.s. Thanks for reading so far. Here is a story told by one of Clubvivre chefs. Once he was eating out with a friend and though a dish he ordered was completely tasteless. Nedless to say he wasn’t pleased, so he told to the manager: “I am not going to pay for this dish. But if a chef who cooked it can finish it, I will pay”. The charges were waived. End of story.
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