KnifeofBrian on: What are the questions that chefs love to hate?

The  Staff Canteen

What are the questions and statements that chefs fear the most? KnifeofBrian tells us more.

For this month’s post, I thought I’d list 11 Comments and Questions chefs love to hate. I know these grind on me. Feel free to add yours via the comments below!

Can I get a discount?

Chefs are always asked for a discount. No matter which level they work at in the kitchen, it seems to be assumed that they have senior powers to slice a cool 20% off their friend’s bills. This is not the case. Most chefs don’t even get discounts themselves. If they do happen to own the restaurant, bar or hotel and this friend wants to visit, then the friendly thing to do would be to support them by expecting to pay full price. Anything else is a bonus.

Have you ever worked with?

Mostly NO! There are millions of chefs in the world. We don’t all know each other, and we have not all worked for that 0.01% who are fortunate enough to have their own TV show on the BBC.

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Not a signature dish!

What's your signature dish?

I really hate this one. Back in the 1990s, every chef on TV seemed to have a signature dish. This then filtered down into the mainstream consciousness. Resulting in it being the follow-up question, once meeting new people and they realise they are in the presence of a chef. A signature dish is a luxury reserved for those in the world of competitive cookery. Or those with a book deal. Brian from The Greyhound Pub has no signature dish. He’s too busy for that shit!

What's in this <insert random dish in random restaurant>

Like I said before. We chefs do not all know each other, and we are not all connected via WiFi or Bluetooth. So, if we are fortunate enough to be invited out for a meal with a group of friends or family. We do not automatically know what is in the random establishments fish pie or beef curry. We can only guess as much as the next person.

I bet your partner eats well!

Well, I guess she might. I’m never home…. This question is based on the assumption that I am home cooking for my beloved every day. She feasts on nothing, but restaurant grade meals cooked by me. Sous Vide venison fillet with confit shallots garnished with edible flowers n shit! Nah bruv! She’s been to Morrisons and picked up a salad, some falafels and a bottle of Echo Falls Rose. She’s happy. After 18 years of marriage, she knows how to take care of herself in the kitchen. A chef’s spouse knows the score. Which leads me to number 6….

What do you want to do on your day off babe?

You need to be honest with yourself. It took me a long time to realise what I needed. Which aspects of my life were toxic, and Nothing. I want to do nothing. I want to sleep in until midday. I’ll eat those kit-kats, the crisps and the Muller Rice you were saving for the kids packed lunches. Then I’ll watch ALL the catch-up TV which I’ve missed all week…plus I may lose myself in an episode of Jeremy Kyle. My brain needs to operate in the power-save mode for a while. Like Windows 95, the shutdown procedure takes a while…. “It is now safe to shut down your chef"

Are you one of those shouty/angry chefs?

No. He’s called Gordon Ramsay. He’s made millions from his persona (and talent) It works for him and may have worked for that generation of chefs. But we are now in the 21st century where being a bell end is frowned upon and not accepted. I’d be out of a job and unemployable if I adopted the angry chef model of leadership. This question is usually asked by someone who doesn’t actually know me that well. Those who have worked with me will know that I am “Chill AF” No drama in my kitchens. Channel the adrenalin into the work. Move on.

Oh, you would hate to cook for me, I am a really fussy eater!

Nothing to add. You are correct. I will not be cooking for you…. Ok. Fussy eaters who come in to eat my food are welcome. I like to feel I am adaptable. But I will swear, mutter under my breath and talk trash behind your back. But you do pay my wages. But yes. I will hate it.

I bet you are really fussy when you eat out!

Any chef worth their salt will have realistic expectations when they eat out. A chef will never criticise a plate of food set down in front of them. Come on! It’s very rare if we actually eat from a plate, let alone have someone prepare us a meal. Quite literally Don’t bite the hand which feeds you!

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A busy evening
in the kitchen

I will pop in for a chat when you are at work!

Can I come and see you while you’re at work?! Just because I work in a public house does not mean I am not working. Just because I’m the head chef, do not assume I have a platoon of minions hanging onto my apron strings, waiting to do my bidding. I don’t swan into the kitchen with a tasting spoon like the Man From Del Monte. I’m busting my arse to keep the trip advisor brigade happy. I always appreciate a hello. I really love a beer being sent to the kitchen. But please understand, I have a job to do. And if we do chat and I seem distracted…. Something is probably burning.

What's good on the menu chef?

I can’t believe I nearly missed this one. I really can’t tell you what you want to eat. All the food is good, in my opinion. My team and I  have done our best to deliver the best product we can. We have produced a menu for you to choose from. Make a decision and stop bothering me….. But actually… maybe try the Salt Cod, broad bean and prawn risotto. I think it’s bloody lush! ????

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little list and taken it in the humour it’s meant. If you have any comments or questions you want to add, please drop me a line.

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Brian Powlett, KnifeofBrian

Knife of Brian

Knife of Brian is head chef at the Greyhound Ipswich and Knife of Brian Cookery & Catering. He supports CALM (campaign against living miserably) male suicide charity and has just finished his first pop up event at the Suffolk Show and would be a gigolo if he wasn't a chef.

For more blogs like this from Knife of Brian visit his website www.knifeofbrian.co.uk

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Editor 11th September 2018

KnifeofBrian on: What are the questions that chefs love to hate?