The trouble with being a chef is a list like phone directory. The plus points are that it’s good to eat well (which can be achieved on your days off). There are other points to this list but I’m unsure what they are. That is I don’t know if having a good many filthy jokes at your disposal is actually, really, a good thing or virtue. Honestly they don’t translate well outside of a kitchen environment. Chefs can’t behave like that outside of the kitchen, criminal minded roustabouts, in my experience, that isn’t negligible A chef can’t talk the way he does to his colleagues to his mother. Rape jokes are not fine or cool.
Many chefs I’ve met are actually not from broken homes or the woods. Many chefs come from the Home Counties. Off cause in kitchens you’ll meet lunatics from Bosnia who fought on the other side in that war and you’ll meet imbeciles who come from Brisbane. My advice in these matters is the war criminals will help out with your crème Brule the chaps from Brisbane will be morons. What was it he said? “I read two books, the bible and cookery books” Who wants to spend hours upon hours in a small hot room with a man who makes such statements. And makes them with pride. I’m suggesting that the man in question was a bona fide idiot, a chef from The Gold Coast.
With potential exceptions people from Queensland are all morons. Morons who want to cook up scallops and white truffle mash. I’m being specific with my racism. Understand that it’s not all Australians its just chefs called Darren from Brisbane. Oh I want to go there, I want to go to Australia, the red sands the desserts billabongs and such, Melbourne has trams and good cafe culture and much of some of Australia. But Queensland has to be populated by illiterate oafs. But where was I, oh yes. I was making a huge sweeping generalisation based on what I’ve seen or heard in kitchens. And I’ve just decided to stick to it because kitchens are the laws are laid down, the laws of idiocy. The laws pertain to what is ungodly. I’d not worked in London for years and came back into a kitchen. I stood at a stove cooking for twelve hours. This Endless rotation of roast potatoes to and from the oven. Who decreed that that was ok? It wasn’t just that made me leave the entire city? And speaking in a certain defence of the lunacy; I understand where it comes from. I just want to be well adjusted like my friends, my friends who do jobs I don’t understand (account managers and such) I want a job that didn’t draw compassions to punishment. I’m working fifty hours over the Easter bank holiday. I’ve also been looking at the Stations of the Cross illustrations. I see a certain element of comparison, oh we’re martyrs to your dinner. I’ve been to Galilee. And I’ve been to Hackney. Never trust a skinny chef they say. Many chefs have all the body fat of Christ on the cross and the drawn facial expression of the crucified. Oh yes, I’m exaggerating and blaspheming. You would if you were I. That is I do. The calmness of the kitchen; the sought after understanding and balance of and grammatically correct green sauce or salsa verde. Endless questions and endless frangipane. Endless string bags of endless shallots and endless little wee onions. We’re going to be doing a lot of pickling here Jack, the chef says as his head turns to kilos of silver skin onions and a pairing knife. Four hours later I smelt like an onion I had a bleeding thumb and I was no longer enthralled to be back in a London kitchen the reality of coffee table cookery books is dashed against the rocks of repetitive horrible/boring jobs. If a person becomes a chef before around 20 then that is just and fine, if I meet a person who leaves a job in city to become a chef then that person is deluded and needs saving. Then what, I got a job in old Street a kitchen I like, food I like and staff I (mostly) like. And it’s the joy of seasonal British food again… It’s becoming cyclical. I like this kitchen, but I hope it’s my last.