It never fails to amaze me, the constant drama of working in a kitchen. There’s egos flying everywhere (not to mention easy access weapons should those egos get bruised), and people each have unique personalities. It’s just like the intense heat and pressure of the kitchen to cause those personalities to clash. A line is a team, whether they are your friend or not. If one fails, you all fail. This week its just been ridiculous at work. I can honestly say that I know what it’s like to be Switzerland.
One the one side is the owners of the restaurant, to which we will refer to as J, V, and D. On the other side we have the kitchen staff, minus yours truly. Now it is common for them to interfere with specials and normal kitchen stuff, but they are notoriously unclear at times, and quite often give conflicting orders. D is the worst, he buzzes around the kitchen and is always picking at food and making small messes (we secretly refer to him as Voldemort from Harry Potter). He feels the need to give his opinion on literally everything in the kitchen, from the smallest crumb on a table to what food we should make to suit him. J and V are really the best two out of the bunch, both really good guys to which I’ve never had an issue with.
While we were chef-less for while, I had the honor of replacing Joe Bae as head chef, at least for a few months. So you can understand how only two days in I have to deal with not only the varying issue of the owners, but those of the guys on the line. Dan, my second hand guy, doesn’t like the disaster zones left by some of the sloppier guys, the mountains of prep dishes left behind, and overall interference from the owners. Today is when Dan went toe to toe with the big dogs.
Dan is a hard worker, but while the owners interfere its their right to do so. Dan unfortunately had his ego bruised by J when he basically outsmarted Dan in the same manner Dan tried to do to argue with D. J basically offered two options to him, either do all the prep himself (which is impossible) or let the prep guys do their jobs. I personally scold them time in and time out over this since I don’t like sloppiness either. Dan grumbled his way back in and proceeded to clean his rage away (and my kitchen has never been shinier). Since I’ve never been an executive chef before I felt compelled to raise his morale like a friend on the line would, convincing him to stay employed with us. Boy the Swiss never had it so good.