Dispatches from Suburbia

If I played an instrument, I would have a band called "The Simon Thomsen Sex Tape"; and other musings, rants, and disconnected ramblings.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

House of (kitchen) Horrors

"Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble."

I cook at an extremely popular Albuquerque restaurant chain known as Flying Star. The meals being served at said restaurant are generally thought of as being fairly fancy and are appropriately pricy. I'm sure many of our customers have an image of some rotund, red faced individual--like something they may have seen on the food network--treating their plate with extra special care.

What people hardly ever seem to realize is that, beneath their starched chef's coats, many line cooks are crude, rude, and downright vulgar, and some of us don't even practice good hygiene. Otherwise, don't you think we'd find a job in which we could be exposed to customers without embarrassing our employers?

I'm not saying anything against Flying Star. Actually, I take pride in working at a restaurant that is so well liked. I used to work at Gardunos, a restaurant with an increasingly poor reputation, and now I'm embarrassed to even admit that I worked at such a place. The thing with Flying Star is that it is run with the knowledge that, lots of times, the restaurant industry--especially kitchens--tends to attract employees with little human interaction (or else we'd choose work that didn't involve devoting our weekends to our jobs). Many of us don't really understand proper behavior.

Flying Star has strict rules to ensure sanitary practices, and the strictness is key. An infraction could mean dire consequences. When you go to a restaurant, any restaurant, take a look at the line cooks. Sure, they all look the same--fairly clean in those white coats, almost like doctors. But REALLY look at them. What do they do on their time off from work? How do they dress? Are they drinkers? Do they do drugs? Are they religious? Are they married? Do they bathe? You never know, but you'll always have access to the restaurant's reputation. If you're eating at a reputable place, chances are that they have safeguards against less than admirable employees.

To avoid some real Halloween horrors when you go out tonight for a devilish dish, try to avoid a chest hair in your meal, or E. coli, or Salmonella, or any other nightmare by spending a few extra bucks at a reputable joint. I encourage you to read your restaurant reviews and remember that you can never kn0w the personal lives of the folks making your meal.

By the way, I'm a very clean person, as are many of my co-workers. I'm just saying that you never know. Happy Halloween.


At 2:40 AM, Blogger JR's Thumbprints said...

We have a Food Tech class in the prison where I work. I wonder how many ex-felons work in fancy restaurants? My guess is zilch.

At 7:33 AM, Blogger Bird on a Wire said...

A prison, eh? Talk about fascinating jobs...


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