One of my pet hates is lazy restaurant cookery and lazy Chefs.
I saw it all at an independent Kent hotel I worked at, where the cook, who was called ‘Chef’ used to reheat food bought in by a nationwide frozen food company.
He proceeded to use packets of gravy granules (riddled with chemicals) for traditional Sunday Carvery, and for breakfast he served hotel guests and tourists scrambled egg made with egg powder, the stuff Britain used in World War Two rations. I mentioned this to him and of course, he made my life a misery thereafter! He never used any garnish either and used tons of salt. The Hotel Manager supported this lazy culture, and said the Chef could ‘do no wrong’, and despite his swearing and filthy moods. He was treated like a God.
Of course, these are just a few of the lazy things I saw going on, though he must have done a lot more lazy things.
Another ‘Chef’ at the same hotel absolutely hated it when any tourist asked for porridge, as she couldn’t be bothered to clear up the pan and tried to discourage people ordering it. This was accompanied by swearing, eyes rolling and deep sighs.
I spoke to one kitchen assistant who said that in a Sevenoaks country pub in Kent where he works, they use a machine to even cut up the parsley and the results look ‘absolutely terrible’ but ‘it’s quick’. He also said their Chefs used to chop up potatoes in squares, rather than peel them and they used to keep it quiet from the managers who hated financial waste.
When he worked at a private Tunbridge Wells golf club, at a Lions event, they had a ‘German meal’. This ready made meal was brought in from an outside company, from a brochure, in a plastic packet. All the ‘Chef’ had to do was to serve the cold sausages, cheese, pumpernickel and biscuits onto a plate. No cooking involved. The Lions gave the Golf Club lots of tips for their ‘special meal’ and probably as the Golf Club also gave them loads of wine Customers are regularly being swindled by the greedy restaurant trade.
Salads are positively dreadful these days, same whitish lettuce, a couple of cherry tomatoes and slices of red onion, the same ‘ready made side salad’ you see everywhere, next to a baked potato.
When I cook at home, I like to take pride in my work, the finishing touches really add to it. Food has to look delicious and I like to see effort, passion and new ideas. Just where has all this gone?
Some of the cafes you see in Kent, still have have 1950s menus and have never been changed. It is apple pie every day of the week for years. Lots of cafes have come into their area, but still they have not made any changes. And yes, the cafe is often pretty empty now.
Chefs are trained to cook properly and plan decent menus, why is that some don’t do any this when they get a job in the restaurant or hotel? Let me know your experiences.