Salutations my devout followers. It is time once again to read about the exploits of the Pont de Barre Public House, as I, The Grumpy Chef, embark on my next monumental berating of everyting catering based ( from abelone to zucchini and everything in between ).
Its been quiet, too quiet in fact and I know why its been quiet........Christmas is on its way. I shit you not, its coming and now it is only 317 days 19 hours and 42 minutes until its time for the festivities to begin again. So every annoying, loud and overzealous office, factory, school and emergency service home base is saving like a bastard ready for their next night of Xmas debauchery and depravity. Where things that were once unimaginable and sometimes inconceivible now seem to be acceptable as long as you have drunk such copious amounts of alcohol that you end up praying to the porcelain gods with an offering of half digested Oysters Rockefeller, Beef Bourguignon and Plum Pudding ( Hopefully remembering that holly actually isnt edible ). Remember, groping the bosses' wife isnt just for Christmas, but for life! A life of photocopying, teaboy/girl duties and answering the phones. Sending facimilies of your posterior is not advisable either at Xmas parties, especially with the added worry of camera phones and the internet. In fact the latter 2 items should be cause enough to make every Works Doo as sober as Cliff Richard at a Salvation Army Dinner Dance ( Maybe a bit unfair there, we all remember Wired For Sound, what a track. God Bless Ya, Sir Cliff )
Best of all, is when these obscure, sometimes semi-skilled/educated and unintelligible rapscallions descend on unsuspecting restaurants and hotels for their 3 course meals ( including a glass of wine of course ), free party hats and Brakes Bros Christmas Crackers. For less than a tenner, they can cause more mayhem and destruction than the Chelsea Headhunter Hooligans at a derby match or the Billy squaring up to the Tim at an Old Firm game in Glasgow.
You see this is where I think Footie Hooligans have got it wrong. Why spend exuberant wads of cash on season tickets, public transport, and lashings of White Lightening cider or Special Brew when all you need to do is wait till Christmas! The company pays for the mini bus, half the food and usually a free bar long enough for half the staff to get reasonably soused before someone realises that they nicked the extra "free drink" tickets two hours ago and have been giving them out randomly without any thought for the situation they are about to cause........the banning of their company ( in fact any company ) from ever being allowed back into this paticular hotel/restaurant, you can usually guarantee at least one cat fight and a couple of push me - pull you goings on between a few of the shop floor lads ( maybe even a scuffle amongst the IT Department due to the fact half the system crashed and now they are blaming each others porn downloads for creating the problem! ( When we all know that it is really just that Windows is just damn unstable.........Burn in HELL, Mr Gates! ).
As Chefs, we dont really see all this, and I'm glad we dont. We don't have the patience or restraint to deal with these.........people. We would wade in with arms flailing, brandishing meat forks and soup ladels ( which can really hurt if you get the correct point on someones noggin ). That is why we are Chefs. Most members of kitchen pirate crews have worked front of house, now that may surprise you, but, that is why they now work the kitchens. Customers dont like being shouted at by the person that has just brought their lunch. They dont like having a fork shoved up their nostrils because they dont like dressing on salad. I had a customer who had a Club Sandwich yesterday, it was made to perfection by my Commis, presented beautifully and when it went out the kitchen door.....it came straight back in within seconds because the customer had forgotten that she was allergic to butter and wanted to know if there was any on the dish she had already ordered!
Another Guest yesterday asked for a gammon steak. When asked 'Would you like an egg or pineapple with that, Sir?' he replied, 'What's an egg?'.??????????? Then he actually enquired, 'I didnt know you used eggs here'. They really do walk amongst us. In both cases, comments that would have cost them dearly had I been working on the other side of my steel reinforced swing door ( with double bolt locks and bulletproof glass ).