Originally posted by EliseT
Do I sense a Photoshop challenge? See what you can do with the crab cakes!
Those were exactly what I expected the crab cakes to look like. The crab is so fine that you can't tell what it is besides breaded mooshy crab. I know, as I used to make them that way. My memory is foggy, but I bet I used Dungeness crab instead of the Chesapeake Bay variety. This may explain why they seemed different.
I have been reading this thread with great amusement. I also like the 'Professionals section' as it covers so many aspects of this business. Your story reflects what goes on behind closed kitchen doors (and out onto the street). Everybody has a 'Bad Boss' story, but Vittorio is the champ among his employees.
I have met my fair share, as I reminisced about 'Rage-ero' in S.F. but I do have a recent story. I had a job cooking in a kitchen with an Egyptian chef, and his Turkish sous-chef, who ran the show. The menu was pretty much Italian. I always thought that their background was unusual for doing this cuisine. But in this region of Connecticut, anything with red sauce is Italian.
They worked at this place for over 15 years each and bragged how they terminated previous cooks no matter how good. They were not good enough.
They kept the recipes to themselves and I found it incredibly revealing that the pantry girl who had worked for over two years did not know how to make a simple house salad dressing. Knowledge is power and they wanted all the power. As long as only they knew the recipes their jobs were safe. They could not be replaced as nobody else knew how things were made.
On my first day, I introduced myself to some of the waitresses, and one of them said "Good Luck", but not in an encouraging way. After my first two weeks, one of the bartenders came back and asked "You're still here?"
I would work doing things their way. My problem was that I would let the chef know when we were running out of items. He would become irate, as he felt that it was a challenge to the fact that he was the chef and knew what was needed and required. It became an issue of "Are you telling me my job? You are not the chef, I am!" Whatever.
I became so tired of his tantrums that one night I got to the point where I said "My mama did not raise me to be talked like this by a guy like you." and I walked.
This is a lot of writing about two chefs in one place. Yes, on the first day, I felt that there might be problems. I knew I was in the wrong place when one of the chefs asked a waitress if she was thirsty. It was a hot August day and she said "Yes". The chef said, "Open your mouth...!!!"
I'm from San Francisco, where the women are tough and the men are pretty. If you said that to a waitress back home, you would be kicked between the legs and dragged from there across the kitchen.
These guys make me wish that I could find them in a dark alley away from their home turf where they think they are omnipotent. I'm betting that if I ever saw them in the real world, they would slink away....like cockroaches. There was only one place that they have power, that is the kitchen. They were small people in a big world.