Ten Easy Ways to Piss Off a Chef

Categories: (Un)sound Bites

yelp_flickr.jpg
Don't Yelp me, bro.Yelp! on Flickr
There was a time when going out to dinner was an indulgence. A thing you did when you really wanted to treat yourself. Now most of us head to restaurants out of necessity, or at least we tell ourselves that: We're either too busy or too lazy to actually prepare food for ourselves.

Professional chefs are happy to oblige this need, creating dishes for us that are much more delicious than what we're capable of cooking at home. But they'd prefer that we didn't barge into their restaurants hell-bent on making their evening a living hell.

Maybe you're not intentionally pissing off your chef. Maybe you're just innocuously annoying. And maybe you believe that, as a paying customer, it's your inalienable right. Regardless, here are 10 things that piss off chefs at restaurants of all kinds, from fine dining right down to that Olive Garden where you binge-eat breadsticks.

1. Threatening to leave a bad Yelp! review
Social media has given the average diner a lot of power. Any old asshole with a Yelp! account can scare away diners from a restaurant, especially if said asshole has a lot of followers and influence. Threatening to give a chef a bad Yelp! review because you didn't like your food is a very effective way to let everyone know that you're an asshole, but don't expect it to help you weasel your way out of paying the bill. Even if the food or service actually was bad, don't threaten anyone with your stupid Internet words. No one, least of all the chef, cares.

2. Asking for butter/salt/ketchup before even trying your food
Chefs spend hours crafting recipes that perfectly balance salt, acid and fat. A little piece of them dies every time you drown one of their beautiful plates in salt, but especially so if you haven't even tried the damn thing first. You've already pickled your organs with all the salt you've dumped on your other food, so how about giving that beef tartare a taste before deciding that you need to salt-cure it?

3. Demanding special treatment on your birthday or anniversary
Unfortunately now that you're an adult, special treatment on your birthday is kind of a thing of the past. Sure, the chef might be nice and offer you a free dessert to celebrate "your special day." You shouldn't, however, expect them to be so awed at the fact that you've managed to keep a wife for six years that they stop attending to every other diner in the restaurant in order to whip up a special gluten-free dessert for your blushing bride.

4. Not knowing what something is on a menu, ordering it, sending it back and expecting a free refill
Everybody should try new things, but you're not exactly an expert on how octopus should be cooked if you've never tried it. You don't get to send a dish back just because you didn't like it and demand a fresh (free) plate from the chef. Ask questions before you order, and if you go wrong, suck it up and eat that black pudding, or expect to pay for your dinner reboot.

5. Asking the number of calories in a dish
If dieting is your thing, good for you, but you shouldn't expect your chef to give a damn. Restaurant food is full of butter, cream, and oil; that's what makes it delicious. It's unlikely that your chef has calculated the exact caloric value for each portion, so don't ask. If it's not on the menu, they don't know, and they don't care.


My Voice Nation Help
47 comments
trich3
trich3

Guess what, my money, my taste buds, my choice, right? If you don't like people paying you for food, and actually expect it to be to their liking, then quit.


When I buy a car, I know what I want, I'm not going to try driving one I dislike just because that's the one the salesman wants me to have.


We all know that some people can be assholes to others that they see as being  there solely for their pleasure (I dated a girl for awhile who was a real bitch to servers and store clerks), but at the same time, these people pay your paycheck, so who cares if they ask for salt, pepper, ketchup, steak sauce, etc.-they know what they like, you don't.


Everyone would be a lot happier if they'd drop the attitude and the arrogance and try recognizing that we all have different tastes. Live and let live...


Rooster0620
Rooster0620

I guess I'm still trying to figure out why I would possibly care if the chef is pissed.

Take my cash and get over yourself. None of my customers care if I'm pissed, either...

About_that
About_that

Reasons outside of pickiness can regulate how someone orders their steak, mainly medical directions. People who have had organ transplants cannot eat anything which is not cooked fully. My husband truly would love a medium rare steak. Before his transplant he would have never ordered it any other way. But now, steak for him must be well done. He cheats a little and orders medium well. A good chef can turn out a very nicely done medium well - still tender and flavorful. Most chefs understand his dilemma. Ironically, the only steak house to take issue with this was the most expensive. I get it annoys chefs, but usually if they understand the problem they are more than happy to make his steak as enjoyable as possible.

glandeer
glandeer

The problem with people who order off the menu items is that they end up disliking it. You don't like the food you came into my RESTAURANT and "created" using your vast culinary knowledge and years of experience in our kitchen with our ingredients? NO WAY??? 

GatoCat
GatoCat

Medium? Not. Medium rare.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

All kidding aside try to have a clue about fine $$$$$ dining and the manners that are expected and even required at someplace other than a themed based nationally advertized establishment you might head out to for an in laws birthday.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

11. Food allergies

12. Disrespect of operation hours.

13. Moving furniture.

14. No show for your reservation.

15. Cellphones.

J_A_
J_A_

This is why I hate people

rondonaz
rondonaz

I have it on good authority that Matt's last name is spelled "McCallister".

bizzarem0n
bizzarem0n

Well, I live by Yelp. Not just doing what the reviews tell me, but evaluating the good acumen and explanations given for their opinions. So, if i read about a place that pisses off enough Yelpers, I avoid it like the plague. 
The majority of the other items are way too subjective. If the chef gets pissed.... booohooo... cry me a river. That's why its called a job and not a hobby. Because you have to do things you don't want to or enjoy as much. Now get back in the kitchen and do me that filet mignon well done but not too well done!! (Don't you love ambiguous directions?

cactusflinthead
cactusflinthead

A little insider tip via Bourdain concerning well-done steaks. That piece of beef that is on the bubble between edible and a science experiment is called 'save for well done'.

J.C. Penney would not hire a man that salted or peppered his food without tasting it first.

If you are the uber picky diner control freak there is very little chance I will want to share your company again. Do you also tell the plumber how to fix your sewer? Or your attorney how to try your case? You are probably going to pay them more than you did for dinner. If somebody starts telling me how to do my job rather than what they want done the price instantly goes up for having to put up with you.

method_man1449
method_man1449

Some of this is idiotic. especially with price being . if i go to dakotas and will have to place down 300 minimum(and a decent tip.. You dont tip well there and the wait staff will treat you like shiz. Though theres a fair chance of that anyhow.)that chef better damned well do whatever the hell i say. Since when does a customer paying for a service not have the right to request it too certain specification. What the hell happened to customer service in america?

CitizenKane
CitizenKane

Stupid list; for example, #2 makes no sense;  if i order butter, steak sauce or other condiments in advance, how does the chef know I WON'T taste before applying ?????????


Essentially the author is saying "chefs" (really cooks) cop attitudes for no reason? 



cyrrndr
cyrrndr

I've worked with a lot of chefs, and they they give just as good as they get. So, I really don't care if I piss them off.

don909tiny
don909tiny

I see more comment's. On yelp telling how bad food was or how high it is .When you say. things most are out of spite and untrue so don't believe their crap

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Anyone who orders a $60 steak well done should get it without any angst on the chef's part.  After all, (s)he knows they're getting just what they deserve.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@Sharon_Moreanus  Most chef's I've talked to divide 11 up -- the people with real food allergies don't bother them.  If peanuts will kill you, they'll figure out how to keep you alive.  The ones that they hate are the ones who are "allergic" to avocados... this week.  


"I said I was allergic to avocados!"  I'm sorry, I'll have it made again.  "No, it's fine, I'll just pick them off."  Then you're not allergic, asshole.  You just don't like avocados.  

GatoCat
GatoCat

@J_A_  Good choice. That's going to get you far in life.

GatoCat
GatoCat

@cactusflinthead  Regarding telling the plumber how to fix my sewer: I once had a backed-up sewer. The plumber told me he would need to replace my toilet because it was blocked. I asked why he couldn't just run his roto-snake down the line and unclog it. He stammered something unintelligible and excused himself to go to the next job, and the next day I bought a drain cleaner for about 10 bucks and did it myself. Should have done that before calling a ripoff artist. Lesson learned.

EdCota
EdCota

@cactusflinthead  I guess I could never work for JCP, but I like to have salt and pepper at my table from the get go, rather than taste the food, wait for the server to reappear, ask server to fetch the salt and pepper, then apply. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@cactusflinthead  Right.  A menu is set for many reasons.  If a diner doesn't see anything to his liking he should put the menu down, get up, and leave.

GatoCat
GatoCat

@method_man1449  You are delusional in pretty much everything you say. Get this straight: the tip comes after the service, not before, so your service is not dependent upon how much you tip. And the chef will do exactly what he is there to do, which is prepare his meals according to his recipe, regardless of what you say. You are there to buy his product, not to tell him how to prepare it. If you can't handle that, there will be a Burger King somewhere close by where you can have it your way.

CitizenKane
CitizenKane

BTW, how does a chef (presumably busy in the back kitchen) know I prematurely asked for butter, steak sauce, or mustard ?????????


Enquiring minds want to know..........


Stupid list.......

GatoCat
GatoCat

@everlastingphelps @Sharon_Moreanus  I'd rather have the avacados I said I was allergic to not show up, than have the restaurant test whether I'm telling the truth by seeing if I go into a seizure and then figuring out how to keep me alive.

J_A_
J_A_

Lighten up

cactusflinthead
cactusflinthead

@GatoCat @cactusflinthead  to you and phelps. There is a difference between not getting ripped off by unscrupulous plumbers, mechanics or lawyers and telling them how to do their job. If you had a collapsed sewer line or the seal was busted on that toilet would you have told him how to do the job? And phelps if you are going into court with a certain expectation of an outcome and the lawyer says you are out of your ever loving mind what do you do then? 


I am not saying that either party is without some input. I do want my steak done a certain way. That is expected. if you have a clogged toilet that is vastly different than having a collapsed clay sewer line. 


I would not have dreamed of telling my divorce attorney how to do her job. I asked what to expect and what was going to be required of me. I wanted to know about the judge and how I should behave towards him. I don't expect the defense attorney cottons to his clients telling him what angle to play with the judge or how to argue their cases. 


If you want to know why I recommend one set of plants over another, but you are bound and determined to plant an ill-suited one instead, that is on you and you will likely be finding yourself without any guarantee on them and might be finding a different landscaper. 

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@GatoCat @method_man1449  Get this straight: the tip comes after the service, not before, so your service is not dependent upon how much you tip.


You are doing it wrong.  Start tipping earlier, and you'll see a world of difference.  Tip the hostess and bartender before you get to your table.  I guarantee that word will get back to your waiter.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@GatoCat @everlastingphelps @Sharon_Moreanus  Please read the words that I actually wrote instead of what the voices in your head said I wrote.


In my scenario, they offered to immediately remake it.  If you actually are allergic, you let them remake it, because even the little bits that are left from where they touched will cause a reaction.  If you are willing to just pick them off, then that means you are just a picky lying asshole.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@cactusflinthead @GatoCat  And phelps if you are going into court with a certain expectation of an outcome and the lawyer says you are out of your ever loving mind what do you do then? 


I listen to his advice, weigh it heavily because he is an expert, and then tell him to do what I want him to do.  Seriously, I work in litigation, this is a point of ethics.  It's much more of an issue for people in the criminal system than the civil, especially with public defenders, but it happens all over.  You should be in control of your case at all times.  


The ethical line is fine.  It's not supposed to be easy to be a lawyer.  There is a requirement that the lawyer advises the client, "you really shouldn't go that way, we need to do A, B, and C instead."  But at the end of the day, as long as XYZ isn't unethical itself, he goes with it when the client wants it, or he withdraws as counsel.


Is the best idea to follow virtually all of your attorney's advice?  ABSOLUTELY.  But if you decide to buck it, and he doesn't let you, then you have a bad lawyer.


(Note:  For the third time, follow your lawyer's advice.  You are a moron if you don't.  But, if you have a lawyer who tries to force you to do something, you have a bad lawyer.)

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@Rusticle @Mervis_Earl  Keep the Change was a great book on tipping, how to do it and its history.  You can easily fill that blank with "Lexus drivers".  


(Also, tipping is racist -- the system, I mean.  Read the book.)

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...