Ten Easy Ways to Piss Off a Chef
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.
Don't Yelp me, bro. Yelp! on Flickr
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.