Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kitchen practical jokes and chef rash

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I thought I would go with a bit of humor here today.

For you non culinarians out there you may or may not know that professional kitchens are like breeding grounds for practical jokes.  Well, here is a story that I promise will make you laugh.

Do you know what chef rash is?  Any chef reading this is cringing just by reading the term 'chef rash.' Like hearing about a psycho ex or something.
Bear with me, as I need to explain this to get to the funny part.  Kitchens are very hot places.  One of the places that gets the hottest is down below....I hope you don't need me to spell that out.  Well, when you add the heat, sweat and friction from your inner thighs rubbing together.  Trust me, if you look up the definition of 'sucks' in the dictionary it wold say "chef rash."  Wait, wouldn't that be "pain in the ass?"

One time my girlfriend saw me walking funny after work and asked what was wrong.  I replied "I have the worst case of chef rash ever."  Her demeanor changed in a second and she barked,  "What do you have?  Who have you been sleeping with?"  I had to explain just what it was.

I am happy to say that I don't get it often but on those rare occasions when it does make its unwelcome visit it is reminiscent of coincidentally bumping into your ex that you had a nasty breakup with.

Fortunately there is a remedy that is readily available in just about every kitchen.  It is called cornstarch. Believe it or not, it is actually better than baby powder.  You can use cornstarch as a substitute for baby powder but I haven't tried substituting baby powder for cornstarch. 
You can always tell who has chef rash because they are the ones frowning and walking like Gollum from Lord of the Rings or like they just got off a horse. They are the ones who make way for the walk in cooler. Once in the privacy of your well-cooled surroundings unbutton your pants, dip your hand in cornstarch and apply.  Those same individuals who went in the walk in with frowns come out with a huge smile.  Just like new.  Can you readers out there now understand why babies cry soo much if they have a rash?  It sucks man!  Trust me.  Feels like you are wearing sandpaper for underwear.

Now, onto the practical joke.  One time I worked with this dude that nobody in the kitchen liked.  I was just a cook at the time and he was more senior and he was always messing with us younger guys.  He was a real asshole.  I mean, like Gordon Ramsay type _ _ _hole.  So one day the 'old light bulb pops in my head and it was in the form of cornstarch.  I thought to myself 'I will get this bastard."  When everyone was on break I poured the cornstarch in the trash and put flour in the box.

He was very fat, sweat more than the rest of us and would often get chef rash. He kept his box of (stash) cornstarch hidden in the walk in like an alcoholic hides his beer and sneaks a drink when he can. Fortunately for me that particular day was very hot and I could see the chef rash gradually forming by the look on his face.  I was struggling to contain myself.  We were in the middle of the dinner rush and he says "guys, I forgot something in the walk in I will be right back."  I knew where he was going and I looked at the other cook who knew  what I did and we were snickering about it."  Then we heard a scream from the walk in. "Ahhh shit man.  God damnit!" He stormed out of the walk in and asked "which one of you _ _ _holes put flour in the cornstarch box?"  Nobody could answer because we were all laughing so hard.  I felt soo proud!  I almost felt bad for the moron because he had to go and change his pants.  The flour mixed with all that sweat made a paste.  By the way, I said I almost felt bad for him. 
Stay tuned for more recipes, culinary advice, philosophy and


  1. The other factor in the chef rash is the material that the pants are made out of most times is polyester 100% abrasive and holds in moisture & heat great stuff.

  2. Since you mention babies - lately on the topic of baby care and powder - pediatricians say no to all sorts of talcum powder,any little amount of it, but cornstarch based powder is ok for baby - some doc had a friend who knew a chef who had a rash i suppose.....