I am working on a couple blogs that require a bit more thought so for a week or so I will stick to some shorter blogs and recipes and so forth. With all these reality shows on TV you can see what it is like behind the scenes in many professions, including kitchens.
I have had a number of people who watch Gordon Ramsay's TV shows ask me if working in a kitchen, getting ripped apart by the chef is how it really is and it is, although not like it used to be. America and UK are very litigious societies so you can't treat people like that anymore although it does happen, just not as often. In corporations you can't get away with that for sure.
When I watch some of those TV shows it reminds me of some crazy chefs I have worked for and I remember one of my culinary instructors from the culinary college I went to in Baltimore, Maryland.
This instructor's name was chef Keeney. He looked crazy, had crazy teaching techniques, acted crazy but everyone respected him because he was good at what he did.
There are two things I remember most about him.
One was a game he had us play called "baseball." He would blindfold you and then hold a small bowl of some random spice under your nose and you had to smell it and guess what it was. The game was called "baseball" because you got three strikes and then you were out.
The other was how he punished one of the students who tried to deceive him. I don't remember this particular student's name but he was one of those guys who was always screwing up and always thought he could get one over on the teacher. We all know that normally doesn't work.
One day this student had to make quiche as part of his lesson but he burned it. He thought the smart thing to do was to hide it in the trash. He then made another one but the problem was the class was about to end and his quiche wasn't quite done cooking. When the instructor came to check on everyone before class ended he asked this student why it took so long for him to make one quiche. The student started making excuses but you could see he was tripping over his own words. It reminded me of watching "Cops" where you see some idiot getting pulled over for suspected drunk driving and the person can't get a sentence out properly.
The instructor, not only knowing this student's track record of being a screw up and not being forthcoming, knew something was "not Kosher in Denmark." The instructor started searching the trash and found the burnt quiche. How did he teach this student his lesson about not only paying attention to what you are doing but to be honest?
He got some butcher twine, poked a hole through a piece of quiche and made a necklace out of it and told the student he had to wear that fucking quiche necklace for a week.
Hilarious. We all nicknamed that student "Lorraine," after quiche Lorraine........ Classic