Saturday, 13 September 2014

The Language of the Kitchen

I came into work in a pretty negative frame of mind after three days off.
I'm always early.
It's good to be early.
In the morning, I have my OCD processes which help me survive as a chef: routines, priorities, lists... 

I set about them, my lists, burners on, grill on, oven on, poaching pan, blanching pan, soup, boards, knives, spoons, leaves, rocket, salad, more spoons, bread, condiments, dressings, boards, bowls, crisps, saladette prep, lids off tubs in service fridges, dressings, check prep in walk-in, check prep in salad fridge, check cellar for breads, oils, paprika, balsamic and so on...

If you can do this in the ten minutes before service, then you are a better man than me.

If you walked into the kitchen in the morning and didn't already have an idea of where to start, you're in trouble.
Mind you, if you walked into the kitchen in the evening, perhaps when it is going at full tilt and you're not used to it - likely you'll get a shock.
The fans are noisy and the heat can be oppressive. Lots of noise, pans and plates, those fans and the dishwasher and several men, different shapes and sizes, in striped aprons, swearing.
I love swearing.
"Fuck this," and "fuck that off," is the language I love to participate in.
The language of the kitchen:
"We can say what we want, we're in here" - Danny.

But I digress.
I come in, in a defeatist mood, beaten before I start, not my usual self.
But who's in?
Andy, Staples, Danny Cheers.
What a fucking pleasure then.
Three experienced, highly competent young chefs (young compared to myself).
Three chefs which will leave me alone to get on with it.
Three chefs who will instruct me if I'm getting it wrong and support me if I'm getting it right.
Andy "are-you-going-to-clean-down-then" Davies,
Mike "shout-fuckoff-as-loud-as-I-can-every-time-I-sneeze" Staples,
And Danny "I'm-never-going-to-shut-the-fuck-up" Cheers.

I guess very few of them cottoned on to the TS Eliot influences in the last post and presume fewer have time to translate German. So I shall oblige.

900 - Der Ausländische Platte.
 Sterben langsam in einem Garten voller Rosen.
Sie werden keinen Kredit erhalten.

900 - The Foreign Plate.
 Die slowly in a garden full of roses.
You will receive no credit.

Es ist eine platte, in der Küche, die ich verstecken immer in den haufen - der ausländische platte.

There is a plate in the kitchen that I always hide in the pile - the foreign plate.

Nehmen Sie mich zurück in die alte Heimat, wo ich bin gut darin, auf meinen eigenen.

Take me back to the old country, where I am good on my own.

Der ausländische platte wird blut zu ziehen, wenn es auf dem boden zertrümmert.
900 - sich hüten, der ausländische Platte kommt durch…

The foreign plate will draw blood when smashed on the floor.
900 - beware, the foreign plate comes through...

sie können nicht einmal wissen, er ist ein Spinner...

you may not even know he's a nutter...

...and so what a pleasure, just getting on with the job... being a fucking brilliant writer but working as a chef... just getting on with the job... with the salt of the fucking earth for inspiration... Christ it makes me laugh... Christus sie bringen mich zum lachen Danny...

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