Monday, 15 September 2014

8 tips to efficiency. Next Week : An Interview With Joe

"Be careful what you say, he might write a blog about you," has been said more than once in my presence.
No I won't.
It would be a cheap, nasty, not to say effortless trick, to play character assassination in such an industry. No, I'm pretty sure the psuedo-psycho-analytical kitchen-related philosophy is the more trying but rewarding path.
And so, on this serious note, and with the thought in mind that there are "new-starts" in the kitchen who might wish to immerse themselves in the culinary arts but have a lack of practical or technical experience, I should like to take the liberty of listing a few tips to get you on the way.

1 - Learn how to use a knife properly.

I have cut myself on bins, ovens, shelves, boxes, racking, doors, plastic tubs, dishwashers, blue-roll dispensers, shelves, pots, food, frying pans, graters, hoovers, brushes, dustpans, sinks, taps, earthenware, glass and clingfilm boxes. I have never cut myself with a knife.
1 - Learn how to use a knife properly.

2 - Buy a second-hand copy of Practical Cookery by Kinton, Ceserani and Foskett - undoubtedly the best basic reference tool for any aspiring chef.

3 - Wash your hands and wipe your boards.

There is a lovely Scottish mother on the web commenting on her child's toilet ettiquette Lovely Scottish Mum describing what it is if you don't wash your hands as a chef or flush the toilet as a child)
Wash your hands, wipe your boards, don't get pepper or dill stains on your sandwich bread, it's fucking disgusting.

4 - Tune into your Wangfuk.
 This is the south-east Asian monks' term for your energy which is specifically stored for your animal instinct - for example, the energy one would use to have sexual relations in a graveyard after drinking cheap cider and blackcurrent until 3.30 am after a day of M-cat
and liberty caps.
Bonin' in the Boneyard - trimming meat in the abattoir?
4 - Tune into your Wangfuk.

5 - Do all the jobs you least want to do.
We only avoid dishes, either because we don't know them well, or don't execute them adequately enough. If you continue to do all the dishes you don't want to do, they become the ones you know and execute better than any other.
5 - Do all the jobs you least want to do.

6 - Pray.

Under the guidance of your Lord or "Higher Power" you shall realise that you are not walking through the valley of the shadow of death, but merely a kitchen, on your way to the toilet. No-one forces you to be in the kitchen, we have a welfare-state which will adequately provide for the overly-lazy, so if you choose to be there, take some pride in what you do, feel the freedom of that choice.
6 - Pray - thanking your Lord that you both physically and mentally able enough to survive such an environment and be involved in the process of feeding your fellow man.

7 - Shut your fucking puss and do what your told.

The kitchen does not work as a democracy, it can only work as a dictatorship.
If someone is superior to you, in any sense, shut the fuck up and do what you are told. Then, if it all goes tits up, blame them.
Personally, I have always been of the opinion that I am firstly and only answerable to my head chef. I take orders from no-one else, only advice.
Chef is my boss, anyone else, I am only doing favours for. (please refer to Chef and I)
7 - Shut the fuck up and do what your told.

8 - If you can slip anything under the radar that is better than the spec dish, but costs no more and does not affect the bulk protein, do it - it's under the radar, isn't it.


Well, now to get to the point, philosophically of course.

Sigmund Freud was a crank, but he did some important work.
He developed what became known as "The Talking Cure" although the phrase preceded him.
In what would be known as the Modernist period in literature, with James Joyce, TS Eliot and Virginia Woolf coming to the fore at the turn of the nineteenth century with an unprecedented honesty about their feelings, thoughts and mental behaviour, psychoanalysis began to develop and the reality that certain ailments, or problematic behaviours could be changed - cured - just by talking about them.

The problem with Freud though, is the same as the problem with prayer, in that neither, neither really scratch that itch. That relentless, taunting spine-monkey, that scratch, that scratch, that itch, that itch.
But talking, just talking, can actually cure you - just like the kitchen can - it can distract you from all those fears and itchy itches.

Bonin' in the Boneyard.

That bass scratches that itch.

But who is Chef? Who is Joe?
What of the food? What of the fishing? What of the dogs?

Well, fortunately, Joe has agreed to be interviewed by myself for the next post (though he doesn't know it yet).

Next post - "An Interview with Joe" where I shall respectfully bombard him with interesting questions about himself, food, philosophy and existence.

If you would like to hear what Joe has to say, please show your support on the dedicated page - "An interview with Joe" - it might be on Facebook, or Twitter or Snapchat or some other shit like that.
I'd like to know, anyhoo... who likes bonin' in the boneyard? Me? Joe? Jams? Find out in next week's issue of "The ninth and most important tip to kitchen efficiency..."

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