#TeamFabio – I don’t know if you’re ready for this journey into the mind and mentality of a chef, but if you are, you might not send your steak back next time ) hahahaha I’m kidding you guys. Uncle Fabio is ready to make your mouth melt and tantalize your taste buds with good food and even better knowledge. I’m opening up my brain 180 degrease and letting you take a peak FREE OF CHARGE !! How bout that ?!
You can’t talk about a chef without talking about the restaurant industry. A chef, by definition, means, “a professional cook, typically the chief cook in a restaurant or hotel.” Think of the restaurant like an airplane, and the chef as the pilot. At the end of the day, we are cooks. We are flavor developers. We are taste testers and jugglers of art meets taste buds. The ONLY other experience that encapsulates ALL 5 SENSES is……well…….I think you get the picture #foodissexy
However, with all these senses driving a preverbal Formula One, Nitro Boosted, Turbo thrusted machine, we tend to let our emotions carry into others areas. Yelling, I mean direction with attitude, is essential in the kitchen. Some chefs are a little louder than others, but it really comes down to communication. That dictates how any kitchen runs. The chef is responsible for directing service, solving problems, developing dishes, and making sure the diner’s experience is perfect. That’s a lot of things going on at one time – I mean, Ci***tta !! (that’s my way of to keep it PG for any kids reading. Sorry moms!! I love you guys!!) I hope you are starting to see why some chef’s have more than a teaspoon of attitude.
For me, it’s about being a Maestro. A conductor of the symphony. Wielding the baton of direction and experience to create beautiful, luscious, sweet sounding music for my guest. Whew, is it getting hot in here ?? YES IT IS DUH – ITS A KITCHEN !! It’s always hot – hahahahaha I crack myself up sometimes ) When I step into the kitchen, I’m constantly looking at what can be improved, adjusted, or tweaked to make my customers experience all the better. Some people may perceive my persistence to perfection a tad bit over the top or egotistical, but to me, it’s not even about me – it’s about you guys !! If it means I have an “attitude” while being in the kitchen, sign me up. I’m ready for action.
When you are in charge of any business, lots of factors come into play. You are ultimately in charge of people’s livelihoods. If the restaurant makes money, the people do too. If it doesn’t, then the people might be looking for jobs. Any chef worth his weight in Pancetta cares for his employees. He takes time to nurture and help shape dishwashers and line cooks into people who might one day be running the restaurant for him. He implements discipline in the hearts of his staff because if he didn’t, his kitchen would be out of order. EVERYTHING in the kitchen has to be in order for it to run smoothly. So many things go into making sure your plate of food arrives in front of you the way it should. From the lighting, to the plates, to the aroma, to the description, and so on. Chef’s are responsible for your viewing pleasure when it comes to food. And they want you to love every minute of it.
The kitchen is not for everyone though. If a person can’t handle being given direction, taking constructive criticism, and maybe even the occasional slap on the head, this job is not for them. Maybe that’s where some chef’s get their attitudes. They have to be able to weed out the non-workers before their garden begins to bloom. I’ve got strong hands and love gardening so I’ve done my fair share “weeding killing” in the past ) Some kitchens have nicer gardens because the chef has to pick weeds on a daily basis. That is why some restaurants survive and some do not. Who knew gardening could be so fun ?!? #stayfresh
Let me give you guys a quick list of kitchen terms that Chef’s use daily to help give order to their kitchen. We have our own language – can you believe it ?? Here are a couple of phrases.
• 86 – “we are out. Do not order any more or we will have a problem.”
• S.O.S – “Sauce on side”
• R-MR – “Rare to Medium Rare. How a steak should be cooked.”
• On the Fly – “Right Now!” (Refer to first statement of this blog)
• Veg SUB Mash – “No vegetables, and replace with Mashed Potatoes”
Listen for some of these phrases in the kitchen and see if you can figure out some other ones based on the basics of this list! Hope you guys have enjoyed the journey into a chef’s mind. Although bumpy at times, the difference between a good chef and a Great chef, is humbleness. No chef should ever be prideful or boasting about his signature dish or restaurant. Because he knows that if it’s worth anything, the people who support his art will do the work for him. That’s when you know something is great. Not when the chef speaks about it, but when the people do. Until next time #TeamFabio, keep those questions coming my way. I love having my plate filled with you guys !!!! #italiankisses