All jobs have ups and downs, and even if you’ve found a career you love, there are bound to be aspects of the work that really aren’t the best (or aren’t your favorite).
That goes for chefs, too, but you probably don’t consider their feelings when you choose a menu item and order it from your waitress…nor should you…
That said, if you’re curious what offerings they wish weren’t, well, offered, these 30 chefs are confessing below!
1. Also the smell, I would imagine.
The worst food to clean up is cheese.
Melted cheese is f**king awful to clean because it sticks to everything clogs up the sink and forms endless clumps of cheese.
2. It’s just no fun.
Making crepes .. and boning quail for pate’ .. things young chefs do in training .. mind numbing .. yeah, about those crepes, so many of you mention the finished product (filled, etc) or using a crepe maker ..
I’m talking about making them in a pan, in large amounts , like a big catered event where you have hours pouring and flipping .. beyond boring ..
3. You’ve gotta stack it all just right.
Waitress here, every cook/chef I’ve ever worked with always complained/crabbed about club sandwiches ..
4. Hope you have a strong wrist.
As much as I love eating it, it is such a hassle making it. Like 20 mins whisking.
5. And time is always at a premium.
Not a dish but a drink
Pouring a bottle of Raboso wine is so f**king difficult, it bubbles like crazy and those bubbles take minutes to disappear, often you will just leave the bottle filled with bubbles, do something else to kill time, and then you can start pouring again
6. Why are people?
Not necessarily a dish, but for people who lie about allergens.
Had one woman who was allergic to onions so didn’t want any onion gravy, went out to speak to her as it was a pretty unique allergy to have. Told her that the nut roast she ordered also contained onions.
“Oh it’s fine, I just dont really like onions, can I have the gravy without onions in”
So not only completely lying about an allergy, but also wasting my time during a busy service.
7. My nose just wrinkled on its own.
Worked in a country store in high school that did a little deli thing. Was pretty low key but I H**ED the olive loaf. It leaves a coating of greasy slime on the slicer that is near impossible to clean.
8. That does not sound appetizing.
Kinda different but worked in a salad bar that also sold self freshly made sandwiches.
There was this one glucose-, lactose free vegan sandwich without sticky substance and lots of vegetables on it that ALWAYS fell out of the bread. Always. It ruined the kitchen when it was busy and we always nearly slipped on some tomatoes and s**t
And no, the stuff didn‘t just fall out on one specific place, every time we had to bring one to our customers something fell out before we could wrap them up at the end for „maximum freshness“
9. Mayonnaise forever.
Not a chef but a butcher, and i can’t even begin to express how much i loathe crap like ham salad and chicken salad.
I love when new customers come in for the first time, but my heart always sinks when they say “i heard this place has great ham salad!” Sorry but if you like ham salad it’s all gonna be great, because what you actually like is an obscene amount of mayonnaise and sweet relish.
10. You can have too much of a good thing.
I used to work at an ice cream shop in high school, and it was a pretty good gig, except for making milk shakes. To put this into perspective, the gimmick of the shop was that we made our ice cream with liquid nitrogen completely from scratch. Completely custom flavors, custom mixins. At my best, I could make a good sized bit of ice cream in 45 seconds, start to finish.
Add the time to pour in extra milk, blend it up, etc. the shakes took around 2 minutes because the blenders were awful. They took so long to blend the shakes that it would hold up the whole line during peak hours. We were right outside the movie theater at a mall, so we could have 30 people in line at peak, and we had only two blenders.
One night wasn’t even that busy, but I was exhausted and at the end of my rope. A whole group of kids, maybe 8, come in after a school dance (they were all dressed up nice). They stared at the menu for a long time (too long) then walked up and said they all wanted shakes. 8 kids, each of them asking for a shake that would take 2 minutes each to make from scratch, not accounting for all the washing of the blender bowls.
I flat out lied and told them our shake machine was broken because I did not have the strength of will to spend a good 20 minutes making shakes. They all left and I was spared.
One order that I had a lot of fun doing was the guy who came in and asked for every flavor and every mix in in one giant ice cream cup. We had 45 flavors and 25 mixins. We told him that for every extra mixin it would cost 50 cents more — he agreed and paid about $12 dollars for this absolutely sickening behemoth that he shared with his friends. I tasted a bit that was left over in the bowl and somehow the massive flavor overload turned the ice cream spicy. It was the most bizarre collision of flavors I’ve ever tasted.
11. Stop being so picky, it’s Subway.
Not a chef but I worked at subway, whenever people wanted guacamole, we always spread it on one side of the bread before adding the rest of the veggies but the way the counter was designed the avocado was the last ingredient so people would always add all their veggies and then want avocado on top.
This was a nightmare to spread across the uneven veggie surface and would generally just stick in clumps 🙁 some vegetarian customers also wanted us to change our gloves to serve them but every time we change gloves we have to wash our hands which makes the gloves near impossible to wear – this would grind our whole production line to a halt while all staff members struggled to change their gloves.
I mean I’m vegetarian too so I kinda understand but like if you’re so strict about it you want fresh gloves then you shouldn’t work at subway because the “contaminated” gloves from before still went in all the veggie boxes ??♀️
12. Tempering chocolate is so frustrating.
Pastry chef here. I H**E making marshmallows (just the worst texture for touching, tasting, preparing and cleaning) and tempering chocolate (fickle, frustrating & expensive).
I’ll happily flambé you a bananas foster if it means I don’t have to make marshmallows or filled chocolates.
13. I don’t even want to attempt it.
The secret ingredient to our poached eggs is rage, hatred, and contempt.
14. Breadsticks are life, though.
When I was working as a waiter, we had one customer who we called “The Spaghetti Lady”.
She came in 1-2 times per week for lunch. She always ordered spaghetti with sauce on the side. Salad with Pepperoncini and ranch on the side, Coke/no ice, breadsticks/no butter. She camped for 1.5 hours, then stiffed the tip.
Lunch was always a nothing shift, so tying up one 4 top for all of lunch killed the whole shift.
Most of it was side work, but the breadsticks were a huge pain. Chain restaurants aren’t really built for special orders, they break the rhythm like a car slamming on the brakes on a highway.
15. That doesn’t sound half bad.
When the McRib first dropped the sauce was so fragrant it would give you headaches.
It was like getting smacked in the face with a bbq yankee candle.
16. Picky about eggs.
Former chef, it’s some of the simplest dishes that are the most annoying. I always h**ed working breakfast rushes, people are very particular about eggs, and it is very easy to accidentally break a yolk.
Outside of that, while pastry and desserts were some of my favorite things to make, working with phyllo dough is a major test of patience
Also eff cleaning mussels
If you’ve worked in a restaurant cleaning them and prepping them to cook you would know.
They come with all kinds of c**p in them and they smell terrible when spoiled raw…
18. That sounds delicious.
Our German Apple pancake.
First you sauté Granny Smiths in clarified butter.
Then add three ladles of our German batter into sauté pan.
Throw in oven for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and add clarified butter and cinnamon sugar.
Flip delicate pancake with spatula and a dash of learning curve.
Return to oven and cook 5 more minutes.
Flip pancake onto plate and insure it makes it to the table in less than a minute as it deflates rapidly.
Bonus points for when it’s ordered 10 minutes before we close.
19. French fries are life, though.
At my old job they had a thing called a fry sampler.
It was 4 10 oz fries that couldn’t be cooked together and took up either half the fryer or the entire thing depending on how many were ordered at the same time.
It would suck even more when people ordered more than one during a rush because they would take forever to plate.
20. A bit of a letdown.
Slightly different take, but I was a chef at a nursing home and anything puréed for people who are on that dietary restriction was gross to me.
I literally had to take whatever meal I made, throw in a blender and put it in a bowl. I always felt so bad.
21. Break that down per hour.
Cinnamon buns are the majority of our business but so f**king time intensive and while the finished product comes out SO good they take 3 days to make between dough, proofing, and baking by the time the customer gets them (warm).
I swear they owe me much more than $5 a bun lol.
22. Just eat the soup.
Customizing the soups.
I used to work at a Michelin star restaurant.
WE ALREADY HAVE THE SOUPS PREPARED BEFORE YOU WALK IN.
I can’t just take out the shrimp taste of a paella soup that i prepped before you walked in here.
23. Maybe nothing, then.
usually depends on how the kitchen is run.
if your menu is designed for your kitchen, it’s no problem.
if it’s designed for twice the space, cooking surfaces and cooks, it’s going to run like shit and there’s gonna be multiple items that halt production.
24. Good ol’ five mix.
I used to work at a grocery store and I was the person who made all those pre-cut fruit boxes. I didn’t particularly mind any of them all that much except clementines. We had to peel clementines and put them in a box. First, it was a huge waste because no one ever bought them (why would you pay $5 for 6 peeled clementines when you could buy a whole bag unpeeled for the same price) except for old people who couldn’t peel the fruit themselves, and secondly because the acid would eat through our gloves and then destroy our nails and leave orange smell on your fingers for days.
The only other thing I h**ed making was 5 mix. We have a mixture called “six mix” which is just 6 different kinds of fruit together, but this one guy would come in and ask for six mix without the cantaloupe in it. We actually started calling him 5 mix. When he walked in someone from a different department would ring us and let us know 5 mix was there and to start making some 5 mix.
I h**ed it because when he asked we’d have to go get a whole watermelon, a whole honeydew, and 3 other fruits and cut them all up just so he could have like 5 cut up pieces of each instead of just eating around the cantaloupe.
And he always showed up right as our department was starting to close down for the night too. So we had to them rewatch all our surfaces after five mix came in
25. Food allergy woes.
Worked in a sandwich shop for a bot in college. Not fine dining by any stretch of the imagination, but a couple steps above Subway.
Every time someone ordered a PB&J off the kids menu we had to clear off both lines, change our gloves, wipe down every surface the peanut butter got close to, and wash the knife we used to cut it. Like, I get it. But having to treat peanut butter like nuclear waste in the middle of a lunch rush was never fun.
Plus, the peanut butter was too thick for the bread we used for the PB&J, so the bread ended up tearing half the time
26. People actually order that?
Not working in a traditional restaurant anymore but the f**king ringmold stacked beet salad.
It took like 3 minutes to make just one and if a table of four all ordered them it slowed down the entire salad line.
27. They all have that one.
On every menu lies an item that no one ever orders, so you never really prepare for it.
Yet, without warning or explanation, this a$$hole item gets ordered right in the middle of dinner rush, completely messing up service.
Also, those dishes that have 15 steps and 20 ingredients and that mise en place is kept 2 stations down.
28. Too many steps.
We make the creme pate in advance but when it’s ordered the process is: Warm creme pate over a double boiler, while that is warming you need to hand whip a fresh meringue.
Once the creme pate is warm, you have about 3 minutes to fold in the whites, fill your molds to make sure you don’t touch the edges(as it makes them rise crooked). Into the oven for 3 minutes, open oven and rotate for 2 minutes. In those 5 minutes you have to plate the rest of the tables desserts, which all have 8-10 components. Soufflé comes out to a waiting waiter, has to go to the table immediately or deflates.
While it’s not the most difficult thing in the world, when you’re busy and have 4-6 on order and each one needs to pass a 3 finger test(height above rim of mold or it gets sent back and you need to restart), it can get quite hard and demoralizing when they don’t work.
And then you send out 4 at once and someone at the table gets up to go to the bathroom or have a cigarette and the tray comes back and you start again and cry inside.
29. That’s the price for deliciousness.
Sautéing shrimp pretty much blows.
They release a lot of water which explodes when it hits the hot oil. So you get a lot of burns.
Sometimes oil hits you in the face. It sucks. But whatever.
You cook the shrimp and get on with it.
30. I guess health comes at a price.
I used to work at McDonalds. Years ago we had this promotional burger we called the ‘lean beef burger’.
It was aimed at people who wanted to be more healthy – haha.
Normally the meat patties are cooked on the grill, but this one was nuked in the microwave.
When it was heated, it looked grey, and it smelled so putrid no one wanted to work near the microwave so they wouldn’t have to smell it.
I honestly had no idea.
If you’re a chef, share the items you don’t like to make with us in the comments!