Author Topic: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain  (Read 807 times)

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Online lonestar

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RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« on: June 08, 2018, 11:48:34 AM »
Felt he needed a thread separate from the suicide one. In his book Kitchen Confidential, he gave a voice to not just a generation, but to a whole trade. Chefs and cooks everywhere finally had someone who understood them, and put their feelings, for better or worse, into the limelight. It can't be spoken enough what he did for my trade and for my people.

Rest in peace Chef...

“So who the hell, exactly, are these guys, the boys and girls in the trenches? You might get the impression from the specifics of my less than stellar career that all line cooks are wacked-out moral degenerates, dope fiends, refugees, a thuggish assortment of drunks, sneak thieves, sluts and psychopaths. You wouldn't be too far off base. The business, as respected three-star chef Scott Bryan explains it, attracts 'fringe elements', people for whom something in their lives has gone terribly wrong. Maybe they didn't make it through high school, maybe they're running away from something-be it an ex-wife, a rotten family history, trouble with the law, a squalid Third World backwater with no opportunity for advancement. Or maybe, like me, they just like it here. ”

― Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
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Offline Tick

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2018, 12:05:03 PM »
Good thread. I have been a fan for years. I will miss him. R.I.P. Anthony!
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Offline Stadler

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2018, 12:19:42 PM »
That's a fascinating book.  I've read it twice. 

My daughter and I used to love watching "The Taste", a team based cooking show on network TV (as opposed to the Food Network or Cooking Channel), hosted in part by Bourdain.   He was something else, and I liked him.   Except when he called Guy Fieri a "douche". 

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2018, 12:41:55 PM »
In the last Mr Bourdain's defense, Guy Fieri is a douche.
Quote from: nightmare_cinema
So should lonestar and I have babies or something now, is that how this works?
Dang, you're easily the coolest fogey I know of

Offline bosk1

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2018, 12:46:14 PM »
Is he?  I can't tell you how many different shows I've seen him on, and he always comes across as really cool and down-to-earth.  I know public perception can be completely off, but I've never seen or heard anything that even hinted at people thinking he is douchy.
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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2018, 01:17:29 PM »
No, Guy Fieri seems like a douche.



So who the hell, exactly, are these guys, the boys and girls in the trenches? You might get the impression from the specifics of my less than stellar career that all line cooks are wacked-out moral degenerates, dope fiends, refugees, a thuggish assortment of drunks, sneak thieves, sluts and psychopaths. You wouldn't be too far off base. The business, as respected three-star chef Scott Bryan explains it, attracts 'fringe elements', people for whom something in their lives has gone terribly wrong. Maybe they didn't make it through high school, maybe they're running away from something-be it an ex-wife, a rotten family history, trouble with the law, a squalid Third World backwater with no opportunity for advancement. Or maybe, like me, they just like it here. ”

― Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

I don't understand this quote. I have never thought of a line cook, or anyone that works in a restaurant as anything he names here.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Harmony

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2018, 01:22:29 PM »
In honor of AB, what is the best food you've had while traveling?

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2018, 01:31:55 PM »
No, Guy Fieri seems like a douche.



So who the hell, exactly, are these guys, the boys and girls in the trenches? You might get the impression from the specifics of my less than stellar career that all line cooks are wacked-out moral degenerates, dope fiends, refugees, a thuggish assortment of drunks, sneak thieves, sluts and psychopaths. You wouldn't be too far off base. The business, as respected three-star chef Scott Bryan explains it, attracts 'fringe elements', people for whom something in their lives has gone terribly wrong. Maybe they didn't make it through high school, maybe they're running away from something-be it an ex-wife, a rotten family history, trouble with the law, a squalid Third World backwater with no opportunity for advancement. Or maybe, like me, they just like it here. ”

― Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

I don't understand this quote. I have never thought of a line cook, or anyone that works in a restaurant as anything he names here.

I'd guarantee that pretty much ever Hef I know identifies with it,thats the significance. He wrote the book for us, not for the common public.
Quote from: nightmare_cinema
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Offline TAC

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2018, 01:35:24 PM »
I'd guarantee that pretty much ever Hef I know identifies with it,thats the significance.


What does Hef have to do with it? Is he still around?

He wrote the book for us, not for the common public.

Yeah, well I was asking what he's talking about. Do people in kitchens think the world thinks they're scum?

would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Stadler

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2018, 01:40:08 PM »
Is he?  I can't tell you how many different shows I've seen him on, and he always comes across as really cool and down-to-earth.  I know public perception can be completely off, but I've never seen or heard anything that even hinted at people thinking he is douchy.

That's me too.   He seems genuine, and I have to say:  a shit-ton of the chefs he visits on DDD remain "faithful" to him, and other than Bobby Flay, I'm not sure I can name a big-time chef on Cook Channel that doesn't put some time in on GGG.  The only chef that seems to talk shit about him is.... Bourdain, and that was his thing. He went after Rachel Ray, too.

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2018, 01:41:10 PM »
You know your on DTF too much when your phone autocorrects chef to Hef... And capitalizes it.


I thinks it's that we felt like an outside fringe,and he gave an identity to it. I really don't know how otherwise to explain it
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So should lonestar and I have babies or something now, is that how this works?
Dang, you're easily the coolest fogey I know of

Offline TAC

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2018, 01:43:41 PM »
I'm sorry you felt that way. Seems like he's a false prophet. Maybe he felt that way.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums................or WTF.  ;D

Offline Cool Chris

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2018, 02:20:48 PM »
Lots of industries could be considered "fringe," many more then restaurant workers. I mean, go to any village or hamlet and restaurants are as ubiquitous as any business. I've never worked in the industry but appreciate that service industries are not the most glamorous or profitable, yet they are as hardworking as anyone. I am not sure why you felt you needed a "voice" though.

I used to watch Guy's show, and I am not one to watch food shows. The only other one I ever watched was Man vs Food purely for the gluttony (and on occasion Giada's purely for the cleavage). Guy's act wore on me a bit but he seemed to know his role and his demographic.
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Offline Anguyen92

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2018, 02:31:39 PM »
That's me too.   He seems genuine, and I have to say:  a shit-ton of the chefs he visits on DDD remain "faithful" to him, and other than Bobby Flay, I'm not sure I can name a big-time chef on Cook Channel that doesn't put some time in on GGG.  The only chef that seems to talk shit about him is.... Bourdain, and that was his thing. He went after Rachel Ray, too.

Bourdain around the mid-00s didn't seem to be fond of the celebrity Food Network chefs like Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, Mario Bateli, etc.  He also despised "foodies" like Rachel Ray.  Then on an episode of No Reservations when he visited New Orleans when they are rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, he spent some time with Emeril and I remember that he stated that Emeril is not that bad of a guy to be around with, but don't worry, he still hates Rachel Ray.

Anyway, I learned a lot from Bourdain about certain things when it comes to food.  I binged watched No Reservations every Monday any chance I got during my college years.  Also, I'm glad he had a huge fondness for Vietnam and its culture and cuisine (he and Obama ate at a small restaurant in Vietnam during an episode of Parts Unknown).  He will be missed dearly.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2018, 02:48:19 PM by Anguyen92 »

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2018, 03:44:18 PM »
He slammed them pretty hard in Kitchen Confidential. His second book, Medium Raw he sort of apologized, in a way only he can, to that segment of the industry. I think a lot of that understanding came with being more connected to that side, whereas Confidential was written from a strict kitchen chefs point of view.
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So should lonestar and I have babies or something now, is that how this works?
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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2018, 03:48:03 PM »
A fellow chef friend of mine posted this. Kind of nailed my feelings as well...


Quote
There are a lot of celebrity chefs..tv chefs...some are legitimately great artists and some are fabricated by pixels on a screen...but Tony Bourdain was one of us. he gave us a voice...the journeyman working chef...the chefs who never worked the five star restaurants or won $100,000 provided by Pelligrino and title of Top Chef...chefs who still slug it out on the red mats every day and try and manage this Pirate Ship we call a professional kitchen...he told the world what we really do everyday...and why we love it so...and why we are so flawed for doing it

Rest In Peace Chef.
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Offline TempusVox

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2018, 07:27:20 AM »
I worked in that industry while I was in graduate school. I understand how people who do that work feel the way that they do about themselves and the perception about what they do every day.

It's a very brutal world, physically, psychologically, and at times emotionally. It's incredibly hard work, and the pressure on you is enormous. During the rush period, and the kitchens slammed, you can feel like a surgeon in a MASH unit. Granted you're not saving lives, but God it feels like it sometimes. Especially when you're getting your ass kicked and the kitchen is humming.

The general public typically though thinks it's easy, or look down on people who do that work. It's a shame, but part of the mantle of that type of job unfortunately. Yes, it's not emergency surgery, but the sense of urgency, and the pressure to get it right is no less. No, no one will die if you screw up. But it's hard work and can feel like it sometimes. :lol

As silent/part owner of a restaurant now, I am fascinated by, and in awe of the people who come to do the work everyday.

As for Bourdain, I loved his shows, but it always seemed like because of his demons, he was always in pain. This came across as being honest and edgy, and it was. But I think while entertaining for us, his treks were also personal, in that he was always searching for bigger answers. I lived in Berlin for two years when I was growing up, when the wall was still there, and surprisingly haven't been back. So, I was eager to see last nights show. I was afraid they wouldn't show it. They did. I couldn't help but try and look for clues, which is ridiculous; however, in light of what he did, that edgy side just really looked like he was tired. Very sad.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 10:04:00 AM by TempusVox »
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2018, 12:11:41 PM »
I've never had a specific perception of restaurant workers. I know they work hard, and under very slim margins (correct)? I don't know if it's fair to say the public generally thinks it is easy work and looks down on the employees. So I don't feel I undervalue their work or effort, but I don't want to overvalue it either. And yes, there is an expectation you "get it right" but what industry doesn't have that expectation? (Teachers? haha said the guy married to a teacher).
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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2018, 01:42:59 PM »
I  wasn't going to say anything, at the risk of seeming dickish, but there's a point in there.   I get it, it's not easy, it's pressure packed no doubt, but it's like my job:  I write contracts to sell trains.  There is not one life at stake in my job.  More often than not I can work out of the house, and at my pace.   But if the offering requires a 40 page contract by tomorrow noon, guess what?  I deliver or I don't.   Whether I work all night, cancel family plans, pop 5-hour energy drinks until I can hear my heartbeat in my ears, so be it.  My boss - a fair and kind man - doesn't really care.   I deliver or I don't. 

At the end of the day, what's the goal/objective of the people in the kitchen?  So that one person, who has no knowledge (or, perhaps care) of what goes on behind the scenes, has the meal they expect - a subjective, variable, perhaps even arbitrary and dynamic standard.   

I don't know.  I see both sides of this. 

Offline TempusVox

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2018, 02:25:54 PM »
I wasn't trying to give hero status to kitchen workers everywhere. I mean let's compare the harshness of what they do to an Army Special Forces platoon, and see who has a tougher job. Nor was I saying that other jobs aren't tough. The point remains that in it's own right, it is a hard job. You're on your feet all day, it's hot (many times), and typically they hear more often from the general public when things are wrong than they do when things are right. Besides the fact that you don't need to be highly educated, and the pay more times than not is shit. I know restaurant staff that can't afford to take their family to eat at the places they work. Not to mention, ask any chef how many holidays he has off each year? Not many. It's not an easy job. I would still think the majority of the people who eat out who have never worked in that environment don't appreciate how tough it is.

Restaurateur Jeff Ruby is from here in my hometown. He owns several very high end steak places here. I was dining at one with friends a few years ago, and a group of guys who'd had too much to drink we're giving the waiter shit for something beyond his control. One of my friends spoke up and called the guy out for being an asshole to the guy who was clearly busting his ass to appease the douche. When my friend pointed that out the guy said, "Fuck him. He should have made better choices in his life so he wasn't a waiter."
A dick move to be sure, but I think a lot of people sadly feel this way. And people in food service know this. That's all. 
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Offline TAC

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2018, 02:30:43 PM »
I think there is truth in that there is such a lack of respect for anyone these days. I work for a major chain supermarket, and have for the last 28 years, 16 of those as a store director. I could write a book about all of the shit people have talked towards my associates. It's downright shameful what some of these people have to put up with. I imagine waiters certainly have to deal with the same.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2018, 02:35:26 PM »
I would still think the majority of the people who eat out who have never worked in that environment don't appreciate how tough it is.

That would be me, but that is also why I don't call out the staff if something is wrong, other than to politely say "Hey, I ordered X, but I received Y" which is what I would do with any place of business I patronized. 
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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2018, 02:36:49 PM »
I think it's indicative of any service industry.  Some people are such assholes.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums................or WTF.  ;D

Offline Anguyen92

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2018, 02:51:53 PM »
I think there is truth in that there is such a lack of respect for anyone these days. I work for a major chain supermarket, and have for the last 28 years, 16 of those as a store director. I could write a book about all of the shit people have talked towards my associates. It's downright shameful what some of these people have to put up with. I imagine waiters certainly have to deal with the same.

I say you should write a book about it.  It may change your life forever.   :omg:

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2018, 05:32:48 PM »
I think it's indicative of any service industry.  Some people are such assholes.

So true man, I go out of my way to be nice to any service industry people just to make up for the assholes just a bit.



I appreciate the posts TV. And it's not that Tony gave us hero status, or that we were looking for it, it's just that it was so cool to see someone tell our truth as it really was, and to have it catch ground with the general public so well. All the bullshit magic and mysticism that things like the early Food Network tried to paint our industry as were just smashed by his book, and I can tell you the vast majority of chefs were very grateful. Plus the deep reverence and respect he gave to the backbones of our industry, the preps and dishwashers, was humbling. His reference to the one Latino guy with the shoes so beaten down that they were permanently curved, how he had the same 10" chefs knife for years, yet was still capable of executing a perfect chiffonade at lightning speed. Talking about the strung out baker who'd only call in on certain shifts to remind the chef to turn and wet the yeast so it didn't fall ("feed the bitch or she dies...")...yet even with all the bakers blatant faults, he couldnt' fire him cause his bread was that fucking good. It was just beautiful, and we were all cheering him on throughout the book. Every reference and story struck deep chords within the whole industry.

As I said earlier, he wrote it for us. We finally had a voice.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2018, 09:29:56 AM »
I think there is truth in that there is such a lack of respect for anyone these days. I work for a major chain supermarket, and have for the last 28 years, 16 of those as a store director. I could write a book about all of the shit people have talked towards my associates. It's downright shameful what some of these people have to put up with. I imagine waiters certainly have to deal with the same.

I will certainly agree with this.   I said I see both sides, but I never said that people should be treated like shit, or that waiters deserve what they get.   It takes the same amount of words, the same amount of effort to say "I'm sorry, but may I have another glass of wine with the steak?" and "Listen douchbag, how about earning your fucking tip and topping off the wine?"

Part of me would  love to go to that asshole's office and stand there and yell "HEY FUCKFACE.  Is that how you make a copy?  It's as crooked as your dick, no doubt!" or "If you can't dial a phone correctly, you should have made better choices!"     But part of me is convinced that for these rude people, beating on service people is their version of the "fancy sportscar" or whatever.  In other words, they're compensating.     

Plus I'm always worried my potatoes au gratin will become booger au gratin if I'm not nice.  :)   

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2018, 09:54:03 AM »
Plus I'm always worried my potatoes au gratin will become booger au gratin if I'm not nice.  :)   

I can't speak for anywhere else, but I personally have never, ever seen a dish deliberately sabotaged cause a customer was a dick.
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So should lonestar and I have babies or something now, is that how this works?
Dang, you're easily the coolest fogey I know of

Offline Stadler

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2018, 10:22:38 AM »
Plus I'm always worried my potatoes au gratin will become booger au gratin if I'm not nice.  :)   

I can't speak for anywhere else, but I personally have never, ever seen a dish deliberately sabotaged cause a customer was a dick.

I would have been stunned if you said you did; there's too much to lose, too much at stake.  But every once in a while, in those slide shows titled "15 things that the restaurant industry doesn't want you to know!" there'll be a story like that.   I meant it more euphemistically; when I go into a higher end restaurant, I feel like there's a... I don't know the word... contract?    I almost feel like a judge on GGG or Chopped, in that a large part of it is "hey am I enjoying this", but there's also a part of "you show me what you can do, but in return I have to treat what you give me with respect".  Does that make sense?   

FYI, I am one of those guys that will absolutely tell the server "ask the chef to make me something he/she is proud of".  Meaning, I can't decide myself, so let the chef have some fun.   I trust that the chef isn't then going to just send out the oldest piece of fish to get it out of the fridge, and in return I have to take it as it comes and judge it accordingly. 

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2018, 10:47:34 AM »
It's not just that there's too much at steak or what not, that level of professionalism is deeply ingrained into the culture, at least for higher end restaurants. I couldn't tell you what happens at an Applebees or whatnot, but in the places I've worked at, were all an extension of the chef, the ship wouldn't float any other way. And for the chef, a customer who's a dick is a challenge. Why sneakily spit on his steak, when instead you could cook something so awesome that it makes him shut the fuck up and regret being a dick. It's a teachable moment for us :biggrin:
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Offline TAC

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2018, 10:49:49 AM »
It's not just that there's too much at steak or what not, that level of professionalism is deeply ingrained into the culture, at least for higher end restaurants. I couldn't tell you what happens at an Applebees or whatnot, but in the places I've worked at, were all an extension of the chef, the ship wouldn't float any other way. And for the chef, a customer who's a dick is a challenge. Why sneakily spit on his steak, when instead you could cook something so awesome that it makes him shut the fuck up and regret being a dick. It's a teachable moment for us :biggrin:

I see what you did there.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums................or WTF.  ;D

Offline bosk1

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2018, 10:50:35 AM »
too much at steak

Best.  Typo.  Ever. 
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Offline Stadler

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2018, 10:59:04 AM »
It's not just that there's too much at steak or what not, that level of professionalism is deeply ingrained into the culture, at least for higher end restaurants. I couldn't tell you what happens at an Applebees or whatnot, but in the places I've worked at, were all an extension of the chef, the ship wouldn't float any other way. And for the chef, a customer who's a dick is a challenge. Why sneakily spit on his steak, when instead you could cook something so awesome that it makes him shut the fuck up and regret being a dick. It's a teachable moment for us :biggrin:

I love that.   I try very hard not to be a dick to people, but if you want to share that teaching moment with my table, I'm in.  :) :)

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2018, 11:24:46 AM »
Plus I'm always worried my potatoes au gratin will become booger au gratin if I'm not nice.  :)   

I can't speak for anywhere else, but I personally have never, ever seen a dish deliberately sabotaged cause a customer was a dick.

And yet, as a customer, the worry is because the threat is always there.

too much at steak

Best.  Typo.  Ever. 

Yup.
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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #33 on: June 12, 2018, 11:50:49 AM »
too much at steak

Best.  Typo.  Ever.

Seriously man, I must've been stuck in food mode talking about it, and just Freudian slipped it.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: RIP Chef Anthony Bourdain
« Reply #34 on: June 12, 2018, 12:31:20 PM »
In honor of AB, what is the best food you've had while traveling?
I'd never heard of this guy until he offed himself, so I have nothing to contribute towards the RIP aspect, but this was an interesting question that got overlooked.

First thing that came to mind was a really nice meal in a town called Prato in Italy. According to my notes the pasta course was Tortellini Panna e Prosciutto, and the meat course was veal scaloppine con vino e funghi.

Had a seriously badass dinner in Mexico City a couple of years back at an Argentinian steakhouse. Everything from the empanada to the flan was topnotch. When I was in town a year later I went back looking for a repeat experience and it sucked ass. Everything had gone downhill and I was sick the next morning. Win some, lose some, I guess.

I've had a ton of great meals while traveling, I do my homework, but those two really stood out. Ate a great meal at a seafood place in Bill/Rich/Brian country. Ate many excellent breakfasts in DF. Generally did real well all across Europe. Not really enough to differentiate them, though.
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