Thursday, May 13, 2010
This Week's Slap Down~Chef vs. Critic
Tweets,rants,and opinions were fast and furious this week from a journal entry by Ron Lieber in the NYT Dining Journal www.TinyURL.com/2fszs3z
In a nut graph- he went to a posh restaurant, heard the chef screaming at one of his staff, Lieber went into the kitchen and countered the chef only to be thrown out of the restaurant with his friends. Of course when you read the article it is more fleshed out, more pros and cons, with Lieber on the side of the right.
Then there is the Marc Forgione rebuttal in Grub Street www.TinyURL.com/2dn95j9 .For you oldsters Marc is the son of Larry Forgione chef of An American Place Restaurant fame. Marc plays the put upon chef trying to turn out decent meals only to be thwarted by a testosterone fueled culinary knucklehead who fires the apps before the amuse bouche and has the nerve to lip off to the chef; hence the raised voices over the soothing Muzak.
Bad boy Gordon Ramsey and his colorful vocabulary were alluded to as perhaps Marc’s idol. And an über chef’s ego suggested for kicking out said wienie critic.
So what’s all the rants and hoopla? Where was the GM when this was playing out? His job was to smooth the feathers both front and back. Both sides made major faux pas. Marc should not have yelled loud enough for the front of the house to hear. Ron should not have entered the kitchen to voice his 2 cents. Period. Shake hands and walk away.
But no this is the Age of Opinions! Both sides were equally represented on the internet in a verbal slugfest.
I was heartened to learn that things hadn’t changed in back of the house shenanigans from when I was a budding cheflette. Part of your kitchen scars are from verbal abuse. It’s not for the thin skinned. A kitchen is not a touchy feely good place. Heat, moisture, sharp knives, and dupes can make or break you.
A slap here or there is part kitchen life. Ron, stay out of the kitchen Marc yank the jerk into the walk in and scream to high heaven.