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Comment count is 24
Old_Zircon - 2016-08-26

Kitchen Nightmares and Bush-era NCIS are probably my guiltiest of guilty pleasures.

Also I know this place. I might have even eaten here in the mid 2000s.

I guess anyone who doesn't just expect stuff like this to come with the territory when you eat in a restaurant has never worked in or known anyone who has worked in a kitchen.

My first job when I was 14 or 15 was opening 50 pound bags of grain and coffee and rebagging it into 1-2 pound bags for resale. I'm sure I've posted this at least once before, but whenever it was time to do quinoa everyone would come by and stick their bare arms into it up to the elbow because it's one of the most satisfying feelings there is, and I highly recommend doing it any chance you get.

Apologies to the upper class hippies who were eating a bunch of grindcore kids' arm hair.

Anaxagoras - 2016-08-26

Kitchen Nightmares really is amazing, isn't it? Although the British version was often educational, the American one has absolutely nothing to recommend it. And yet, I find myself watching it now & then.

What the hell is the matter with us?

TheOtherCapnS - 2016-08-26

This show is a guilty pleasure of mine too. However, I cooked professionally for over 15 years, from greasy spoons to Michelin-starred kitchens, and I must respectfully disagree. If you drop something raw on the floor, you rinse it off in the sink. Simple.

You've got to pay attention and give a fuck in a kitchen, if for no other reason than you or someone else could get seriously hurt, but also just because it makes life easier for you and everyone else. If somehow you had some grindcore kid who thinks he's too cool for school, the KM or chef should take up residence inside his asshole until he gets the idea or quits because it's too difficult. There's no room for fuck ups, because they fuck up everyone else's shit too.

When the chef is a fuckup or doesn't give a fuck, it spreads throughout the whole restaurant like a fucking sickness. I've seen it happen many a time.

memedumpster - 2016-08-26

CapnS confirmed for chef everyone hid stuff from and never knew what actually went on.

It's okay, every kitchen has one.

So many people eat floor food, so many... oh, and recycled butter and other condiments. YUCK.

Bort - 2016-08-26

About NCIS, I get the feeling that show can go on for as long as Abby is there in her little crime lab, looking somewhere between Goth and Brittney Spears (at least that's how I interpret the appeal). She's 47 and holding up remarkably well, but I envision a future when she's getting visibly saggy and she develops Cigarette Hag voice, and that's about when NCIS will have to end.

EvilHomer - 2016-08-26

Yeah, I was going to ask if anyone here has eaten at this place, since I know a lot of poesters are either from, or spend time in, the Boston area. (I have not eaten there myself)

And is NCIS still going? I've never actually watched the show, but my Abby Sciuto Fanart folder is pushing 300MB as of this writing.

TheyUsedDarkForces - 2016-08-26

UK Kitchen Nightmares is probably my all-time favorite guilty pleasure show. The US one just doesn't quite live up to the standard of sheer filth and potentially deadly hazards set by the original...

TheOtherCapnS - 2016-08-26

That's an adorable little jab there meme, but I guess I should not have spoken in absolutes. It does happen, in kitchens run by and staffed with lazy and incompetent people. I'll admit I've even worked in a few kitchens like that for very brief periods of time, but they were the exception by far. They also tended to not last long as businesses either.

In the far greater number of places where I stuck around, I have certainly seen people try and get away with that. Not one of them wasn't eventually fired, and a couple of times I took great relish in doing the firing myself. If it's raw and you drop it, you rinse it off. All I'm doing here is explaining to you how to not be a complete hack, and saying that all the hacks I have worked with have been fired eventually.

Cooked food is a different story; it's situationally dependent on the cleanliness of the floor, urgency of the dish being needed, properties of the item (rigidity, sauciness, etc), and of course whether it's within the 5 second rule. I will admit I have snatched stuff up off the floor when the floor was dry and a recook would have taken me out. If you can, you rinse that off too, and maybe throw it back on the heat for a second if it will take it.

When you say recycled condiments, what exactly do you mean? That sounds more like a front of the house thing so of course there are horrible things going on up there except at the very best places.

baleen - 2016-08-26

"f course whether it's within the 5 second rule."

You worked in a kitchen that served human people where this was a thing?

cognitivedissonance - 2016-08-26

I went to the Hotel Hell in Longview, Washington for a laugh and it was as if nothing had been changed at all. The Ramseyfication had been a lie.

The Mothership - 2016-08-26

cd you lived in longview??? HOMIE.

cognitivedissonance - 2016-08-27

I don't live there, but I have three generations of my people buried there.

Old_Zircon - 2016-08-27

The thing I am enjoying about NCIS (I've watched it up to season 7) is watching how it changes to reflect the socioplitical climate. Big changes when Obama was elected, for example.

But more importantly, these are the same damn character:


Old_Zircon - 2016-08-27

This show is a guilty pleasure of mine too. However, I cooked professionally for over 15 years, from greasy spoons to Michelin-starred kitchens, and I must respectfully disagree. If you drop something raw on the floor, you rinse it off in the sink. Simple. "

If it's being cooked anyway, doesn't it kind of come down to the cook's judgement on a case by case basis (i.e. whether or not there's visible debris on it)?

Nobody's going to get hurt by that floor chicken if they cook it properly.

Old_Zircon - 2016-08-27

Also the grindcore kids were really good workers, and the place didn't go to shit until they left but that was after my time.

This was an independent grocer not a kitchen, though (although we did cook soups and a few other things that were sold from the cooler) so the whole "submarine crew" intensity of a kitchen wasn't a thing.

baleen - 2016-08-26

One of the restaurant owners sued Ramsey claiming that he coordinates everything and that it's all set up. Ramsey countersued with the claim that everything is genuine and nothing is planned at all, including his rage. He won that one. It's really not that hard to believe that there are restaurant owners who are this horrible and stupid out there, but I do think the presence of cameras makes people act up a bit.

baleen - 2016-08-26

Side story: In my early 20s I was a PA on Extreme Makeover. As insane and stupid as the subjects were, nobody told them to do anything. They were not asked to talk about what they talked about. In fact, I recall the producer asking very few questions. They were so happy to be on TV, it was like a public confession booth. The wife openly admitted that the husband had had an affair, on national TV. People want to showcase their family drama for some reason.

Anaxagoras - 2016-08-26

Wow, really? The behavior on reality shows was so bad, I'd always assumed it was 100% scripted.

baleen - 2016-08-26

A lot of it is literally scripted, often by the editor (it's a huge ongoing union issue with the WGA, reality shows are sketchy as fuck). The weird thing is that people copy what they see on TV, so their realities are parroting the scripted realities they see.

The shows that are scripted are those that have continuing "narratives" between static characters. In such shows you need to have crescendos, you can't just let a bunch of boring people exist. Kardashians is an example of a heavily scripted show.

Old_Zircon - 2016-08-27

Oh, I'm sure this show is designed to bring out the worst in people and that's all that makes the final cut, but I'm also sure what it shows is stuff that really goes on.

What I'm most sure of is that anyone who volunteered to be on that show after season 1 should know exactly what they're getting in to, and the hubris of thinking it will be different for them pretty much seals the deal for me as far as being able to enjoy it despite all the things that are awful about it (and reality TV in general).

Rodents of Unusual Size - 2016-08-27

I have never seen Extreme Makeover. Is it for people's faces or their clothing or you know I don't care, never mind.

I'm also glad I've never seen NCIS because every time I see a photo of that fucking NCIS girl online, I just find her annoying.

dairyqueenlatifah - 2016-08-26

Honestly while I do think when cameras are on these people they ham it up more than they would if no cameras were around (and that goes for every reality show, not just this one), but other than that this shit is all the real deal. There are even occasional moments where you can clearly see the camera crew is recording from a hidden space without the person knowing.

I've heard all sorts of horror stories of shit that goes on in restaurant kitchens, shit a thousand times worse than this. It's a big part why I never have, and if I can help it, never will work in a restaurant. Ignorance is bliss and I like food too much.

Old_Zircon - 2016-08-27

A friend of mine worked at a place where one of the dinner shift cooks went up in the attic to smoke crack after his shift, as the cooks were wont to do, and ended up losing track of time and spending all night there. When he heard the morning shift start to show up in the parking lot he panicked since he would probably get fired if he got caught, so he literally smashed a hole through the bathroom ceiling, climbed down it, and waited until the coast was clear so he could make his escape.

Old_Zircon - 2016-08-27

I bet you could correlate the quality of a restaurant to whether the cooks do meth, crack, speed or coke, but I'm not sure if speed should be above or below crack.

This place is a pretty good, popular, successful, upper-mid-range, downtown eatery in a city in New Hampshire.

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