Person Asks “What Dishes Do Professional Chefs Dislike Preparing At A Restaurant?”, Gets 30 Various Responses
Any professional chef will always be happy to tell you about their signature dish, and maybe - if you ask them well - and cook it with no less pleasure. After all, people love to showcase their craft, whether it's singing, painting, dancing, or turning foods into culinary delights.
And people also love to complain. The weather, the government, taxes, the quarterback who threw a bunch of turnovers last week, and, of course, their own jobs. And, well, professional chefs are no exception! Just want to check it out? Here we go!
There is a thread on Quora whose topic starter asked just one question: "What dishes do professional chefs dislike preparing at a restaurant?" A lot of professionals of the highest level came to the comments, who literally revealed all the dark sides of their skills.
Fashion Life collected for you a selection of the most interesting, fascinating and simply very popular comments from this thread, so feel free to scroll to the very end and, of course, even if you did not learn cooking specifically, but just like to stand at the stove at home - please write, which dish is usually your personal nightmare to cook?
More info: Quora
Gnocchi As Those Tiny Little ‘Pillows’ Would Sometimes Take All Day
Gnocchi! I worked as a prep/line cook at an Italian restaurant in NY and making those tiny little ‘pillows’ would sometimes take all day(thank god we weren’t much of a lunch place) - from boiling huge amounts of potato’s, rolling them out with flour into perfectly sized ribbons, and cutting and shaping each one was the most mundane, seemingly endless tasks I had to complete on a regular basis. I still will not order gnocchi at a restaurant because I feel bad for whoever has to make them!
Chartreuse - A Kind Of A Molding Of Game Birds Wrapped In Vegetables
I used to work with someone who once worked as a chef at Daniel, Daniel Boulud’s flagship restaurant on NYC’s Upper East Side. She told me that the dish she most hated making was chartreuse, which is a kind of a molding of game birds wrapped in vegetables.
They only do this dish a few times a year but she dreaded it. She had to take a massive pile of tiny game birds, which were hunted for this express purpose, de-bone and de-breast each one and then pack them into vegetable wraps that had to look like a perfect little food sculpture. It is not only a very complicated preparation requiring meticulous attention to detail (that describes many of the dishes at Daniel), but she said that butchering dozens and dozens of tiny birds all day is just gruesome work.
I utterly despise appetizers/hors d'oeuvres.
I don’t feel like a real cook when I’m making food one bite at a time.
At my age, having to repeatedly hold little pieces of food between my thumb and forefinger during preparation really starts killing the tendon at the base of my thumb (repetitive stress - I’m often doing this for groups of 200 or more people).
Spending an insane amount of time and effort putting ridiculous detail into an amazing display, when the only person who is going to care is the group’s event coordinator. She’ll “ooh” and “aah” over how stunning it is, and then the 200 people in her group will demolish it without looking at it because they’re really more interested in the open bar than the “snacks”.
Tired of people who don’t understand that “appetizers” during cocktail hour aren’t “dinner”, and complain about the tiny plates.
Anything That A Customer Requests That Isn’t On The Menu
Anything that a customer requests that isn’t on the menu.
Nachos - not for what they are, just how our place did them. It was a small eatery. There was no line staff, you were the line. Which meant you were juggling things when it got busy.
Our nachos were interesting. We cut up our own tortillas and deep-fried them into chips. For nachos you put a heap of chips into a large ceramic soup bowl, drizzled a generous amount of two grated cheeses ( jalapeno and garlic jack ) over the top and then into the salamander for a few moments to melt and lightly brown the cheese. Serve with 2 kinds of salsa on the side.
The problem was the salamander. As most chefs know, it can be quite a bit more powerful than a home range’s broiler. A few seconds too long and the chips burn - forcing you to start over.
When the place got busy I just dreaded a nachos order. All the distractions going on it was too likely at least one time some corn chips turned to charcoal. A lower setting on the salamander would have been a god-send, but then sizzle-plates would have been slower to heat. All you could do is say a little prayer to the char-god hoping he didn’t want another sacrifice that day.
The “Monte Cristo” Sandwich
When I had my first restaurant job, the least favorite menu items was the “Monte Cristo” sandwich. It was an egg batter dipped and griddled ham, turkey and gruyere sandwich served with raspberry jam, dusted with powdered sugar. Totally ridiculous food - and a favorite of closing managers and bartenders. It required that more containers and products be re-opened at the end of the night than any other menu item. It also required flat-top cooking (or pan sautee if you were crafty) and fried accompaniments. I fucking hated those days.
Poached eggs. There are seemingly dozens of tricks which all result in nearly perfect poached eggs… almost. The yolk, the hard white and the soft white, including the chalazae. Once a cook masters an attractive, properly cooked poached egg… some customers want soft poached or hard poached. There is no fast, easy, perfect way to poach an egg. It can be fast or easy or perfect but not all three.
Anything With Artichokes
Anything with artichokes Lol! Pain in the but cleaning those things and the yield is so little!
Fresh Mayonnaise, Aioli, And Lots Of Dressings
I find that a lot of cooks really hate making fresh mayonnaise/aioli, and lots of dressings. I'm not sure why, but a lot of them hate it. I recently told one of my chefs that I used to make 5 gallons at a time, and he thought it would take hours, but it actually only takes about 20 minutes.
A lot of chefs hate having to do hollandaise. It's really not that bad.
The thing about cooking is that everything is pretty annoying, and if you feel like letting stuff get to you then there really is no end to it.
A lot of chefs hate having to measure anything. It's easier to not measure, but they act like it's the end of the world, or some skill that takes natural born talent. That's why most chefs are convinced that they can't be pastry chefs. I don't pay that any mind. I know it's because they just don't feel like being slightly more disciplined.
Anything that is a little time consuming is ripe to be hated. Being a chef is full of things that are difficult, time consuming, demanding, irritating, excessively hot or cold, slimy, and lots more. Being successful has much more to do with being able to do those things and still smile, be polite, be diligent, etc than it does with any sort of god given talent.
Oh, and most of them hate having to use the slicer because that means two things:
1 - They probably have to clean the slicer because someone else left it dirty.
2 - They have to clean the slicer after they are done using it.
Roasted peppers are one of my top ten most hated items. You must char the skin so it’s as black as coal, then wrap in plastic bags so they steam as they cool. Then remove every scrap of blackened skin, then cut in half and meticulously remove the core and each and every seed. Then slice into thin batons.
Youre tempted to wash that off under the tap but doing so washes away the flavor too. Of course, when roasting peppers we’re doing a hundred at a time.
Cheese plates, hands down. Every time one of those orders comes through, it’s a show stopper where the person making it needs to stop doing everything else they’re doing and focus only on that for several minutes, which in the kitchen is a really long time.
As a diner operator with heavy breakfast counts on weekends, it ties up the line specially when a party of 4 orders it during heavy days. Took it out of our menu. If it was a slow morning, and a guest ask nicely, I'd do it.
The Handling And Cleaning Of Fresh Fish
Appreciate the A2A!!! I guess most dishes can be a pleasure or a pain. Having the proper, fresh ingredients that are properly prepped makes even difficult dishes enjoyable. However, I really do not like fresh fish anything. I do like salmon steaks. But I don't enjoy the handling and cleaning of fresh fish.
Taking The Poop Out Of The Shrimp
I was a prep cook, dessert cook, and ocassional line cook,not a chef, for many years-
I liked making everything, especially new recipes, we went through about 6 chefs, so I got to do a lot of new recipes…I used to really love cooking, until I had kids…
*Except taking the poop out of the shrimp. Never grew to love “de-veining” shrimp.
Even though I’m a vegetarian I got a kind of perverse pleasure out of gutting (I called it “fisting”) the whole chickens and choppung heads off of halibut…
Being in charge of desserts for a couple of years was the best, especially when I got to do my own “specials” we had the basic chocolate torte, creme brulee, tiramisu, so I took it upon myself to uphold the family tradition and make many delicious cheesecakes during my tenure as dessert person…
*actual answer, the rest is just me waxing nostalgic about my professional cook days…
Chopping Green Onions
My roommate was a chef, and I think the thing he least liked to do was chop green onions because they would always roll away. He called green onions rude food.
Making A Signature Dish To Someone's Picky Changes
I always hated making a signature dish to someone's picky changes. If the dish I make doesn't suit your tastes, go somewhere else. This isn’t a McDonald's or Burger King, where a cook can simply pass up the pickles in the assembly line. If you don't want a steak with a marinade, don't order it. I can't change the flavor when it comes out of the marinade. If a particular side comes with that entree, I hate having to fix a different side just for you because I have to know every menu item and how to put that item together based on the item in its entirety. I really got a laugh out of orders for no salt on an entree that contains no salt to begin with. There's a request that won't piss me off when I have 12 orders backed up. That is a reason why I hated going out to eat with my stepdaughter. She will take as long to order as everyone else in a 6-person party combined, because she has to have substitutions, and want to know if she can get the sauce on another entree on what she is trying to order, and I just sit there and grind my teeth and hope the head chef doesn't appear at our table with a meat cleaver. When I'm the guy over the fire, I have to resist the urge to do just that when I get an order with enough notes to be the last great epistle to the gourmandians.
Overcooked Yolks In Poached, Sunny Side And Over-Easy Eggs
I haven’t conducted a poll, so I can only speak from personal experience… From my observation, most Chefs love what they do, and create recipes that flow effectively in their kitchens. If a dish is found to be too complicated, it is usually taken off the menu.
The only thing we hate- this is especially a conflict for Chef/Owners- is when we get “Hit”. We “Get Hit” when a bunch of customers show up unexpectedly- all at the same time. Sometimes several large groups of people who all order different things. It is at these times when your kitchen needs to perform at top ability, and it is more likely that mistakes are made.
The only specific dish I can think of that can be “high maintenance” is the basic Egg. Though they are the first thing taught in Culinary School, even the most talented kitchens have occasional problems with eggs arriving cold. Or overcooked yolks in poached, sunny side and over-easy eggs. I recently had to send back overcooked baked eggs at a trendy LA “Celebrity” restaurant, last weekend.
The only other one I can think of is Rare and Medium Rare Steaks. Unfortunately, only the best steakhouses seem to have the ability to get them right, consistently.
Hope this info helps.
Hundreds Of Scotch Eggs
I'm going to keep my answer short: hundreds of scotch eggs…making 12 is no sweat. Making hundreds is grueling, much like the deviled quail eggs previously mentioned.
Flan, Especially The Caramel Topping
Flan was a PITA. Especially the caramel topping—we made the caramel and then poured it, hot, into the baking pan and let it cool. After the flan was baked and inverted, the melted caramel would be on top. You have no idea how many times the caramel would come out grainy or worse, burned, because some dumba*s either turned down the heat while it was cooking, or turned their back when it started to color.
Mole sauce. Dear gods, it took well over an hour to prepare a batch with the recipe we used.
Anything that required reducing a sauce. We were perpetually short staffed, so every prep cook would be working on two or three things at once, and if you turned your back after adding your stock or wine, it was easy to have nasty black shallots or garlic stinking up the kitchen.
Prepping Squid For Calamari
I hate prepping squid for calamari, it's a dirty stinking job but needs doing!
Being Asked To Cook Someone Else’s Specialty Or Signature Dish From Some Other Restaurant
This is actually a funny question because it totally depends upon person to person that what actually in my career experience as a food blogger, what I have observed is that specifically professional chefs dislike is being asked to cook someone else’s specialty or signature dish from some other restaurant.
Once I was in a restaurant and came across an incident in a restaurant where a head chef was asked to prepare a dish from some other restaurant’s menu and he got offended by that thing.
I think every professional chef would not like that thing but that again too it depends upon person to person how someone takes this thing as a challenge or opportunity.
In my opinion, anyone would feel bad if challenged but yes If I were a professional chef and asked to do such a thing I would definitely do it and try to make a tastier dish for sure. Rest hats off to all the chefs here.
Depends On The Quality Of The Ingredients One Is Using
Thanks for the A2A Garrick.
The question really comes down to the quality of the ingredients I am using.
As an example:
I love cooking scallops, but not out of a tin.
I like cooking asparagus, but not when they are frozen.
I like cooking chicken but not the battery chickens that are pumped with chemicals and salt.
I love cooking mushroom risotto, but not in the spring
I like making vanilla ice cream but only if I have Tahitian vanilla pods.
A Steak Ordered “Well-Done”
Here are my two pet peeves:
A steak ordered “well-done.”
Would you like some ranch dressing to dip that dried out piece of shoe-leather in as well? At least have the decency to beg forgiveness from God for wasting that poor animal’s precious life once you’re done.
2. Any time a guest decides to rewrite our recipes.
Why don’t I just bring you a list of all the ingredients we have in the kitchen, and you can tell me what should be on the menu.
What a pain in the butt! Even though most kitchens par cook risotto to about 80% ahead of time it still takes a cook to be dedicated to finishing it without distraction. That’s why (IMO) many restaurant kitchens don’t do risotto very well. It doesn’t meld well into the workflow of a modern kitchen.
Make it at home!
Dishes That People Rarely Order
My answer as would be, a dish that is not often prepared alot. The more you do of one, the better it will always be. I cannot affirm one particular dish that I do not like to prepare. This is just one persons view. I love to cook.
Set pieces are a pain in the a**, where ‘it has to look like this’. Or s**t like “‘nightengales drowned in brandy’ served in a hood” (is a thing). But generally, BRUNCH!
Traditional Stews, Pies And Layered Dishes Which Are Cooked In Many Steps
Traditional stews, pies and layered which are cooked in many steps.
Dishes with too many steps basically
I asked this question to my Grandson and he said that the dishes he dislikes are the ones where the food sticks to them and that most people including his mother, prefer non stick dishes or frying pans!
Dishes Either That Are Insanely And Overly Complicated , Extremely Simple And Even Fast-Food, Or The Extremely Mundane And Done Everywhere
I would imagine this includes dishes either that are insanely and overly complicated , extremely simple and even fast-food, or the extremely mundane and done everywhere.
The first is well covered here.
The second you run into almost always because of kids. they have limited palates and will go to a 1-star place and dare to ask for an off-the menu thing like fish sticks or mac and cheese! They don’t yet get scallops or salmon, capers or morel mushrooms. I’ve seen them ask for a hamburger and fries in a 3-star establishment. First of all, why are parents even bringing kids into such a place. But I’m sure it peeves some cooks to make just a hamburger. You can get that at any McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s , Carl’s Jr, or In & Out. Worse that that, possible cooked bv some 17 year old with no culinary training. It’s an ego-killer.
The third would like ordering “Duck L’Orange” in the 1970s or Beef Tartar or Chicken al La King in the 1980s or heck anything pitched as Srirachi in the past decade. It starts off as cool and hip and a few top cooks latch onto it. The next year or two, every ‘trendy’ menu has it available. Heck, it’s like ordering ‘the souffle’ when you sit down in the 1960s. When you have 120 covers in a night and you get 90 orders for a “duck l’orange” and only 30 of the dishes you made, resentment sets in. Also, an ego-killer. The chef may soon realize “Hey, just bring some staff great at this one dish, what do you need my creativity for?”