Chefs, by their very nature, are a hospitable bunch. They spend hours prepping in the early hours so we can sit down, relax, eat and be totally taken care of.
Chefs will often go that extra mile to make sure a plate is perfect for their guest, removing an ingredient, taking care of an allergy, cooking a dish that’s not even on the menu for that one fussy taster at the table. But there are limits, and some requests are just too much.
With this in mind we took a look at the great Chefs of Reddit pages, where chefs share their personal stories from the kitchen. We were interested in the dishes that chefs hate to cook, the one plate they wince at if guests order during a busy service.
The answers given by the Chefs of Reddit show a glimpse of what it can be like when you’re under the hammer, pans are frying, boiling and sautéing - and one guest decides their egg just has to be poached.
Here are the dishes chefs actually hate to prepare.
When I was a cook I used to hate making quesadillas. We made them in skillets and I only had 6 burners to cook everything in my part of the kitchen with. When groups would come in and order 4 quesos and some other dishes and I would get yelled at because I took longer than the 15 minute window we were given drove me mad sometimes. Yes they are easy to make. Just they take up to much space and cause a back up of tickets when they come in bunches.
Mozzarella balls! Absolute nightmare, even when we double bread crumb them they love to explode in the fryer.
You gotta freeze them.
Every time someone orders no salt I die a little inside.
All day breakfast.. and I know plenty other chefs that would agree
Fucking cheese boards. Nothing is more annoying than having to get a cheeseboard out in the middle of a busy service
Can't believe I had to scroll this far down for this. Charcuterie is delicious, but preparing it for other people is a complete nightmare
Oysters. Place I used to work at offered 50 cent oysters on the half shell, or all you can eat for $30. I can still hear the chit machine printing my hell. Shuck one dozen, shuck 3 dozen, shuck 12 dozen. I used to collect the tiny oyster crabs each shift, and me and the other cooks would each pick one, and race them to see who was buying the first round each night.
I don't hate many dishes, more the ingredients. Planking and scoring 2 cases of trumpet mushrooms? Fuck me man there goes 45 minutes of prep. Oh we're getting another 2 cases tomorrow? Awsome, thanks chef. Battonet 40 parsnips? Sick! So glad I sharpened my knife yesterday....and hay? It gets everywhereeee
Firstly can people stop getting so butthurt over this ? I've been a chef for around two and a half years and I can 100% say the worst thing to cook is any kind of well done steak. If you order well done steak, you are a fucking moron. If you send the steak back because it is "too well done" you're an even bigger fucking moron. I just don't get it. Who spends £40 on a fillet steak and orders it well done, morons.
Deep fried popcorn for sure. Our executive chef started having us make this after his wife got fired from the kitchen. It only takes a few minutes for the popping to start. Once the popping starts, so do the nightmares.
The head chef at my work has been known to bitch about cooking a spatchcock chicken because it takes more time than anything else on the menu. The right hand man gets pissed off having to put the satay chicken onto skewers. And the left hand woman hates making the dumplings because they're all hand folded, have to fold a lot of them and the chicken and prawn dumpling mince is not the best type of fragrant.
Well done steaks. Please if you are going to make me ruin a nice cut of meat don't complain about it. You asked for it to be cremated. Just order chicken! Or even eat a car tyre, that's probably got better texture to it than a well done steak. Also a complaint when the food isn't ready in 5 minutes because you wanted the steak well done.. idiots!
I hate cooking anything with shrimp. After cleaning hundreds of pounds of shrimp over my cooking career, the smell of shrimp makes me cringe. It's hard to clean shrimp with gloves, so I used my bare hands. The smell stuck to my hands.
Sugar work. I actually really like sugar work in a quiet empty setting but this never exists in a commercial kitchen. I guess I wasn't so passionate to do much in my home kitchen so my experience was always dangerous and crazed. The last kitchen I worked at, the pastry area didn't have a stove top by it so you would literally have to dodge line cooks to claim a burner. Then stand there and watch. We didn't use candy thermometers and at a certain level of experience, it's not necessary anyhow. You can see when it turns. Everything is about timing, precision, and cleanliness - special pots kept separate from the savory side. Damn near killed an intern who used one of our pots to make some shitty broken sauce. When it was at that point, you'd grab it off the burner and sprint back to your station and work frantically away. Too far gone and it was ruined. You've wasted precious prep time before service. Sugar burns are terrible. Grabs onto your skin and sticks.
To me, fresh pasta seems like it sucks so much just because it's hard to get right. I'm no professional chef, and every time I give fresh pasta a try it ends up shit. Maybe undercooked, maybe overcooked. But awful either way.
I'm a catering cook and we have a number of things that are rather annoying. Any sort of passed "puff", because pâte á choux is a pain in the ass. Squeezing 500 dabs of it genuinely hurts. Roasted veg. 15 hotels pans of raw veg just gets boring to make. Fruit displays. They take a while to prep, and no one eats them. Prosciutto wrapped blue cheese filled dates. Yes, they are delicious, but I have to make 400 for your 200 guests and a lot of people don't eat dates or blue cheese. Anything skewered. Again, a lot of labor. I'm sick of spring mix, goat cheese, apple, cider vin salads. Can we get a new trend?
I feel the pain. I had to make three 600 pans of bruschetta once. I was cutting tomatoes into tiny ass dices for 6 hours. They served it at the banquet that night. We had two and a half pans left over. I was livid.
Lol. I bartend and find pleasure in fucking with our bar chef and telling him six people at the bar just ordered sliders with special toppings and such. He looks at me with an evil eye and then laughs realizing I'm fucking with him. Then I tell him I'm for real and he hates me lol
I worked the overnight shift in a bakery. to this day, I don't even like to eat donut holes, let alone make them. we had this giant stainless-steel gadget that I was supposed to fill, then crank so it dispensed small bits of batter into the deep fryer, but it was messy, time-consuming, and really a two-person job if only for purposes of basic kitchen safety. also, they never really trained me on how to use that thing.
Not a chef, rather a bartender. Used to work at a bar that had two-for-one cocktails on a Wednesday night which applied to any cocktail we offered. For the most part, it was completely fine: line up a bunch of glasses, fill a bunch of shakers with the required booze and mixers, shake and tip into the glasses.
Mojitos were the bane of my existence, took about 5 extra steps when making them and the mint stuck to the shaker so you couldn't just rinse it and reuse it for the next drink. And they looked fancy so, without fail, as soon as I made a batch of mojitos for a customer (they typically ordered 6-8 at a time due to long lines), the next person would think "ooooh, they look good, I'll order a round". Cue me stuck behind the bar for 30 minutes while the line grew longer and customers starting getting annoyed.
I've heard eggs Benedict is a awful dish to cook between the time it takes to make poached eggs well and the time it takes to hollandaise sauce well. This makes me feel awful because I love me some bennies.
A proper eggs Benedict is a great test of a cook.
I was the sous at a high end hotel. I once had to do 850 tuxedo strawberries. Each one had to have a bow tie and 3 buttons. The process is a pain in the ass. You first have to dip them in white chocolate. Let the them dry. Then roll them in dark chocolate but leaving enough white chocolate to resemble the under shirt. Once both layers are dry then you pipe on the bow tie and buttons. Took me all fucking day..... also was the chef de cuisine at a fine dining farm to table restaurant. Every one of our entrees were a 4 to 5 pan pick up. So on extremely busy nights you hated life!
Pastry Chef - Cannèlles Bordeaux. Fuck I hated making those little finicky fucking things. Heat the molds, heat the bees butter (mixture of beeswax and butter), heat that, pour out said bees butter while sweating and scalding and burning your fingertips off, pour the base into the molds, try not to spill them over, bake, rotate drop temp, tap them out of the molds, more burning and scalding. If you were lucky you got most to come out perfectly brown and caramelized. Private dinner parties, sometimes five, ten rounds of these.
I used to cook at a Mongolian grill and hated meals that had an absurd amount of sesame oil and poppy seeds. The poppy seeds would become a million tiny missiles...
I have been a chef for 15 years and I hate cooking for kids.
Got a friend that's a head chef in a very expensive area of the French Alps. One week he had a family in and the kid asked for fish fingers and chips. That's all he wanted. These were a very high-paying family so he wanted to really impress them. He travels down the mountain into the town in the valley and buy some fresh fish fillets. He buys some high-quality potatoes and returns to the challet. He spends a good hour preparing everything to make this awesome fish finger dish for the kid. Dinner time comes and the food is served. Kid takes on look at it and slides it onto the floor. He wanted Birdseye Fish Fingers and McCain Oven Chips.
Any steak cooked Well Done! Do you want everyone at your table to wait 40 min for their mains? Then order this! And I'll give you the oldest wrinkly green piece of cow from the bucket. If you complain, ill cook it for another 30 min, then see how you like it.
Staff shortages are hitting the hospitality sector hard, prompting some restaurants to look outside the industry to train those without restaurant experience for life in the kitchen. Andrew Friedman finds out more.