I’m Just Sayin’: Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen Has Nothing On This
I wish I could say that I’ve had my share of odd jobs – you know just to be able in my future E! Entertainment TV “True Hollywood Story” segment to show that I’ve paid my dues. But I haven’t. And admittedly, it absolutely was for lack of trying.
What can I say? Early on I had already developed a severe case of misplaced sense of self. Evidently that translated into constantly being under the influence of a formidably over-inflated ego that would insistently remind me that I’m really terrified to death of being in front of the camera and have an agonizingly immutable stage-fright phobia, which clearly puts a damper on my E! Network Television appearance, and for that matter, my many other TV interview/profile prospects.
So, because I’m smart like that, I never bothered to submit my candidature much less perform any of the traditional transitional odd jobs while I waited for my non-famous career to take off – plus I knew that beside taking too much paper space, they really added no outstanding bonus value to my curriculum vitae.
But as much as I was, and to some degree still am, a little bit of a delusional pretentious princess, I’m happy to report that at least it doesn’t seem to be hereditarily running in the family.
Thank god I have a twenty-three years old younger brother who is not afraid to roll up his sleeves to get down in the trenches, and through whom I can now vicariously experience my own frustrated glamorous waitress career. On that note I still don’t understand why they haven’t change that job title yet to something fancier. I mean if stewardesses and stewards are now collectively called “flight attendants” why not call waiters and waitresses “restaurant attendants”; isn’t it essentially the same customer service gig except that one “serves” people at some whatever altitude (and, at times, attitude) level, perched up in the air?
Anyway, back to my mini-bro. So just the other day, he skyped me to get some sound advice on how to handle the series of rather unconventional things that apparently have been repeatedly occurring at this so-called restaurant he’s been employed at for the past month. Aww! How cute is it that my mini-bro thinks of me as the absolute “go-to”, super cool, (just barely) older sister for counsel?
I didn’t want to crush his blinded faith in me and let him know that in all actuality I still haven’t figured anything out about life and know absolutely nothing because I very much stopped growing up somewhere, sometime back in 1984, which means that mentally, I am a decade behind him – or perhaps more appropriately, he’s ten years ahead of me in the maturity department.
In my defense, any Justin Bieber disciple would have had the whole process down to a science in a heartbeat, as I did. Frankly, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that what was really going on at this ”food service” job of his was that everything was literally going down.
Hmm, how should I put this diplomatically? How about my brother works for a couple of wishy-washy French owners who better define the notion of crooks than cooks! And I’m not just talking about the fact that (allegedly) for cost-effectiveness and timesaving purposes they make their employees serve regular coffee under the false marquee of decaf. If that were the only major unethical problem my mini-bro was dealing with, his customers would only be going home with the prospect of later on suffering from a case of insomnia instead of (potentially) needing urgent medical attention.
Obviously there’s much more going on behind the scene – and by scene I mean the two vital areas of the venue, namely the bar and the kitchen.
In the “Oh Hell No” department this establishment hands down gets the golden medal.
I’m even thinking (as the brilliant publicist extraordinaire that I am) that I should pitch “60 minutes” to do an undercover investigation/ on-the-field reporting and sneak in a few hidden cameras. But as Madonna says: “bad publicist is better than no publicity”, and I don’t really want to waste my precious PR efforts on them. Instead, I’d much prefer, as demonstrated here, to waste my valuable writing time dedicating an entire column on trashing them!
So get this! Somehow these two froggies sort of kind of very much run a low-class mini version of what one might call a savant Medellin cartel. That’s right! These two wannabe Pablo Escobar rookies spend more time sniffing lines of coke than properly running their business. Speaking about lines, I have to say that that type of behavior really crosses the line in my book. And what’s worse is that they try to recruit their own young employees to join them in that very mucho beaucoup fucked up social hobby of theirs during their regular nocturnal after-hours parties – you know when they shut the place down and continue to serve drinks to the few remaining losers who obviously don’t remember they have a home to go back to because of their committed allegiance to alcohol.
“Do you ski?” one of the Frenchies asked my brother. Apparently, to put it in the parlance of modern day drug lords, this is the new code word for chasing the dragon. Thank god my bro had the street-smart lucidity to decrypt the underlying message of what that proposition actually meant because had it been me I would have said “yes” naively thinking my ass was going to be flown first class on an all paid vacation to some quaint and cozy cutie cabin at some Colorado ski resort. Not so much!
What’s quite interesting is that unlike the various brands of imported beers they’re supposedly famed for, when it comes to their stash of coke they’re never in short supply. Maybe that’s because they get it delivered at the restaurant twice a week courtesy of their little protégé named Jesus– one of their bus-boys who after doing time behind (the other kind of) bars is now doing his so-called ex-convict social reinsertion program under the care and supervision of our French duo, which of course includes utilizing his valuable networking skills by rekindling his criminal connections with the gang that put him in jail in the first place. But hey! No big deal, right? When you got to ski, you got to have powder!
Surely that uber convenient home-delivery system is easier than finding the right kind of beers to mix together as a desperate 911 measure to come up with a substitution for the brand they just ran out of, which some poor customer foolishly just ordered. The only glitch is when they’re too high to be smart enough to concoct a mix that produces the right color – you know, as in when you’re served a freaking blonde beer when it’s supposed to be dark ale!
Yet, that’s probably nothing compared to the charlatan method they resort to for their alleged existing wine list. Wait! What’s that you say? Oh yes, they don’t have a wine list – even though the menu pretentiously says so. What they have instead are two cheap ass boxes of white and red wine (they probably buy at their local ninety-nine cents store), which they deceivingly serve to royally duped customers under the labels of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Gris as white wine choices, and Cabernet, Merlot and Pinot Noir for the red selection.
But enough with the bar and the booze! Let’s talk about food, which naturally brings us to the amazing kitchen and the fabulous chef that runs it – or should I say ruins it? If you thought the bartending ethics were shady, what goes on in the kitchen certainly qualify as seedy. Let me introduce you to Pedro, the self-proclaimed Chef who’s delusional enough to convince himself that his absolutely-not-spectacular culinary skills pose a serious menace to Chef Rocco’s professional trade. If you ask me the extent of his haute cuisine expertise pretty much narrows down to his tenure in the federal prison’s kitchen. The only serious threat he really poses is to Chef Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” – and I mean that in the literal sense of the word “hell”.
According to my bro, it’s clearly bedlam in the cook-room and the man plotting all of the insanity in the caboose is evidently loco Pedro. Pedro likes to share his ongoing state of neurosis by perpetually yelling at every waiter and waitress who dares to step into his quarters to place a food order – because while Pedro ambitiously self-appointed himself the official Chef, he is a chef who officially doesn’t like to cook!
Now because the place is called a “restaurant” and guess what? Customers are continuously ordering dishes from the offered menu, our little psycho Pedro is evidently forced to get down and dirty behind the stove – again I mean that literally.
Talk about health and safety in commercial kitchen food service operations, clearly our food guru skipped that entire chapter in the “Cooking for Dummies” book.
Committed to applying the worse possible cooking methods, Pedro deep-(fat)-fries all his once-upon-a-time comestible food in a bath of hot continuously recycled oil – you know, to expedite the overall cooking process because he has other and much better things to do, like “ski” in the office with the owners.
When products fall on the floor, he picks them up and replaces them back in the pan or (perhaps even worse) on the plate, wherever they were originally supposed to land in the first place.
Oh and forget about wearing the traditional Chef uniform including such useless items as a hat, an apron and gloves – this totally goes against Pedro’s haute couture religion because clearly he’s quite the fashionista with his trendy retro-chic Rico Suave attire, and let’s face it, looks are everything when you glamorously parade your booty on the kitchen’s imaginary runway in-between the oven, the dishwasher and the sink!
Speaking about soap and water, Pedro doesn’t believe in the virtues of rinsing dishes. Apparently my brother recently served a Caesar salad to some innocent gay victim who immediately sent the plate back after successfully identifying “Cascade” as the detergent brand used to run the dishwasher – not to stereotype but only a gay man with OCD could have hit the bull’s eye in the “name that detergent” game. As to how he actually did know what Cascade taste like? Who knows? And who cares, really? That’s obviously not the issue here!
The real issue here is how on earth did my little bro fail to follow the brilliantly lazy footsteps of his super extra cool slightly older sister – and that would be moi, of course. Has he taken a good look at me lately? Clearly, I didn’t turn that bad sans waitressing credits and other useless professional experience to my name, did I?
And mind you, that was at a time far removed from today’s modern-technology/cyberspace landscape. Seriously, there’s no need to do odd jobs to make ends meet anymore when all you have to do is simply Google “earn more, work less” or “how to make money with no job doing nothing.”
Either my mini-bro went to get that very twisted and terribly wrong and absolutely demented waiter gig at that beyond screwed-up dumpy restaurant for spite or else he just didn’t get my point!
I said I’m in show business, not “snow” business!
…. I’m just sayin’!