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Old 12-28-2015, 06:39 PM   #1
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I Don't Understand Professional Chefs

I received the January 2016 issue of Bon Appétit and was reading an article: "In defense of simple food" featuring Chef Jeremy Fox.
"Fox is particular about how his cooks fold their side towels. 'If a cook's not folding his towel right, ' Fox says, 'he might be cutting corners elsewhere.' They're used as pot holders, to wipe cutting boards, to anchor a mixing bowl-and draped over the corner of a pan to signal that it's hot. This is how to earn his approval:"
And then there's a diagram on how to fold a towel.

REALLY?!

Who says that a towel HAS to be folded just so?
I get that it's "his kitchen" but come on man.
Just a little OCD, dontcha think?

And this is why I DO NOT work in a professional kitchen... thought about it, had my own "online bakery" for a time, but geez.

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Old 12-28-2015, 06:55 PM   #2
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I think it's silly but I don't think it's necessarily representative of all chefs. He seems to think of it as indicating a level of discipline he wants from his employees.

I don't work in a professional kitchen because it's stressful, hot, uncomfortable and you have to be on your feet for hours and hours
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Old 12-28-2015, 07:11 PM   #3
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you said it GG!
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Old 12-28-2015, 07:37 PM   #4
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... now don't get me wrong, I don't think that ALL CHEFS are jerks, one of DF's is Chef/Owner of a great place in Colorado and she is a HOOT! Love her, a real person and just goes with the flow, ya know?
One year, a bear got into her freezers and ate all of her desserts for the next week, she was, um, well you know what I mean. But she made it through without giving her staff rash.
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Old 12-28-2015, 08:01 PM   #5
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I Don't Understand Professional Chefs

Oh fer Pete's sake.

We have a few chef friends, no way they'd be bothered telling their staff how to fold a towel.

K-girl, I had a bear break in to the cabin where I was babysitting back in the day. I just let him/her help himself/herself to whatever he/she wanted...
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Old 12-28-2015, 08:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
Oh fer Pete's sake.

We have a few chef friends, no way they'd be bothered telling their staff how to fold a towel.

K-girl, I had a bear break in to the cabin where I was babysitting back in the day. I just let him/her help himself/herself to whatever he/she wanted...
But did that bear have the towel folded just the right way?

Remember Julia? And even Jacques. They both just tuck the corner end in over their apron string. They never took the time to fold it just perfect. They tuck the corner in and whip it out when needed.
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Old 12-28-2015, 08:41 PM   #7
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But did that bear have the towel folded just the right way?



Remember Julia? And even Jacques. They both just tuck the corner end in over their apron string. They never took the time to fold it just perfect. They tuck the corner in and whip it out when needed.

That bear could fold the towel any way it wanted!
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Old 12-28-2015, 08:45 PM   #8
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... and see Addie that's what I do, and most the "chef" friends that I have,
just flip it over your apron strings, it's there, that's it!
WAY over the top dude!
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Old 12-28-2015, 08:47 PM   #9
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... and see Addie that's what I do, and most the "chef" friends that I have,
just flip it over your apron strings, it's there, that's it!
WAY over the top dude!
My first husband used to do it that way also. With just one hand (left) and it was just fine. I never saw it fall either.
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Old 12-28-2015, 08:50 PM   #10
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I'm going to take the chef's side on this one.

As the owner and head chef, he has every right to dictate what goes on in his kitchen. Maybe it reflects his background and training. You and I might find it a little anal and over the top, but I've worked many jobs over the years where the rules of conduct are clearly laid out. Even though some of these rules seem just plain silly, as an employee I'm still expected to follow them.

Does the way a towel is folded affect the quality of the food? Of course not. Nevertheless, as someone who occasionally enjoys eating at fine dining establishments, I really think there is something impressive about a kitchen and wait staff looking crisp and working with almost military precision.

Many years ago I worked a database job where all code had to be reviewed by the head DB administrator. This guy came from a military background, and had a 30-page written standard on how all code had to work and LOOK. Tabulation had to be fixed at four spaces, commands were capitalized, and variables followed a defined naming convention. If it didn't follow the format - even if it worked flawlessly - it was sent back to be rewritten. If you didn't want to follow the rules, you didn't have to work there. But the up side to this was that everything functioned well, and we had extremely few bugs and breakdowns with our team's code. To this day, I still follow a lot of those same conventions in my work.

I don't think I'm alone. I'd be willing to bet many of us have had to work jobs like this.
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