If you think that chefs don’t get sick of cooking certain kinds of foods, well…you’d be WRONG!
And today we’re going to hear from a bunch of industry professionals about the dishes they really don’t like making.
1. No more 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).
Boiling huge amounts of potatoes, 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!”
2. Not again!
“When I had my first restaurant job, the least favorite menu item was the Monte Cristo sandwich.
It was an egg batter-dipped and griddled ham, turkey, and gruyere sandwich served with raspberry jam and dusted with powdered sugar. Totally ridiculous food, and a favorite of closing managers and bartenders.
It required 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 sauté if you were crafty), and fried accompaniments.
I f**king h**ed those days.”
3. Hundreds at a time.
“Roasted peppers are one of my top 10 most h**ed 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. You’re 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.”
4. They sure taste good, though…
“Poached eggs. There are seemingly dozens of tricks that all result in nearly perfect poached eggs…almost.
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.”
5. Don’t take your eyes off of it.
“One of my favorites to eat is also one of my least favorites to make, and that is risotto.
So amazingly tasty, but very time consuming and you can’t take your eye off it easily to work on preparing any other dish.”
“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.”
7. No passion for it.
“Wiener Schnitzel, hands down. I’ve worked in kitchens where it was a favorite for 15 out of 20 years.
Prepared about 50 to 100,000-ish. I can do a very decent one blindfolded, one hand tied behind my back, and seriously hungover. There just isn’t any passion at all left in it. At all.”
8. Takes forever.
It takes forever, and you can’t leave it while it’s being prepared. You develop strong arms when you have to make this dish once a week. Roasted poblano polenta was on the menu at the time I was dealing with this dish. People think it’s easy, and it’s not if followed by the old-school ways of preparation and presentation.
It has to have the perfect consistency, creamy yet firm. [It’s a] hard one to nail every single time. If you walk away from it, it will scorch, and you will have to start all over again. Pasta, at least, I can walk away from for a few minutes, but not polenta.”
9. A mess.
“Eggplant carpaccio. Although a crowd favorite, cooking eggplants over gas/in the oven makes everything sticky and oily.
After that, peeling the burnt shell using gloves usually leaves the kitchen a mess, with black pieces of burnt shell all over the counter and sink, not to mention they’re notoriously known to stick to everything.”
10. Too much work.
“”I dislike making finger sandwiches.
Making finger sandwiches is deceivingly time consuming. Think about making turkey finger sandwiches. First, I have to slice turkey and cheese (and clean the machine I just sliced this stuff on). Then, I have to take bread, put mayo on both pieces of bread, and put the turkey and cheese on the bread.
I have to take the crust off and cut the sandwich in quarters. Now, I plate the finger sandwiches. Imagine the same process for three other, different sandwich types, each one just as involved. Lots of work.”
11. Not worth it.
“Lasagna. I don’t like casseroles to begin with. Secondly I’d rather use the meat and sauce to make a great Bolognese.
Not to mention, to make it properly, it should be baked off the first day and allow it to cool down and ‘marry.’ Then, you cut it into portions, cheese, and then heat to serve. All that work…and time…and mess…not worth it to me.”
12. Diner life.
As a diner operator with heavy breakfast counts on weekends, it ties up the line, especially when a party of four orders it during heavy days.
Took it out of our menu. If it was a slow morning, and a guest asked nicely, I’d do it.”
Are there dishes you don’t like to cook?
Talk to us in the comments and let us know.
Thanks in advance!