Thursday, August 25, 2011

Saying sorry to Chef

Since I wrote about Kitchen Politics a couple of weeks ago, there have been a few more dramas in the kitchen to entertain me when I have enough of cooking and cleaning. One major outburst of loud wails and tears, one woman-to-woman claw-to-claw catfight, a faithfully latecomer to ruffle Chef's feathers and the daily gossips to spice the morning breaks.

Today Chef got so mad with the class he walked out on us. Stubborn refusal to take and follow simple instructions, insisting on doing things our own way, not adhering to safety standards and endangering others in the process - these were some of the things that irked him. In the session this morning, he spelt out very clearly, Prepare the mise en place, don't cut anything, don't pound anything. I will teach you every step. When he came back 5 minutes later, there was serious mortar pounding going on. He blew his top and decided we were smart enough to do our own cooking and he walked out, leaving 15 astonished kindergarten kids to ourselves. Everyone froze and all activities stopped abruptly.

I broke the silence and suggested to Sous Chef of the day and her assistant, the Sanitarium, to apologise on behalf of the class and ask him to come back to the kitchen. They were hesitant, so I decided to do it, and they followed after me. I chased Chef down the corridor and humbly apologised to him. Sous Chef adopted a begging approach - Please la, Chef, please, please - which I did not want to be a part of.

I repeated my apology for the unacceptable behaviour of the class. I could not promise him it wouldn't happen again. It's hard to teach old dogs new tricks. Because some of them are experienced in the kitchen, they are pretty set on how things are done. I guess it is easier for virgin chefs like me as I have nothing to unlearn. I can't cut an ingredient my own way 'cos I don't know how to cut it in the first place, LOL.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the day did eventually turn out well as you can see in my earlier posting. The sambal roast chicken was extremely succulent!

The beauty of this episode is it generated many other classroom stories from my children when I shared it with them. You ask them, How's your day in school? And you get a nonchalant, Ya, ok. But hearing my story sparked off a chain of contributions, with everyone clamouring to get more air time to talk. Make time for your children, and watch them make your day.

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