To anyone who has ever worked in the food and restaurant industry, there has certainly been that one item that you just dread having to make.
A group of chefs and restaurant cooks were recently asked what their least favorite dish to prepare was from the menu where they worked. The question was met with an overwhelming response that highlighted dishes that were either annoying to make, tedious, or simply too dangerous to be worth the trouble.
Because it’s still Reddit, please take these stories with a grain of salt. Also, regardless of these responses, it’s still a chef’s job to prepare whatever the customers’ menu choices are so don’t let these stories deter you from ordering what you want at a restaurant.
Mother-f*cking poached eggs.
Let me tell you a story. It’s Sunday, you went HARD last night. So did everyone else on your crew, you’re all running on four hours of sleep on the sixth day of your shift because Monday is the day the restaurant is closed.
Last month the owner decided BRUNCH WAS A GOOD IDEA. So that fat bastard and his friends could come in and drink mimosas all day.
You put on two pots of water and add just the right amount of vinegar to them keeping one just warm and the other in front of it just under boiling. You know two isn’t enough for service, but you don’t have space for anymore. It’s like seeing that your car doesn’t have any brakes but driving towards a cliff anyways, but what can you do? It’s service time!
ORDERING: 3 benny, 4 frittata, 2 lobster grits, 1 fruit platter, 10 muesli.
The day begins, the water of pot one starts getting cloudy from the first six eggs dropped for the benedicts. Two hours pass, pot one is now only half full, looks like milk with bits in it, you can smell the vinegar in it searing on the sides of the pot. That’s one down, you run it to dish, put a rush on it but you know the dishwasher is backed up, one pot left.
Three more hours pass, as the poached egg orders keep coming and the water gets worse you start adding in extra eggs to compensate for the ones you break trying to get them out.
It’s eleven thirty, ORDER: 8 benny – SOS 4, Hardpoach 2. That’s the moment. THAT’S THE MOTHERFUCKING MOMENT THE WATER SHITS THE BED.
The mass of eggwhite on the bottom and the opacity of the water makes putting in 16 eggs impossible, let alone the 18-20 you’d need to actually get the order done.
The first pot doesn’t even have water in it. Your head is still fucking throbbing and why the fuck do you even have to deal with this shit on a SUNDAY HOLY SHIT WE STILL HAVE DINNER SERVICE FUCKING KILL ME JOSE JUST SLIT MY FUCKING THROAT NOW JOSE I CAN’T FUCKING TAKE IT.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is why I hate making poached eggs.
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 four 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 that they take up too much space and cause a back up of tickets when they come in bunches.
Just a cook here but I HATE making Chicago dogs. I work at a mom and pop ice cream and sandwich shop and the shear amount of things I have to pile on one hot dog and try and make it presentable annoys the shit out of me. There are a lot more labor intensive items but nothing annoys me like that damn dog
Also I hate Chicago dogs anyway so… maybe just a built in bias
Things fall apart
When I worked at Panera everyone hated making the roasted turkey avacado BLT. It was on the smallest bread and would always fall apart.
Fucking cheese boards. Nothing is more annoying than having to get a cheeseboard out in the middle of a busy service.
500 dabs genuinely hurts
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?
Bacon a mess
A sandwich with 6 different types of bacon, a maple bacon glaze and bacon aoli. It is an absolute mess and the glaze burns on the trays super easy once it’s put in the salamander.
“Gluten free, please.”
When someone wants something gluten free. Not enough people order gluten free so we don’t prep it beforehand. And gluten free pizza bases take ages to cook as opposed to normal. Just slows you down when it’s busy. I also always wonder if the person is actually a celiac or just decided to go gluten free because it’s the thing to do now.
Love what you do
This is going to sound super pretentious but….
As a chef, my number one job is to love everything I have to do.
If you do not put equal passion and honor and “love” for each dish and each customer who orders something difficult to make or custom order where they ask for everything on the side and well done you simply should not be cooking.
If a perfect night for me was only cooking the dishes I liked to cook the way I liked them I would never have a perfect night.
I try to push myself to constantly love the shit I hate, peeling veggies, butchering massive amounts of slimey product, shucking oysyers until my hands are numb, hell, even mopping.
This business has a huge rate of turnover, burnouts, and frankly assholery that is totally a side effect of a Chef’s clockwork ability to learn a couple of advanced techniques and disciplines and then suddenly assume that they are God’s gift to cooking and that everybody else should kiss their ass, read their minds, and only order what makes the night “easy.”
The amount of psychological abuse a Chef does to themselves and others on a nightly basis is totally avoidable.
It really is a shame, because it is the service industry and it should be about serving people. I have a motto I learned from my first mentor, “Every man a king.”
The dreaded donut hole
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.
Might want to get that checked out, Chef
If it has the word “platter” involved, I feel my piss begin to boil.
“The bane of my existence.”
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 start getting annoyed.
Spread on a bagel
Hard cream cheese on a fresh cinnamon sugar bagel. I work at Bruegger’s Bagels and that is the one single thing that I hate making. In case you don’t know how New York style bagels are made, you have to boil (kettle) them before you put them in the oven so that they get that nice outer shell.
Cinnamon sugar bagels, however, don’t get kettled because for some reason cinnamon sugar bagels taste better soft. This means they are a bitch to prepare straight out of the oven though. First you have to try to slice an extremely squishy, sticky, hot bagel by hand. Then, if the customer wants anything besides a whipped cream cheese, you have to try to evenly spread it onto the bagel without completely flattening it all while the cream cheese instantly melts upon contact with the bagel.
So, if you ever order cream cheese on a hot cinnamon sugar bagel at Bruegger’s, don’t be surprised when it’s mangled and hideous.
“What would you like in your sandwich?”
Former sandwich artist here: I cursed anyone who ordered all toppings and more than two sauces on their sub. It’s disgusting and damn near impossible to close.
Half and half
Former pizza cook. We had red sauce pies, and white sauce pies. White was olive oil, ricotta, and garlic. Red was normal marinara.
Some people just HAD to have a half white, half red pizza. It took twice as long, and ended up cooking funny because the white side would be done first. Then they’d bitch when the price was higher than a normal pizza.
The Leaning Tower of Poutine
Used to work at an independent family restaurant in Canada and they used to have a tower of poutine. It was a terrible burden for the cooks to prepare and us servers could never get it to the table in one piece.
Note: Stories have been edited for spelling and flow.