It’s a good thing we don’t actually see what goes on in the kitchen of our favorite restaurants because, odds are, it would no longer be our favorite restaurant and we’d never go out to eat at a public establishment ever again. Recently a Reddit thread asked chefs to reveal the most disgusting thing they’ve ever witnessed in a kitchen. Here are some of the best answers.
1) Pizza Cheese
The owner of the pizzeria I worked at walks in and sees a burnt pie in the trash, takes it out, pulls the cheese off, puts it on my pizza table and says “reuse that! Cheese is expensive!” the head pizza dude took off his apron and walked out. I just threw it away once the owner left.
2) Fire me, please
Chef wanted to get fired - he was a head case anyway. So he wanks off into some tissue and serves it under the side salad for a customer. Shit hit the fan big time. Police were called. It was messed up. The restaurant nearly had to close.
3) The Duck Legs
Once I made a big batch of duck confit in the fall that we were gonna save for the winter. All was well for most of it but there was one tub that had an air hole in the fat and when I reached in to pull out the duck legs, I puled out rancid, green blobs of nastiness. Make sure that shit it sealed in!
4) Ice Cream Incident
Many years ago, I was an ice cream chef (yes, it was just as amazing as it sounds) and one of my coworkers was making some burnt caramel. Keep in min, he is wearing shorts at the time. He has the caramel at a very hot rolling boil and it has turned black. While reaching for the cream, he knocked the large pot over and about a quart of the molten sugar splashed on his legs. He was rushed to the ER and ended up needed a ton of surgeries and skin grafts. Being burned by sugar is bad because it hardens on the outside while still cooking underneath.
5) McDonald’s Fries
I saw employees melting toys in the friers at McDonald’s. One was the manager.
6) Watch Your Fingers
I’ve seen an aluminum foil blade cut a cook’s hand from the webbing between the fingers to the middle of his hand and even take off fingers. It was awful.
7) Bugs in the Bread
One time we found a bunch of millipedes and ants in a large breadcrumb bin. My boss refused to throw it out and said they are just extra protein.
8) Pizza and a Cold
I briefly worked in a pizza shop where the chef would be constantly blowing his nose into a handkerchief and then handling the pizzas. Even worse, my mom still orders from there even though I told her about it.
9) McDonalds in the Summer
Middle of an Australian summer, I’m shift manager at McDonalds, and three people called in sick. We had rolling power outages for hours and so many pissed off customers with not enough employees. My poor grill girl made a weird sound behind me and as I turned to check on her I heard sizzling. She had passed out from heat exhaustion on the grill! Her arms were fried, but thankfully her arms saved her face. She had extensive skin grafts for her arms and weeks in hospital.
10) Hot Peppers
In one of the kitchens I’ve worked in, we made a delicious smoked habanero salsa. In order to get the habaneros smoked, they have to be cut in half and seeded. We put one of our interns on the job. He was about 17 years old. He spent 2 hours cleaning and seeding hundreds of these very hot peppers, sans gloves. We noticed he finished the job, and left to the washroom. Poor guy comes running back in to the kitchen crying from pain because he peed without washing his hands, then proceeded to wipe the tears off his eyes. An ambulance was called.
11) Take Your Pick
Not a chef but a prep/line cook. Take your pick honestly. I’ve seen people serve things that fell on the floor at my old job. I’ve seen people handle raw protein and then make a vegan salad, etc. When people are being yelled at to cook things faster than they cook, they don’t care if it’s done. They just don’t want to get yelled at. I refused to do any of those sort of things and quit rather than make food that could make people sick. If you have an allergy and you don’t tell anyone, you are going to have an allergic reaction. I’ve seen people use the same knife all day without cleaning it once.
A server peed in a milk shake before mixing it with ice cream for a particular co-worker nobody liked. I don’t remember anybody putting that mixer out of commission for the day.
13) So Many Roaches
I got a job cooking at a meat and three place. I lasted less than two days the place was so disgusting. The place was infested with roaches. Put bread in the toaster and push down the lever. Fifty roaches would run out of it. When you wanted to cut the toast, you had to wave roaches away from the cutting board. They were crawling up the walls. I saw a server nonchalantly scoop one up from a table while the customer was ordering (who didn’t notice). The servers were all good at stealth roach removal.
14) The Chemical Bucket
Some big buckets of dish machine chemicals were sitting directly on the floor and were never lifted up and cleaned under. I lifted them one day to mop under them. The smell that came out was like baby shit if the baby had been fed a steady diet of peppers cheese and vulcanized rubber. After that they each got their own milk crate pedestal.
15) What a Monster
Not a chef but I work in a pizzeria as a delivery driver. The number of pineapple pizzas I see go out the door to customers everyday is an atrocity.