History teacher sacks Kitchen Hand and promotes self to Head Chef

You know that saying 'it never rains but it pours'? Well folks,last week we experienced a veritable monsoon.
Worryingly I lost track of the date and time in a frenzy of relentless cleaning,trips to the tip and Fired Earth paint(Chef valiantly attempted to steer me towards the B & Q own brand but obviously failed).
The refurbishment has not been unproblematic,for example:

  • Bubbling drains backing up under the floor of the gents and making an unsolicited entrance through the grate on the floor.Lately I seem to be dogged with toilet troubles,though the request that one of the tradesmen  'buff up my back passage ' did lighten the mood somewhat..
  • A central heating system stuck permanently in the 'on' position resulting in a full tank of oil 1000 litres (don't ask how much)being burnt in a week
Dysfunctional kitchen equipment including:
  • an oven door held closed by a hard spile (who says men cant multi task?)

  • Fridges running at a balmy English summertime 18 degrees.
  • Freezers packed to the rafters with 'food waste'.This in particular made me very sad( and for all you grammar pedants I'm not talking about the offensive apostrophe usage).

As did  a whole freezer dedicated to that doyen of English culinary hospitality: the venerable Yorkshire pud.
Some conveniently individually cling filmed

Some free falling

In the midst of the mayhem and the twice daily drive between pubs,something had to give namely the 45 minutes spent blow drying ones fairly long and very thick hair.An unplanned stop at the local hair salon and the request for something a bit shorter and less labour intensive resulted in a cut verging dangerously on the functional and tidy rather than the aesthetically pleasing.You know the sort of cut women of a certain age adopt when they've given up trying?
On seeing the new look Chef smirked and acerbically quipped 'you look like a history teacher'.I think that's a compliment..
On the plus side the hairdresser was delighted,as apparently people with hair like mine are the reason she was 'starting to develop weightlifters arms'.
Despite all this the new pub is slowly starting to take shape.

Told you there was a potential cosy corner..

We've inherited a 'Chef'(and I use this term folks in the loosest possible sense) whom I tasked to thoroughly clean the kitchen and dispose of all the foodstuffs therein.This Friday we managed to put on a very limited menu,just some light dishes and sandwiches.'Chef Manque'offered to knock up his secret recipe red onion marmalade to go with the pate.The other ingredient being Orange Cordial.This also made me very sad.
I've been watching him like a hawk,trying to prevent his hands coming into contact with any of the food items..his hygiene practices were imaginative to say the least.My eyes alighted on a couple of plastic nozzle topped bottles stored in the under counter fridge.You know the squeezey ones with which some Chef types like to squiggle on the plates(not my style at all).One containing Raspberry Vinaigrette,the other Mustard vinaigrette,both with snotty deposits around the bottle tops,similar to the stuff you find on a well used ketchup bottle.Ick.
'We wont be using these' I say tipping the contents down't sink.'Can you get them cleaned please'
Two minutes later I witnessed him with the nozzle in his gob,red cheeked and forcefully blowing the darn thing like a bugle.Which of course may well have been an appropriate accompaniment to the plethora of microwave pings which he had been accustomed to hearing.
'There must be a mustard seed caught in the end' says he.
Christ Almighty.
If I hear one more time about his Sticky Choccy Mocha Cake with Butterscotch sauce and white chocolate sauce and a drizzle of raspberry coulis, I might well ram the offending creation right up his bleeping jacksy.Along with the 'smoked salmon on a bed of creamy mashed potato,topped with a cheesey mustard sauce'(its lush,flies out)..
He's also been late for every shift.
He had to go.Being Sunday and Chef catering for 100 plus diners at the Inn, it fell on my toes to impart the dirty deed.
Our accommodating veg supplier offered to call over to New Pub as back up just in case he kicked off.I love it when ones custom is so valued that suppliers go that extra mile..'all part of the service' he said.
I declined of course.
I lay in wait for him this morning, hoping he would be predictably late as usual.He was.
Telling a thirty five year old that you have no confidence in his ability or commitment to do the job to the required standard isn't an experience I enjoyed.He left without much fuss though.Phew.

Later I felt a whole lot better when on my hands and knees I pulled three pans out from under the sink with food waste growing in them.Gawd knows how long these had been there.
Enough penicillin to treat the population of the local hinterland and beyond.

The lazy bleeper had it coming,its people like him that give cheffing a bad name..
Presently I received a text message of support via the landline (no mobile network at the New Pub) from Chef. Imagine this if you will, read in the Masterchef voice over mode:

'Hurrah,hurrah the troll has gone'

Cheered me up no end..

Oh and one other thing. I've had an unexpected assistant who has diligently painted with new found fortitude following his unforeseen five day suspension exclusion from school due to(and I quote):
'standing outside the assembly hall window,pulling faces at the Year 9 students participating in orchestra practice,whilst smoking what appeared to be a spliff'
I kid you not.
The shame.


Nicky said…
Hell's teeth. All fun and games round your gaff(s)
You're a glutton for punishment!. The new place does look great though. I remember firing a new chef on his first day. He was taken on as a pastry chef by the owners of the hotel. I ventured into the larder to see how he was doing. Bad move. The walls (and most of him) were covered in molten chocolate and rice crispies. His idea of a sweet trolley was to fill the whole fecking thing with those naff rice crispy snacks.
I hope things get better soon.
so i've missed a post somewhere along the way... you've bought a NEW pub!!! Are you mad?... the place looks lovely but you're going to be too busy to blog and I love your blogs... sell it NOW!!!!!..

PS... i'm thinking of buying a watermill to run into a cafe... may need some advice!
It is looking so good. Hope you have the kitchen shipshape now and do not come across any more horrors. Shame I do not live your way, I'd love to get back into cooking for a living.
You'll have to send me the info on the new place. I bet Terry would love to pop over. He's still raving about you and yours.
The new pub looks good - love the stone walls. And you can't beat paint from Fired Earth or Farrow and Ball - nothing else is quite like it.

He had to go - that salmon dish sounds awful!

Look forward to seeing the new pub coming together

I keep wondering whether to cut my hair but I can't face it. I know I won't like it if I do xx
Alison Cross said…
aha! The haircut post - foouuuund it!

You were quite right of course, that person had to go.

The new place looks great. Does it have bedrooms? *hopeful face*

Dom@BelleauKitchen - watermill as cafe?! Sounds DIVINE!!! Do it immediately ;-D

Keep up the good work, NS - you're getting there sweetie!!!

Ali x
Young at Heart said…
oooh it's all begining to look rather good....medical experiments under the sink aside......
Grazing Kate said…
all going according to plan then...?
Nicky-par for the course.

Legend-will e mail the deets.

Dom-a watermill?fantastic look forward to hearing about it.

KPD-Shame you're not nearer:(

Christina:DONT CUT UT!!!!!!

ALI-sorry no bedrooms yet but haven't given up hope-there's a derelict WI hut next door(isn't that sad Id love to have time to join the WI) which would make a wonderful annex.

Kate-I dont think my life will ever run smoothly..
Vanessa Kimbell said…
Hats off to you. love your blog.. I've laughed out loud three times already.. which is amazing considering I've had a terrible day !

Keep Blogging.. its a Fabulous read!
Perdita said…
Urgh. The blowing through the squeezy bottle thing made me almost gag! Yuk yuk yuk.
Ding, dong, the troll has gone! Loved the comment about the hair . . . snap, although still haven't got my head around telling hairdresser to not take off more than 6 inches and losing 18 . . . guess maths wasn't her strong point! BTW - so long as it wasn't you gurning at the Year 9s . . . :)
OMG how horrendous. I am panicking now that I've eaten somewhere staffed by this person. I cannot imagine running a pub, it sounds such hard work with no rest.... hang on, not that different to my own life then....!!!
God, I shudder to think where he's moved onto...

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