no sear! no sear at all! Opposite of the sear!

Food — By Crust on February 8, 2009

This is what the guy who is training me on the meat station is shouting to all the other cooks he is smoking with on the patio after work. My friend Kyle is coming up the stairs to the patio and he hears this, he immediately knows they are talking about me. “He he he haw haw haw!” they all laugh and continue talking in Quebecois. “Her meat had no sear! no sear at all! OPP-O-SIT of the sear!”
Kyle comes walking in, looks at me and says,”lets go, I’m fucking pissed off, we’re out of here.” 

“But why? wha hoppened?” I say. “They’re talking shit about you outside, you’re a joke to them, they don’t care about you,” Kyle says. 

“No, it’s cool,” I say slowly. 

“No. They’re joking about how you suck, they’re not telling you what you did wrong so that you can do better. You’re like Champ to them.” (Champ is a kid that worked at Feenie’s, we nicknamed him Champ because he is a champion, if you know what I mean).

“No.” I say, it’s slowly sinking in. I think Kyle might be right, I was just to caught up to see it. We leave, and I never feel quite right again there, even though deep down I thought maybe they’re just bustin’ my balls because they like me and how I try.

One of Kyle’s strengths is his brutal fucking honesty, “You are the ugliest kid I have ever seen!” “Hey buddy, having a bad day? not feeling well?….no you’re fine? Because you look like shit!” or my favorite “You have a mustache!” Which he would say to any girl that had a mustache. Some girls have them, but you’re not supposed to point it out! So I think he was right on this one and he seemed genuinely protective of me because he knows I’m doing my best and he doesn’t like to hear shit like that. Leaving that day, whether it was true or not, one thing was for sure, that my confidence which was already shaky was now gone.

Looking back now I know they didn’t mean anything by it. I think we both may have over reacted. It sucks training someone and I can understand joking about it. After that day I always took extra care in searing meat. The thing that bothered me though was, what if Kyle hadn’t told me what they were saying. Maybe still to this day I would not be searing meat properly. They watched me do it and they never said anything. This is where my brain took another turn for the worse. They never say anything to me, is there more stuff like this that I’ll never know about? I started paying extra careful attention to everything, but I couldn’t help but feel a little bitter. If they don’t say anything to me does that mean I’m not worth telling?


  1. Colleen says:

    No, Kyle was right. If they can’t help you learn…..if they just use you as entertainment…that’s bull.

    Don’t ever think that you are not worth telling. You have so much passion for your work. That means so much more.

    And it only sucks training someone if you are a sucky trainer and don’t know how to convey your meaning. It only sucks training someone when the person you are training doesn’t care.

    You were a fabulous person to train, because you honestly wanted to know how and why. If people can’t take time for that, then they are stupid and lazy.

    Sorry, I am getting mad hearing how you have been treated.

    Yes, you are green, and yes you still have a lot to learn, and yes, with experience things will get better…….but it sounds like you have been in a very poisonous environment.

    I hope you find something better soon.

    I always said that Kyle needed a filter between his brain and his mouth, but hey, you know the guy is always being honest with how he sees things.

  2. nicole says:

    I am so glad you are being more straightforward with your writing–so interesting! I want to hear more!

  3. keith says:

    why do i have a feeling that i’m the “champ” referred to in this :/

  4. Owen Lightly says:

    I took a lot of shit at West some days, but at least I was told in a very straightforward way what was expected of me and how to achieve it. It sounds like they didn’t want you to succeed.

    Hope you find a fulfilling job very soon.

    p.s. Never worry about what people say about you in kitchens, because cooks are constantly talking shit about every one, even their own friends. It’s an occupational hazard.

  5. Little T says:

    I’ve found your post via Butter on the Endive. And your writing style influenced me in figuring out how to write my blog. I’m rather candid and my style for my current fashion blog is too ‘girlie’ for me to continue. Actually planning to transition completely over to food related articles.

    I have a friend who also works in a well known local kitchen…and from her sounds like a gong show with blatant favouritism and atypical ‘boys’ locker room’ shenanigans. So you go girl for surviving it all.

    PS. Think Owen and A.Morrison are fab and cute…the good ones are always taken 🙂

  6. Mom ;) says:

    I really like Colleen!

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