What is the word for ‘faible’ in english?

The Kitchen — Tags: , — By Crust on January 25, 2009
Travis and Heather's shower curtain

Travis and Heather's shower curtain

 I had tried to hang on for a few more weeks working at the restaurant but finally I decided to give my notice, after many months of deliberation. So I was finishing out my two weeks working pastry on the day that another restaurant (some friends of ours) were in for their staff party. I had to put out 50 of the same dessert, very simple, no rush. Somehow, SOME-HOW! I started plating them with the wrong icecream and by the time the chef and I had noticed half of them were already at the tables. He just looked at me like he was completely disgusted, “what the fuck are you doing?” he said.

“I don’t know! I don’t know what I’m doing! I don’t know what to do, should I just keep sending them out with vanilla or should I switch now, half way through to creme fraiche!!!?” I cried.

He just walked away and left me there holding the icecream scoop, I just crumbled and actually started to cry. The dessert, the end to a 6 coarse meal for the party of 50 restaurant staff upstairs still needed to go out so I kept plating and crying. I decided that since the last 20 were a separate table that I would take that opportunity to switch to creme fraiche. Meanwhile, the group upstairs was pretty drunk and a few of the cooks from the party had stumbled down to the kitchen to chat before dessert, including a very talented but notoriously “tough”(to put it nicely) girl cook along with the chef of the visiting restaurant (one of my mentors). The girl decided that this would be the perfect time for a drunken lecture about how stupid I was for quitting and how I can learn so much from this place. “I can’t believe you leave, you can learn so much from this guys! Look at you, you cry, and for what? dey see you, dey don’t respect dat. You are…I cannot think of the word in english…EH! QUEL EST LE MOT POUR FAIBLE DANS L’ANGLAIS ?” she yells across the kitchen to the visiting chef.

 He looks up from his current conversation and in front of everyone he yells back his response “WEAK! DA WORD YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IT IS WEAK!”

“Yes you are weak!” she tells me. “Stop crying!”

By that time still weeping I finished putting up desserts, I thanked her for the talk and trying to help. I know she was just meaning to give me some advice. I went outside and completely broke down it was building up inside these last two weeks. So much for going out on a good note, I remembered this one food runners last shift and the chef said to him, “don’t fuck up tonight because then that is all we will remember you by, you will be the guy who fucked up.” Everyone laughed when he said that because I think it was a joke, but that flashed through my head the moment I fucked up. I called Bryan and Kyle and and told them what happened they felt bad for me but also laughed their asses off. Kyle told me to shake it off and go have a drink.


  1. nicole says:

    This was my favourite post–I can picture the whole thing going down!

  2. Crust says:

    Why didn’t anyone tell me I spelled “dessert” like “desert” thank you Myra!

  3. Colleen says:

    You are so NOT weak! Impatient maybe, but weak, no. You have been through so much. You have great strength. Your pig butchering videos are testament to how far you have come since I first met you at Feenie’s.

    I am so proud of you. Keep plugging away. Keep learning.

    Sometimes when I am angry at myself and frustrated, I cry too. That is not a sign of weakness, it is release. Sometimes that release is needed before you can move forward. The sign of weakness is what you do after. If you can pick yourself up and move on……there is nothing wrong with that.

    Let me know where you go after Chow.


  4. David Zilber says:

    This too shall pass.

    This is really… funny. Being in your position is rough. Every good cook has been there. That 2-3 year mark is a real teller for kids in the industry. It’s a time when you’ve seen enough to think that you got a lot under your belt, you feel comfortable in a kitchen, you’re able to get into a groove when you’re on a station, but really, you haven’t seen shit. And (good) chefs know this. They can tell who’s going to break, they can smell it. They try to break you. Often, they succeed. Would you want a fuck-up working in your kitchen? You cost them (if you’re lucky) 28,000 a year, and you better be worth every penny. It’s a scary time, undoubtedly, but all you need is foresight, the strength to get through it, and the ability to tell yourself that you won’t keep fucking up. You can’t. Tell yourself that you have standards as high as your chef, and as the bills come in, you have no CHOICE but to send the food out, no less than perfect, as fast as you can. A former chef of mine once told me, “David, it is SO easy to rise above the mediocrity in this industry, all you have to do is try”. Its true. That’s because this industry is a meritocracy. When you’re good, people know it. Fuck politics, people don’t talk shit about perfection. Don’t cut corners. Don’t settle, Don’t take the insults personally, but at the same time, take them very personally. There is so much out there in the world of food. You really can’t ever stop learning. You have to want it. But that time in your career, when you question what you’re doing, if you even CAN do it… Although it may seem like hell, it’s what builds you into a better cook, a chef. You look back on it and laugh.

    The only way to break a pig with your eyes closed is to break a hundred of them with your eyes open.

    The only way to butcher a whole halibut in 8 strokes is to do it every day for a year.

    A good cook doesn’t burn or cut themselves, and if you’ve noticed, you’ve probably already started doing it less.

    Pay attention to the details. Work smarter AND harder. Because when you really, truly love what you do, the rest will follow.

  5. Matt R. says:

    Wow, that’s long way to say “practice makes perfect” and “learn from your mistakes”. It’s not rocket science, it’s not even hard.

    Well, except pastry. That’s hard.

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