20 Dishes On The Menu That Chefs Admit They Hate To Make
Not sure why someone chose to ask this particular question from Chefs about what dish they hate making the most, but I have say, the answers are somewhat unexpected. For example; the classic PBJ.
One would think it’s a simple enough meal to prepare in a restaurant even if it is during peak rush hour, but turns out its more complicated than one thinks. There’s a lot of people out there with food allergies for instance, and restaurants have so many health and safety protocols for a reason.
But, before I digress, let’s take a dive into this eclectic list of menu items that Chefs from around the world have admitted to hating have to make, on this particular thread.
More info: Reddit
#1 Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich
Worked in a sandwich shop for a bot in college. Not fine dining by any stretch of the imagination, but a couple steps above Subway.
Every time someone ordered a PB&J off the kids menu we had to clear off both lines, change our gloves, wipe down every surface the peanut butter got close to, and wash the knife we used to cut it. Like, I get it. But having to treat peanut butter like nuclear waste in the middle of a lunch rush was never fun.
Plus, the peanut butter was too thick for the bread we used for the PB&J, so the bread ended up tearing half the time.
I worked as a chef for a long time, I worked in a cafe in a really sort of rich area. We had a few people who were CEOs of big companies in my city, my boss treated this one guy like royalty even though he was a slimy piece of s**t. He would always make him an egg white omelette with various vegetables. Something that was absolutely not on the menu, we only offered fried, scrambled or poached eggs.
One day the boss didn’t work in the kitchen anymore and low and behold, that a*****e guy came back asking for his omlette and the manager asked me to make it.
It was in the midst of a very busy rush on a Saturday. F**k that guy.
He owns cotton on and even though I know it doesn’t impact anything, I refuse to buy from them.
#3 Lean Beef Burger
I used to work at McDonalds. Years ago we had this promotional burger we called the ‘lean beef burger’. It was aimed at people who wanted to be more healthy – haha.
Normally the meat patties are cooked on the grill, but this one was nuked in the microwave. When it was heated, it looked grey, and it smelled so putrid no one wanted to work near the microwave so they wouldn’t have to smell it.
#4 German Apple Pancake
Our German Apple pancake.
First you sauté Granny Smiths in clarified butter.
Then add three ladles of our German batter into sauté pan.
Throw in oven for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and add clarified butter and cinnamon sugar.
Flip delicate pancake with spatula and a dash of learning curve.
Return to oven and cook 5 more minutes.
Flip pancake onto plate and insure it makes it to the table in less than a minute as it deflates rapidly.
Bonus points for when it’s ordered 10 minutes before we close.
Edit: those who are apologizing for ordering it, don’t it’s our job. Kitchen staff are gluttons for punishment.
Fondue, it’s a ball ache to make well even if it is just melted cheese, customers rarely eat everything before it burns if using a chafing dish and it’s hell to clean. Also it’s dated and not that nice.
Any order with a genuine allergy concern. (Not because it’s difficult but rather it’s added stress and responsibility for one guest that’s potentially life threatening in a job that’s all about speed and stress already) kitchens are usually very small and while they have adequate measures in place for allergens, the kitchen as an environment is easily contaminated meaning that an allergen order needs to have that section cleaned down and all the equipment cleaned before it’s used for this one guest, even if there is dedicated equipment for allergens, it’s not worth someone having a reaction. I wish there were better ways to do it but the truth is, if you have allergies your food is going to be slow and not as good as the main menu because of this delay. It’d be great if there were more restaurants that were operating as “free from” certain foods specifically for these guests so everyone can have a great time with out the worry. Like a nut free place, or gluten-free place as we are seeing more vegetarian and vegan places being setup.
Source: chef for independent restaurants for 17 years.
#6 Charcuterie Boards
Charcuterie boards. Stuff falling off all over the place.
#7 Ham Salad And Chicken Salad
Not a chef but a butcher, and i can’t even begin to express how much i loathe c**p like ham salad and chicken salad.
I love when new customers come in for the first time, but my heart always sinks when they say “i heard this place has great ham salad!”
Sorry but if you like ham salad it’s all gonna be great, because what you actually like is an obscene amount of mayonnaise and sweet relish.
#8 Cinnamon Buns
Baker here…cinnamon buns are the majority of our business but so f*****g time intensive and while the finished product comes out SO good they take 3 days to make between dough, proofing, and baking by the time the customer gets them (warm) I swear they owe me much more than $5 a bun lol. Exhausting
I’m not really a chief, just a Taco Bell line cook. Think what I’ve got to say is relevant though.
I hate making quesadillas. Especially multiple in a row. First off, because of their shape they need to go in the largest bag on the bottom, meaning that if it’s ordered last I have to let food pile up taking up space so that I can put it in the bag first. It requires two scoops of cheese, being the only item that does, taking up extra time. It then has to be melted inside a hot steam machine that’s finicky and doesn’t want to work sometimes. Then it is carefully removed, folded, and plopped onto the grill where the jalapeno sauce likes to leak and make a mess on the grill. After grilling it has to be slipped into a sleeve, put in an open space and cut, and finally put into the bag. Having more than one makes it harder, as there is a limited number of steam machine and grill spaces so they end up backing up and taking up space. Finding the space to cut a quesadilla when you have many items taking up space is really frustrating. People hate how expensive they are here, but I think it’s justified.
Thanks for reading my rant.
Soufflés. We make the creme pate in advance but when it’s ordered the process is:
Warm creme pate over a double boiler, while that is warming you need to hand whip a fresh meringue. Once the creme pate is warm, you have about 3 minutes to fold in the whites, fill your molds to make sure you don’t touch the edges(as it makes them rise crooked). Into the oven for 3 minutes, open oven and rotate for 2 minutes. In those 5 minutes you have to plate the rest of the tables desserts, which all have 8-10 components. Soufflé comes out to a waiting waiter, has to go to the table immediately or deflates.
While it’s not the most difficult thing in the world, when you’re busy and have 4-6 on order and each one needs to pass a 3 finger test(height above rim of mold or it gets sent back and you need to restart), it can get quite hard and demoralizing when they don’t work.
And then you send out 4 at once and someone at the table gets up to go to the bathroom or have a cigarette and the tray comes back and you start again and cry inside.
#11 BBQ Pork Sandwich
I work at Dairy Queen. We have to cook some things to order, because we don’t get enough ordered to make in bulk. Most of these aren’t too bad, such as the cheese curds, or the onion rings, or the pretzel. But the one I can’t stand, the bane of my very existence, is the BBQ pork sandwich. It’s our only BBQ product. It starts with a plastic bucket of frozen meat. We have to scoop some out, into another container, and pop it into the booster oven for a minute. Now this wouldn’t be too bad, if we didn’t have to boost the bun separately. And that wouldn’t be so bad either, if people didn’t order it exclusively when we are absolutely slammed.
#12 Endless Ribs
When I worked for Applebee’s we had the “endless ribs” promotion. Apart from the colossal pain in the a*s portioning those ribs were, making them was even worse.
You’d grab a portion baggy and dump it into a bag of flour and shake it up, then throw it in the deep fryer for about 2 mins. When the timer dings, you throw it in a plastic container with whatever sauce, shake it around and plate it along with fries or whatever.
So that wasn’t the awful part. The awful part was whilst in the middle of a rush, having someone order the endless ribs where they get it as an all-u-can-eat style and when a “refill” came up you had to stop everything to make them another serving. Those portions were smaller and we didn’t have as many as the large portions, so if I ran out, I had to go back to the larger portions and portion them down into smaller ones before continuing on with the flour, deep fryer and sauce.
I absolutely hated that promotion
#13 Moo Shu Anything
Not a chef, but when I worked for a Chinese restaurant, the chef there hated Moo Shoo anything, he always had to cut up the cabbage to order. So as a server, whenever they pissed me off at the front, I go ahead & tell the customers how great our moo shoo is that day, & we get practically every one trying it. Then I would hear the kitchen people cursing everyone out & their mother lol
Worked at a kitchen after high school. Some guy orders f*****g lobster on Valentine’s Day and we were this low-midrange fish and chips chain where high school kids hung out and the most fancy thing most people ordered was probably swordfish collar. We didn’t even know we had lobster in the menu. I remember the head chef swearing and actually taking out the restaurant’s recipe book to see what was needed. We actually didn’t have some of the ingredients and we had to send one of the cooks out to take a cab to the next outlet a few streets down to pick up the stuff. The rest of us dug through the freezer and actually found lobster that we didn’t know we had. Cooking it was pretty much referencing the recipe book all the way. On hindsight it was hilarious. Why you would you order lobster at a restaurant like this? The head chef was pissed as hell the rest of the day.
Pastry chef here. I HATE making marshmallows (just the worst texture for touching, tasting, preparing and cleaning) and tempering chocolate (fickle, frustrating & expensive).
I’ll happily flambé you a goddamn bananas foster if it means I don’t have to make marshmallows or filled chocolates.
#16 Type Of Schnitzel
When I briefly worked as a waitress in a restaurant the chef would always scream at me when someone ordered that one meal we served. It was a type of schnitzel but in a very special dough that would burn very quickly when fried, so he had to watch it very carefully and couldn’t work on anything else for a few minutes.
(Sorry if I butchered some words, english is not my first language)
#17 Ringmold Stacked Beet Salad
Not working in a traditional restaurant anymore but the f*****g ringmold stacked beet salad. It took like 3 minutes to make just one and if a table of four all ordered them it slowed down the entire salad line.
Making crepes .. and boning quail for pate’ .. things young chefs do in training .. mind numbing .. yeah, about those crepes, so many of you mention the finished product (filled, etc) or using a crepe maker .. I’m talking about making them in a pan, in large amounts , like a big catered event where you have hours pouring and flipping .. beyond boring ..
#19 Fillet Steak Cooked Well Done
People ordering fillet steak cooked well done. ☹️ They will always send it back because its like a ‘rubber boot’ or ‘too tough’ well DUH what do you expect, fillet is not the right cut to be served well done in the first place. Takes a good 30-45 minutes to butcher the steak without burning the outside, order a thinner cut if you would like well done. It’s my job so I still fulfil the requests as that’s what I am paid to do but I do die inside when I see that on the ticket ?
#20 Something Entirely Veggie
Chef in my own pizza restaurant. It brings me immense pleasure to serve my customers, each and everyone of them. However, when someone orders something entirely veggie I have to spend time cleaning all my surfaces and equipment. Takes a bit of time, but hey.