(EN) – Kitchen Slang 101: How to Talk Like a Real-Life Line Cook | Scarlett Lindeman


In addition to swearing like a sailor, these are the essential back-of-house terms you need to know if you want to survive in a restaurant.

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So, how was last night’s service?

Oh man, we had over 90 covers, two 12-tops, a bunch of four-tops, tons of VIPs. By nine, we were really cruising, totally slammed, had already 86’d striper and tatin. I was running the pass when this huge pick-up was happening, we were doing that really soigne risotto with chanterelles—a la minute you know? The pick-up time is like 20 minutes. I got this really green cook on sauté, fired her a 4 by 4 by 3, half a dozen more on order, but when we go to plate she’s short two fucking orders, so had to order fire two more on the fly, she was totally in the shit! We were so weeded! Food’s dying on the pass. The rail is jammed up with dupes. The salamander stopped working. My porter no-showed. I really thought we might go down.

If you’ve never worked in a restaurant, this paragraph might as well be written in Sanskrit. Like all occupations, the professional kitchen has developed its own vernacular—one that is at once clever, efficient, and sometimes a little crude. Kitchen slang strengthens workplace solidarity, confuses the uninitiated, and is often peppered with a shocking amount of expletives. Each kitchen will have its own unique patois, but many terms are widespread in the industry. Here’s a guide to common kitchen jargon.


via First We Feast

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