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This is a question Restaurants, Kitchens and Bars... Oh my!

Many years ago, I went out with a chef. Kitchens are merely vice dens with food. You couldn't move for people bonking and snorting coke in the store room. And the things they did with the food...

My personal vice was chocolate mousse - I remember it being very calming in all the chaos around me. I think they put things in it.

Tell us your stories of working in kitchens, bars and the rest of the nightmare that is the catering trade.

(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 9:58)
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Lurch and Mr. Urine
7 or 8 years ago I worked for a few months at Bristol airport in the shop, behind the bar & occasionally in the restaurant. The words "Go up to the restaurant and see if they need any help" used to send shivers down my spine as I could end up portering.

'Portering' is washing up on an industrial scale. It involves working in a cramped, windowless, tiled, hot, smelly, steamy little room. There is a constant flow of dirty plates & kitchen equipment being wheeled in & its your job to hose off all the congealed greasy stuck-on lumps & then stack it in the giant autoclave of a dishwasher for it to be blasted clean by pressurised steam. Opening the bastard once the cycle was done filled the room with vile smelling steam which permeated your clothes & skin and made you a sweaty smelly little kitchen monkey.

Effectively it was like working in Satan’s sauna, it's hot, sweaty, filthy work. Due to this the only people who do the job on a long-term basis are unemployable mentalists and Bristol airport had hired two of the finest unemployable mentalists minimum wage could buy, 'Lurch' and 'Mr. Urine'.

I never knew Lurch's real name but he was a dead ringer in terms of appearance & mental activity for the butler from "The Addams Family", or perhaps the guy from the remake of "Dawn of the Dead" who turned into a zombie & had to be shot by Ving Rhames.

Mr. Urine was actually called Mr. Urine (or perhaps 'Uren', but that’s not the point) and he was a FOUL little man with a greasy mop of hair, filthy beard, little piggy eyes & thick glasses.

One day I was told to go up to catering & see if they needed any help portering. I approached the door with apprehension & looked in through the little round window. Lurch was furtively sniffing his fingers and Mr. Urine had scooped a finger of cold, congealed fatty nastiness from one of the dirty pans. He looked up, made eye contact with me and pushed it in his rancid mouth.

I reported back to the manager that they didn't need help.
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 12:31, Reply)

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