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Kitchen Lingo


SauceRobert
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We all know the normal kitchen lingo ie. weeds, dupes, shoemaker ect. what are some of the more interesting ones you have heard?

I was in a kitchen once that called everything "titular" granted, they didnt seem to know what the word really means, it was kind of funny.

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Robert, some of us don't know about dupes and shoemakers! Can you provide a translation for the uninitiated?

Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
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Robert, some of us don't know about dupes and shoemakers! Can you provide a translation for the uninitiated?

dupes= duplicate tickets that you keep at your station so you know what you have "working"(what you have cooking or on hold)

shoemakers= someone who is completely inept in the kitchen, of course they usually think they can cook. but they may as well go cobble some shoes together...

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Cheecho=pretty much any guy who annoyed the kitchen staff (from Italian ciccio meaning idiot)

PUT, PUT!!! My chef would always tell us to put more--usually in reference to the flavouring or seasoning in a dish. He hated bland or cheap food. i.e. if it's truffle mash there had better be truffles in there..PUT PUT!

"Drop it like its hot." Said like in the song. Any time the steak guy was ready for the veg guy to fire up the plating.

I always really enjoyed shoemaker.

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every restaurant I have ever worked refers to gossip as "grease". And of course cartoon characters names were used for the food: "Bambi" was venison, "Thumper" was rabbit, "Donald" was duck. "In the weeds" I believe is pretty universal for seriously behind (I had one waiter who when very busy used to say, "I ain't in the weeds yet but the grass is tall and growin'") and "lost in the woods" means completely beyond help. "Hockey puck" is standard for a well-done burger (or filet mignon in an up-scale place).

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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Here are a few that jumped to my mind. I don't know if they are common but they are widely used where I am at.

  • "stomp on it" - put a grill weight on a steak or burger to get it to hockey puck consistency quicker. "How long on that well done?" "8 minutes" "Stomp on it!"
  • 'quick one' - a short break for the bathroom, a smoke or other. ex. "Yo, I'm clear, takin' a quick one"
  • 'Mota' - parsley or other chopped herb garnish ex. "Got any mota" or "Tienes Mota"
  • 'Jackson Pollock' - a cook who is getting sloppy, especially while saucing ex."Hey, Jackson Pollock, I'm sick of moppin' up your **** over here"; may also be used as a verb "Dude you pollocked that plate, set me up a new one"
  • 'Add water and stir' - all set, feeling good, ready for service. ex Chef: "How are we lookin?" Cook: "Add water and stir at this point"

Edited by Smitty (log)
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  • 1 month later...

"Jizz" or "Gravy" - Any sauce. I usually hear it when my sous thinks there isn't enough.

"Reebok" - Same as a shoemaker. We just modernized it.

"Boosh!" - An exclamation of awesomeness. If something tastes really good you say it. If you've just become the butt end of some joke you'll hear it. Thank you Frisky Dingo.

"Beyonce" - The new kid or intern. I don't know when this started or why. But I like it.

"Put a ring on it" - What we say to the new kid to shut him up.

"The Vatos" - Our housemen, i.e. our dishwashers. For obvious reasons. They're awesome.

I'm sure I'll think of more later.

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"Cow's dead!" or "Dead cow!" = waiter saying the milk dispenser is empty

"86" (eighty-six(ed) = Out of something, or to throw something out, as in "86 the scallops" or getting fired/expelled/rejected.

"GDB" (General Dog's Body) = Kitchen helper, grunt or jack-of-all-trades as in "Hey GDB, I need those potatoes peeled NOW!".

"Honeymoon Salad" = lettuce (let us) alone with no dressing (get it?).

"Best Part of the..." = The scraps or waste parts of the food, usually destined for "Family or Staff Meal".

"on-the-board/ on-the-wheel" = in the order queue

"all day" = total number ordered as in "We've got 10 sirloins and 6 scampi on the board all day"

"out-sauced" = Pre-made, purchased items (that probably should have been made in-house) from salad dressings -or sauces to desserts as in "The chef out-sauced so much for that banquet a veal [see below] could have just heat-and-served it".

"veal" = Newbie, trainee, intern/extern.

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Gnar-gnar - The state of being ridiculously busy. i.e. "We have three VIP tables, a cellar dinner, and a banquet to push out of our kitchen. That's on top of the 90 or so rez we have on the books. Tonight's gonna be gnar-gnar."

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slop - anything that can be prepared quickly for the staff meal

smegma - protein/fat/scum that oozes out of roasting meats, cools and coagulates (particularly poultry)

ninjas - the banquet servers at the place I work, they wear head to toe black uniforms.

on the fly - pretty self-explanatory

heater/square - a cigarette

a tourist - someone slacking off or watching silently while others are busting their ass

Recently one of our cooks has taken to yelling out "What time is it?" and everyone answers "Tool Time!" (from the sitcom "Home Improvement") when a certain person walks past the line to punch in. It's mean but the guy really is useless. :laugh:

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Not in the business but when I worked in bush camps "up north" we had a cook and a "bull cook". The bull cook washed dishes, burned trash, etc. so the only thing he cooked was bull----.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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  • 2 months later...

Most equipment in every kitchen i have worked in has a name, for example the grill is called Will smith cause he is hot and black. The stand up reach in is called Gordon cause hes big and white like Ramsey.

Jafa - just another f*&king apprentice.

class 5 celery sucker - vegan

bodgy - any thing half done or of lesser quality.

a 'cowboy' - someone who is dodgy, dirty or all round suspicious in their cooking

wing it - as in 'do you know how to make such and such?' ... 'just wing it'

Edited by J.Stevens (log)

"None, but people of strong passion are capable of rising to greatness."

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"On your back"

Translation: "I am walking behind you so please do not turn around and accidentally stab/burn me with that knife/hot pan."

Also: "I am walking behind you with something hot so if you don't want to get the sh!t burned out of you, refrain from backing up or turning around until I've passed."

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One place I worked when the guy on expo needed a lamb chop plate setup he just went "baaaa" like a sheep. The cook on sautee would baaa back at him to acknowledge. Somewhat surreal.

lol reading this makes me laugh cause i do the same thing ... if my head chef want a peice of meat for the plate say duck he will ask me 'what noise does a duck make' ... 'quak'

"None, but people of strong passion are capable of rising to greatness."

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...

smegma - protein/fat/scum that oozes out of roasting meats, cools and coagulates (particularly poultry)

Oh, God, I just had to pick myself up off the floor!

Go look up "smegma" in the dictionary.

Trust me, we all know the dictionary definition :wink:

A few that have come up since my last post in this thread. Like I said earlier, they may be specific to where I work.

"The 50-yard line" - An area of the loading dock where people have been known to light a J. (a Dazed and Confused reference)

"Key-knee" - phonetic spelling of our shorthand for broccolini

"The A-team" or "The big boys - the best or most experienced cooks in kitchen Ex. Q: Who's got that VIP reception tonight? A: I gave it to the A-team.

"Douchbag Parade" - when the chef or cooks are invited out to the dinning room at the end of a service to schmooze customers.

"Hugs and Kisses" - Compliments to the chef/cook. Ex. Server: "Hugs and kisses to the grill from that 8-top"

"Blue-hairs" The older clientele that make up most of our breakfast/brunch crowd.

"Grunts" The prep staff

This one is pretty universal but I haven't seen it mentioned.

"________, heard" - common affirmative response when asked for something, since it is loud and you often can't look up at someone asking a question/making a request. Ex. I need a _______. A: ______ heard

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I could write a book about Japanese kitchen slang. I'll just give you one short example. When we run out of something it is yama meaning mountain. The opposite is kawa meining river. ex: One more portion of ayu and then it's yama! Naw bro we called the fish man and now it's kawa again.

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