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robert40

Doug Psaltis

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Didn't I say on the Hell's Kitchen thread that all the pushing and shoving was not common, really unthinkable. And that I had only work under one chef who was like that?

Yet Ramsay's temper tantrums were glorified as some old school, old guard French thing much to amazement of this old school French chef.

Now a "slap of hand" is turning into "assault and battery"

I'm not saying I condone it at all. I'm pointing out the scale of it and a little bit of hypocrisy. When Ramsay pushes and shoves people on his TV shows people howl, please refer back to the other thread of all the posts that glorified this.

So there was a slap on the hand. It was a slap, how gentle or how hard? We do not know. But let's try to keep in on scale.

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I think a more important question than the degree of "the slap" is whether or not Psaltis was fired because of it. We're still waiting for that answer.

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Didn't I say on the Hell's Kitchen thread that all the pushing and shoving was not common, really unthinkable. And that I had only work under one chef who was like that?

Yet Ramsay's temper tantrums were glorified as some old school, old guard French thing much to amazement of this old school French chef.

Now a "slap of hand" is turning into "assault and battery"

I'm not saying I condone it at all. I'm pointing out the scale of it and a little bit of hypocrisy. When Ramsay pushes and shoves people on his TV shows people howl, please refer back to the other thread of all the posts that glorified this.

So there was a slap on the hand. It was a slap, how gentle or how hard? We do not know. But let's try to keep in on scale.

Does Ramsay really shove people on his US show?I'm sure he didn't on the UK version, only grabbing one contestants hand when she went to slap him.

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It would also be good if Doug could reply himself.

I don't know whether Steve has been appointed as his official defender or is self-appointed, either way, straight answers to direct questions would be helpful and interesting.

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Didn't I say on the Hell's Kitchen thread that all the pushing and shoving was not common, really unthinkable. And that I had only work under one chef who was like that?

Yet Ramsay's temper tantrums were glorified as some old school, old guard French thing much to amazement of this old school French chef.

Now a "slap of hand" is turning into "assault and battery"

I'm not saying I condone it at all. I'm pointing out the scale of it and a little bit of hypocrisy. When Ramsay pushes and shoves people on his TV shows people howl, please refer back to the other thread of all the posts that glorified this.

So there was a slap on the hand. It was a slap, how gentle or how hard? We do not know. But let's try to keep in on scale.

but a slap (no matter where) is assault and battery. ramsay's temper tantrums on television are TV..entertainment, and yes, acting, in my view, even though they may be presented as "reality tv"...hitting (of what ever body part, at whatever velocity) can't be condoned in the real world workplace...imho.

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I think a more important question than the degree of "the slap" is whether or not Psaltis was fired because of it. We're still waiting for that answer.

I think the more fundamental question is, why is it such an affront to a chef to have someone lean on the pass? Should I take offense next time someone comes to talk to me and puts a hand on my desk? This is the stuff that gives chefs the rep of being more high strung than thoroughbreds. Get over yourself for godsake.

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Didn't I say on the Hell's Kitchen thread that all the pushing and shoving was not common, really unthinkable. And that I had only work under one chef who was like that?

Yet Ramsay's temper tantrums were glorified as some old school, old guard French thing much to amazement of this old school French chef.

Now a "slap of hand" is turning into "assault and battery"

I'm not saying I condone it at all. I'm pointing out the scale of it and a little bit of hypocrisy. When Ramsay pushes and shoves people on his TV shows people howl, please refer back to the other thread of all the posts that glorified this.

So there was a slap on the hand. It was a slap, how gentle or how hard? We do not know. But let's try to keep in on scale.

but a slap (no matter where) is assault and battery. ramsay's temper tantrums on television are TV..entertainment, and yes, acting, in my view, even though they may be presented as "reality tv"...hitting (of what ever body part, at whatever velocity) can't be condoned in the real world workplace...imho.

Not to mention that the word "slap" was Doug's own. We don't know how the "slapee" would describe it. And, as anyone that watches Judge Judy can tell you, one person's "slap" is another's "sock upside the head."

I think that Bourdain/Rhulman and others, in so far as I can tell anyway, are just suggesting that we take Doug's chapter on FL with a grain of salt, understanding that it may be only one side of the story. I think that's good advice in this case.

Always, actually.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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Didn't I say on the Hell's Kitchen thread that all the pushing and shoving was not common, really unthinkable. And that I had only work under one chef who was like that?

Yet Ramsay's temper tantrums were glorified as some old school, old guard French thing much to amazement of this old school French chef.

Now a "slap of hand" is turning into "assault and battery"

I'm not saying I condone it at all. I'm pointing out the scale of it and a little bit of hypocrisy. When Ramsay pushes and shoves people on his TV shows people howl, please refer back to the other thread of all the posts that glorified this.

So there was a slap on the hand. It was a slap, how gentle or how hard? We do not know. But let's try to keep in on scale.

but a slap (no matter where) is assault and battery. ramsay's temper tantrums on television are TV..entertainment, and yes, acting, in my view, even though they may be presented as "reality tv"...hitting (of what ever body part, at whatever velocity) can't be condoned in the real world workplace...imho.

Um... I made that point on the other thread as well. And I made similar points in the France forum.

So now we all agree not to glorify this stuff as some Frenchh old guard thing? And when I say it's not acceptable I won't get arguments from an American telling me that it's very old school French? Merci. :smile:

We're getting off topic.

EDIT: there was a physical scuffle that resulted in injury of one of the contestants and a settlement. Maybe this was not shown on the series. I do not watch the whole show. And to me shoving a plate of food into someone's stomach is aggressive.


Edited by chefzadi (log)

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I think that alot of people on here had let this thread get a little out of hand , but I think that it is justified sort of because some of you are quite close to the people being discussed. I am also very surprised a the view of some people have taken towards Chef Psaltis and the incident that is being talked about. Chef Bourdain I am sure that you know that life in kitchens is quite different then that of most every other industry that I know of. You yourself have written about drug use and physical abuse in your own books , but is now condeming a slap on the hand. I am not saying what Chef Psaltis did was right, and by all accounts niether is he. Yes he did ommit it from his own book, but given the fact that I know Chef Psaltis as a very intense and driven chef who wants nothing more then to be the best at what he does I am not surprised he left it out considering he must feel very bad and embarrassed about the incident itself. Lets not forget that it is his book and is free to write what he wants and it is by choice that you read it. Second of all why would Chef Psatis spend more time on here considering that he is about to open a restaurant in Manhatten when the last time he posted he was basically torn apart by certain members. I aslo think that Mr. Shaw was wrong in what he was saying for a couple of reasons. Isn't it possible that after this incident happened that by his addmission he was already a few steps out the door and he was very frustrated with the restaurant and vice versa, he and Chef Keller could have talked about the incident and said" You know what this isn't working out for either of use and maybe it's time we parted way" . Also calling the food runner in the incident obnoxious was a little narrow minded considering you don't even know him. I do know him and I wouldn't call him obnoxious more nieve then anything who' background isn't as disciplined and expierenced as Chef Psaltis. Can we possibly drop all this shit and focus on the book as a whole, which I might add is interesting to read.

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I think a more important question than the degree of "the slap" is whether or not Psaltis was fired because of it. We're still waiting for that answer.

I think the more fundamental question is, why is it such an affront to a chef to have someone lean on the pass? Should I take offense next time someone comes to talk to me and puts a hand on my desk? This is the stuff that gives chefs the rep of being more high strung than thoroughbreds. Get over yourself for godsake.

What I find bewildering is why DP chose to slap the kid's hand rather than, in the grand tradition of chefs since time immemorial, shout in a voice loud enough to be heard by the folks in the parking lot "Get your freakin' hand off the freakin' pass before I fire your freakin' freak-a-deak ass".

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Excerpt From:

"On the Road to Acclaim,a Chef Learns Lessons in Humility"

Marian Burros. October 16,1996

After a year and a half,he went back to New York and became the chef at La

Reserve. But he thought he knew more then the owner.

"I was arrogant" he admitted. "I had a clear vision of what I wanted to do-more contemporary- and it didn't coincide with the way the owner wanted to do things,which was traditional.

"One day, we had a argument in the kitchen and I told him to get out.

Ultimately,you can't throw the owner out of his kitchen. I was fired.

I found this old New York Times article.

Guess we have all been there at one time or another. Even Thomas Keller.

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if you'll forgive an unrepentant old-media guy, this is the kind of thing the web does worst. rather than providing any kind of light, what we've got is an overheated, over-caffeinated water cooler where a bunch of people with only second (or even third) hand information stand around and argue with each other about things that are in some cases the most extravagent supposition. what seems to happen is that each person involved in the debate, through some kind of accretion of imagination, builds up their own true story of what happened when the actual facts involved are few. we're arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin (open-handed slap? closed-handed slap?) when none of us know for sure the existence of either the angels or the pin.

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I'm about halfway through the book right now, and while some of it does strike me as apocryphal (especially the chapter on TFL, based on what I know), I can't imagine him knowingly revising history to the extent that people are accusing him of. It would be one thing if we were talking about an isolated quote, but we're talking about a full blow publication, one which contains open criticism of several important figures in the restaurant business. I think Doug is well aware that it would be folly to make some of the statements he makes if they were untrue, and that the consequences of engaging in slander could end up backfiring and having serious implications for his career and his reputation. From what I've gleaned from his book, those are two very important things to Mr. Psaltis.

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Russ is absolutely right. It's pointless to go on at this point. Unless Doug Psaltis wants to comment or the strangely taciturn Fat Guy has a final remark, perhaps someone should start a new thread and leave this one lie. We can come back in a couple days and poke it with a stick to see if it moves.

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if you'll forgive an unrepentant old-media guy, this is the kind of thing the web does worst. rather than providing any kind of light, what we've got is an overheated, over-caffeinated water cooler where a bunch of people with only second (or even third) hand information stand around and argue with each other about things that are in some cases the most extravagent supposition. what seems to happen is that each person involved in the debate, through some kind of accretion of imagination, builds up their own true story of what happened when the actual facts involved are few. we're arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin (open-handed slap? closed-handed slap?) when none of us know for sure the existence of either the angels or the pin.

Yeah, like I'm waiting for the New York Times to cover the story.

SB (or maybe NBC/Dan Rather?)

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I think that alot of people on here had let this thread get a little out of hand ,  but I think that it is justified sort of because some of you are quite close to the people being discussed.  I am also  very surprised a the view of some people have taken towards Chef Psaltis and the incident that is being talked about.  Chef Bourdain I am sure that you know that life in kitchens is quite different then that of most every other industry that I know of.  You yourself have written about drug use and physical abuse in your own books , but is now condeming a slap on the hand.  I am not saying what Chef Psaltis did was right,  and by all accounts niether is he.  Yes he did ommit it from his own book, but given the fact that I know Chef Psaltis as a very intense and driven chef who wants nothing more then to be the best at what he does I am not surprised he left it out considering he must feel very bad and embarrassed about the incident itself. Lets not forget that it is his book and is free to write what he wants and it is by choice that you read it.  Second of all why would Chef Psatis spend more time on here considering that he is about to open a restaurant in Manhatten when the last time he posted he was basically torn apart by certain members.  I aslo think that Mr. Shaw was wrong in what he was saying for a couple of reasons.  Isn't it possible that after this incident happened that by his addmission he was already a few steps out the door and he was very frustrated with the restaurant and vice versa,  he and Chef Keller could have talked about the incident and said" You know what this isn't working out for either of use and maybe it's time we parted way" .  Also calling the food runner in the incident obnoxious was a little narrow minded considering you don't even know him.  I do know him and I wouldn't call him obnoxious more nieve then anything who' background isn't as disciplined and expierenced as Chef Psaltis.  Can we possibly drop all this shit and focus on the book as a whole,  which I might add is interesting to read.

My guess is, since this is a post from someone who actually worked with Psaltis at the time referenced in the book and discussed here in minute detail, that this is the closest to an account of the upshot of the incident as we're going to ever get - or should need. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

I might also just add that leaving by "mutual decision" is regarded very differently from being fired, at least at my day job. Hypothetically speaking.

I'm not entirely convinced that Psaltis should, as has been intimated in this thread, have disclosed the actual circumstance of his departure from TFL in his book, as - who knows - there may have even been confidentiality agreements involved. While I have no idea whether such a thing happens in the food business or not, it certainly does in the opera business.

Back to the cheap seats. Who's got the popcorn again? Are there any kit-kats left?

K

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[i might also just add that leaving by "mutual decision" is regarded very differently from being fired, at least at my day job. .

sometimes, leaving by "mutual decision" requires signing a document that says

"don't sue us for wrongful termination, and we will give you a good reference"

no matter what the situation.

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I think a more important question than the degree of "the slap" is whether or not Psaltis was fired because of it. We're still waiting for that answer.

I think the more fundamental question is, why is it such an affront to a chef to have someone lean on the pass? Should I take offense next time someone comes to talk to me and puts a hand on my desk? This is the stuff that gives chefs the rep of being more high strung than thoroughbreds. Get over yourself for godsake.

What I find bewildering is why DP chose to slap the kid's hand rather than, in the grand tradition of chefs since time immemorial, shout in a voice loud enough to be heard by the folks in the parking lot "Get your freakin' hand off the freakin' pass before I fire your freakin' freak-a-deak ass".

In the UK, i believe a hot palette knife is the tool of choice.

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Didn't Ruhlman note in his book that Keller had burned some waiter/bus boy:

(Pg245) ""Ah!" Thomas has set the scalding terrine on (the person's) hand... Keller, leaning down an inch or two toward David... says, "I want your attention here."

Pot calling kettle black anyone?

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Didn't Ruhlman note in his book that Keller had burned some waiter/bus boy:

(Pg245) ""Ah!" Thomas has set the scalding terrine on (the person's) hand... Keller, leaning down an inch or two toward David... says, "I want your attention here."

Pot calling kettle black anyone?

Ok. Here is what I don't understand. What does Keller and his behavior have to do with this? It's not about Keller. It's about Psaltis. Earlier in the thread Russ Parsons said we were talking about angels dancing on the head of a pin, and we don't know if the angels or the pin exist. He's wrong. Psaltis himself admitted slapping a co-worker, someone who was, perhaps, under his authority. That's the pin. So now people are trying to justify that behavior by saying, "Well, Keller did it. too" ???

That is so wrong. I am not condemning Psaltis. I haven't read the book and I can understand being frustrated. But please don't attack Keller because of Psaltis. That's really stretching it.

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Enough about the slapping. What is the core problem here? Is Mr. Psaltis giving an inaccurate description of the French Laundry? Im considering buying the book, but it looses all interest for me if theres a second story to it that undermines his recount.

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But please don't attack Keller because of Psaltis.  That's really stretching it.

You're missing my point. It seems unlikely Keller would fire someone for slapping a waiter's hand when he's not there, if he's in the habit of placing "scalding soup terrines" on waiter's hands when he is there.

Thus the whole 'assault' issue seems called into question.

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Irish...please read lots of comments above. Some posters (who suggest they have 'inside information') have insinuated Psaltis was fired b/c of this incident.

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It's so sobering to see that things follow a cycle so closely that you could almost sit back and set up Dominoes and watch them fall in a predictable pattern in every direction.

I didn't read the book and I could really care less, any person in their right mind has to understand that beneath the shiny surface of any spotless facade there is shadow and darkness and secret - the very things held back to ensure that facade stays shiny and clean in the first place - on all sides.

To assume that it is that way by default and no scrubbing is done to make it shine, is ignorance.

Support the system and the system supports you, attack the system and the system tries to destroy you... it's like clockwork... almost like a law of nature.

Is it really rational to believe that that walk-ins in any place don't get messy or that in any situation, especially high pressure situations, that tempers don't flare and things that should not be said get said and things that should not be done get done, or that there are any flawless characters or flawless restaurants devoid of all the human inadequacies that exist in everyone?

I'm always surprised to read or see that anyone tolerates any kind of verbal or physical abuse from anyone, famous chef or not, it must be extremely important to some to be able to keep the bridges and affiliations that ensure their ability to evoke said things in the future in order to use them to their benefit - no matter what the cost.

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