Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Kitchen Language


Recommended Posts

I have also found that saying "Behind you", "hot on your ass", or just plain "HOT, HOT, HOT", to people on the subway get you cold stares at best and a mouth ful of knuckles at worst.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
4)  Servers--waitriod/ waitron/ the black and the whites/ front of house/

Doesn't anyone say "floor whore" or "door whore" anymore?

Oh yeah, "door whore" is one of my favorites. A hostess overheard me use that term and got offended (until I asked her if she went home with two or more co-workers in her one month of working there...).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We always called those small dishes "monkey dishes" too . . . and the round silver little containers that we'd use for a side of tartar sauce or mayo were "bullets."  No idea if other restaurants use that term.

I swear, 13 years later I still shout phrases like "behind you" or "watch your back" when I'm trying to get past someone with a load of stuff in my hands.  Doesn't work as well among lawyers as it did in the kitchen.

Asking for an "all day" or telling someone to "fire table 40" still makes perfect sense to me.  Besides, expediter is a demanding job - they should be able to say whatever they want.

Not sure if anyone mentioned this, but one of my favorite kitchen phrases (as a runner, especially, because of proximity to what was being given away) was when something in the window was "dead" - ie, couldn't be brought to a table b/c it was sitting too long.  Like music to our ears . . . it would be mauled in a matter of seconds.

I always make sure any "dead" food that was left in the window went straigt in the trash, and i love the looks i get from the famished food runners..

"He could blanch anything in the fryolator and finish it in the microwave or under the salamander. Talented guy."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For some reason, one place I worked at called a dupe with just one order a "cripple" as in "Table 5 is a cripple, let's get it out".

When it's worse than being in the weeds, we'd say "in the woods" and "who's got the weedwhacker/chainsaw".

We had one of those big milk dispensers and we called it the cow; when it needed a new box of milk one of the servers would shout "need milk for the cow" and we'd all respond with a hearty "MOOOOOOOOOOO".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aww jeez, I have a thousand, and the more I move the more I learn. (And the more the new guys look at me like I'm stupid....)

Hot on your back, on your back- These get twisted into the most sexual thing possible. i.e. Coming hot on your back, On your back, hot and creamy...etc...

I love Reggae for an item ordered like it is printed on the menu, but some people don't get it....

I use the term Backup a lot, meaning taking a tray of food following another tray, very similar is...

One Hand, Two Hands...referring to how many hands required to take out a particular order.

Hockey pucks= well done steaks

Pretty much any foreign word for shit. Shitzen, caca, mierde etc...

I live in the south, so mullets mean rednecks, and by the same token...

I'll be the first to say it. No offense to anyone, and anyone in the industry can tell you that they have heard it as well....

Canadians or Celebrities meaning a table full of black people...

Sorry if I hurt anyone's feelings....Just trying to be honest....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

--Hot on your back, on your back- These get twisted into the most sexual thing possible. i.e. Coming hot on your back, On your back, hot and creamy...etc...--

"Hot Behind You!"

"Not on the first date!"

was always a popular one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At one of the places where i worked, if we needed something on the fly (a kitchen phrase in its own right) we'd suggest that someone send that dish to chef mike, or the microwave. Other phrases for this where 'give it a whirl' (pretty standard) 'take her for a dance' (variation on a theme) and my favorite 'time for some nuclear magic'.

When i'd just gotten out of high school and was working at a deli we had a code for any time that some uber hot goddess was standing at the counter, someone would just yell 'I need a favor over here' which eventually was just shortened to someone yelling 'favor' and every guy would turn his head. Then we realized that there was a pickup bell next to the regester that the boss had installed with the place and never used and that became the 'favor' bell.

Milford and Mildred meant a couple of bluehaired, blue-plate, earlybird types.

Anytime anyone bumped into anyone it was "woah, i hardly know you." "you have to buy me a meal first" that sorta thing.

'This steak (or fish or whatever) is startin' to get a tan' any time a dish sat too long in the pass

When I was expo-ing at my last job I used to ask if 'we could please get some f-ing dishes out before the dining room started looking like a sally struthers commercial'

if someone made a huge portion we'd of course ask if their mother was in the house tonight.

I loved working with oldschool italian dudes that would say stuff like 'ah fangoul' (sorry for the spelling) when they got weeded, and 'monge away' if you wanted to grab a bite to eat and 'what are you animali?'

OH, and my favorite all time, hands down kitchen phrase is the simple but elloquent 'Bang it out'. It's as versatile as the F word. 'I'm gonna go bang it out' 'Come on guys let's bang it out' 'Don't worry chef, i'm bangin' that out right now' 'I gotta finish this and then i'll go bang it out' and if someone's drag-assing (another word i like) just yelling 'BANG IT OUT!'. On this phrase i actually have a question. Has bang it out been around forever? Can anyone else confirm its existance before 2000ish? Is it common in other kitchens? Or do i just bring it with me to every job i work?

plus vite, encore plus vite

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the Casino we had a code for when any of the big bosses were around, someone would yell "Need a cheeseburger" if the Exec Sous was walking through the doors. Our exec chef who was big as a house was a Triple Whopper. I'm amazed that they never caught on why someone would be ordering a cheeseburger in a gourmet outlet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Create New...