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Greatest Kitchen Practical Jokes


Joisey
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What are some of the best practical jokes you've ever seen or been a part of? Points for originality and mean-spiritedness.

For instance, everyone has hot-plated a waiter they are having a problem with. A neat variation is to do it out of the pantry station...never expect a 200 degree salad plate.

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1) I used to butter the reach in handles of the grillardian.

2) Put a hunk of gorgonzola cheese under the sole of the chefs work shoes.

3) Used Chilpote paste instead of red sauce on a pizza.

I think the worst one was played on me when I was a dishwasher. My chef came up to me one day and brought me a nice pint of coke. He didnt really talk to me at that point because I was new and but a lowley pot scruber. He started asking me questions about school and what I liked to do. I was pretty flattered that he was taking an interest in me. The coke tasted sort of funny, but I didnt want to stop drinking it because I thought of it as sort of an offering to get to know eachother. Some cooks walked by slapped me on the back and laughed. Now I was feeling like one of the crew. In the final sip of the drink brought something sharp to my lip. I spit back and looked in the botton of my pint glass. There in all its carbonated glory was an ugly looking partially coke cured muscle.

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There in all its carbonated glory was an ugly looking partially coke cured muscle.

Perhaps it would've been better if served with a nice Chianti?

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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Another good one is the old "load up the pasta/red sauce with habaneros" and leave it for an unsuspecting busboy or waiter to pick at. A neat twist to that is to then have a pitcher of white vinegar with ice cubes in it and some cups right next to the pasta.

An all time classic is to take the spent grounds out of an espresso machine and pipe a little dab of whipped cream, maybe a berry or some creme anglaise, and leave it on the server's stand.

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2 nice, round #4 scoops of frozen duck fat with espresso glaze will put most waitstaff off "vanilla ice cream" forever.

Yell at me? AT ME??? Okay, we'll see how you like it when I hose down your spanking-new North Face jacket with dishwater and hang it up in the walk-in freezer.

I deep-fried a green card once, that was pretty special. I knew it was a counterfeit, otherwise I wouldn't have done it.

At work parties, dry Chinese mustard and baking soda in the right proportions look like fun things to snort. Judging by the reactions, they aren't.

Heating up a sautee pan in the pizza oven, then hanging it back on the rack while backs are turned will ensure merriment and jollity.

Supergluing somebody's shoes into their locker cubby can be awesome.

Those little Thai peppers that look like peas or capers are a dandy thing to have around for livening things up.

Back in my black-market trade days, I once quit a job by dosing the beverages of everyone I didn't like with about 500 micrograms of LSD. Not much got done that night. In a similar vein, I once put rehydrated psylocybin mushrooms on a waitress' staff meal. She was a trouper and it was a slow night but she never did sleep with me again...

Edited by Reefpimp (log)

This whole love/hate thing would be a lot easier if it was just hate.

Bring me your finest food, stuffed with your second finest!

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We had a chef with a moderate seafood allergy, nothing fatal but highly irritating. When he got bitchy, someone would go into his office and rub shrimp stock on the inside of his jacket where his nipples would be.

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During my stint at Gino's (fast food burgers and KFC) in the late 70s, we had the french fry initiation. The first time a new kid was working the french fry vats, someone would slip a little ice from the soda fountain in the vat when he/she wasn't looking. During the ensuing bubbling eruption in the vat, everyone would come running over yelling "What did you DO!!!" Someone would show up with the fire extinguisher and tell them "if we have to use it you have to pay for it!"

Always good for a serious deer in the headlights look and generally made the females cry, briefly.

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I dont recommend this to everyone...but some waiters can drive me so GOD damn crazy. Well...I call it the hot spoon trick. Put a nice soup spoon in a 600 degree oven for an hour or so....carefully remove and place in a conveinient spot where your waiter enemy frequents...BAM...seared thumb and index finger !!! Keep your head down behind the line and look stupid !! hahaha

Dont forget...this can backfire on you...keep your eye out for the hottie waitress, you'll never get laid that way.

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OK, here's the "bathroom" chapter of the thread.

Everyone has probably heard about saran wrapping the bowl, this only works in a bathroom with not a lot of light.

A better one is to put PC packs of mayo or another condiment underneath the rubber feet of the toilet seat. Someone sits down, and the "back of the leg dripping" fun begins.

If you're REALLY cruel, take a habanero pepper, halve it and rub the pith on the handle of the bathroom door, especially one that you know male co workers will be using. What's the first thing that gets touched after the door handle? This guy I worked with had a couple of our cooks almost crying with this one..."My balls, oh Jesus my balls are on fire!!" May be the funniest thing I've ever seen in the kitchen.

If you use thick sausage for anything, take it out of the casing still intact and throw it in the toilet. The more the better, whole rope preferred. Leave some hanging off the side for added effect.

Finally, the coup de grace...Only do this to a manager or someone else you don't like, and only if it's a private bathroom. There's a thing called an "upper decker" where you defacate into the TOP tank of the toilet rather than the bowl. As things start breaking down, the water is always foul and smelly, and it will take a while to figure out why. I've seen this done at parties, and one of my co-workers did it in the executive bathroom at the Casino I worked at.

DISCLAIMER: Only do this stuff to your coworkers in employee-approved bathrooms. I can't condone exposing customers to this juvenile activity.

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My favourite from a previous eGullet thread:

The cooks made a batch of "special" scallops for the new line cook by carefully molding and breading chunks of lard. During the dinner rush, the new line cook was asked to throw some scallops into the deep fryer and, as soon as he threw them in, he was called away to do something else. He returns to the completely empty deep fryer utterly confused and gets yelled at by the chef and told to throw some more in. Repeat as neccesary until there is laughter all around.

PS: I am a guy.

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Try gelling an entire drawer of cooking utensils....make sure you use extra gellan and let the thing set in the fridge overnight....if you use the flavored kind you can throw it out on the table and eat it as part of your lunch.

If you're handy with tools and like to tinker, you can buy a product called 'Woods metal.' It's an alloy (gallium-based, I think) that has the dual benefit of melting at very low temperatures-like 118* F, I think-- and also holding very fine detail in castings. If you make plaster of Paris molds of dinnerware, and then use same for Woods-metal repros, you can really frustrate your co-workers during Staff Meal. It's kind of toxic, though, so you have to bard your evil streak with the drippings of compassion.

No one would be afraid of me if they didn't have inflated egos or snotty attitudes. Joisey, I think you and I ought to work the same line together sometime. I think hilarity would ensue.

This whole love/hate thing would be a lot easier if it was just hate.

Bring me your finest food, stuffed with your second finest!

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Reefpimp, I sense a kindred spirit in you as well. It's stuff like this that helps make the job bearable.

A couple more off the top of my head: Putting honey on the handles of someone's ladles/tongs is always fun during the middle of service.

You can have fun with the paper chef hats too. Whip some cream until it's barely aerated, then deftly put a dollop on the top of someone's hat where the air holes are (staff meals are a good time for this when hats are off). As the night goes on the cream melts and drips onto the person's head. OR if someone sweats through their hat, offer to get them another one. Make sure it's a busy night so minimal attention is paid. Get them another hat but write something in big letters above the white band.."DICK" or something else obnoxious. If you hand it to them quickly they won't notice and will wear it all night.

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One of my favorites is to ask a hostess for a third pan of steam, or a bucket of A.I.R. Another fun one is to make "oreo's" with discs of brewed espresso powder and give to the new guy. One guy I worked with once would fill your back pockets with raw shrimp, thats always great to go home with and find the next day. I also like to run down the line with a pan of baked potatoes and see how many people I can "burn" and watch how the react.

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Not as painful as some of the ones suggested here but when i waitressed back in my school days we used to get the guys in the pot was to chop flour because the chef needed fine grain flour and we once sent a guy to the butchers for chicken lips

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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During the dinner rush, yell "sharp coming through" then poke someone in the back with your finger.

We make this stuff at work that has about 2 cups of vinegar, among other things, and it sits in the oven for about half an hour. If you've ever smelled vinegar that's been in a 500 degree oven for 30 minutes, you'll know the pain I've inflicted on several waiters.

Steal all the towels.

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We have all experienced a cola laced with Worc sauce, I'm sure. Going one better is allumette vegetables threaded down your co-workers drinking straws. The gagging caused when the vegetables hit the back of the throut usually causes the veg to come out the nose.

I was once involve in the returning of some borrowed Art Culinaire issues by parcel post. We place the books in a heavy plastic bag and place them in a box that was a little too large. We then filled two other bags with fish heads and egg poaching water. The bags were then attached to the lid of the box so that when the box was opened the bags of nasty would be compromised. This was done in the heat of the summer and mailed to the corporate office where the receiving chef worked. It took 6 days for the package to make it to it's destination. Nine years later, the story of the stench is still told.

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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The "Noob" portion of the thread:

The Bucket of Steam is always cool, as are fictitious tools (left handed chicken stretcher). If you have time, set it up to have the Noob go from person to person, eventually leading back to you. I had some waitress looking for a "cucumber clamp" one busy lunch. She came back exasperated without it, and was all dramatic..."God, what are we going to do now??" Grimly, I said, "I guess I'll have to hold the cucumbers manually as I cut them"....

Get a saute pan smoking hot and put some red pepper flakes in. Ask the Noob if this smells ok....hit the pan with a little white wine as you bring it up to his face to smell it. Another good "how does this smell?" is reducing balsamic vinegar.

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Oh man, another great one that you have to reserve for someone you don't like is throwing ice chips in emulsified sauces they are making...I worked with an obnoxious bastard who thought he was god's gift. However, it seemed EVERY service right before we opened, his buerre blanc and hollandaise would shatter. He kept getting demos from the increasingly ill-tempered sous chef and chef until finally the Chef snapped out on him and sent him home. I found out later that another guy was icing his stuff down every night as we went to shift meal. Brutal.

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It was common to make extra strength blue gelatine and pump it in the cooks tool box, creating a large gelatine mold of their tools, or just wrapping the box with a whole roll of plastic wrap. i parked the a------ chefs suv out on the golf course one late nightafter he pissed me off. Then there was the "laddle love" attacks during the rush"weeds, shits," or whatever your want to call it. Walking behind and goosing with a laddle, no one was immune. the dumbest,but funniest was when a cook dropped a container of raz puree and knowing the chef was going to freak, laid down in it, acting like he busted his head open. the chef saw this and his reaction,a combo of shock, awe and horror was just the funniest thing I ever witnessed. That was the hardest night to get thru, we were both giggling the whole night, as well as dealing with a burned chef.

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