Saturday, May 16, 2015

Back in the Day when men were men

Once when I was a waiter I had a guy say 'I like chilli but I don't like it unless it's hot, is yours hot?' - this was at Joe Allen back in the day when I personally found the chilli borderline hot for me to handle - so I said that 'but I'm not good on hot spice really, it probably won't be borderline for you'.

So, he ordered it and asked me to 'ask the chef to put some extra chilli in it if possible'.

Asking the chef who was on then, a guy called Adrian who behaved as if he took a lot of many different drugs and was always pissed, asking Adrian anything at all during service, even something like 'when's your mum's birthday Adrian?' was like poking an angry bull with a stick while waving a red rag in its nostrils.

Anyway it was a saga where I learned diplomacy and Adrian added loads of chopped chilli, and onion, it was amazing to see him go to this effort, and cooked it separately in a pan, for just this one bowl which I took out to the customer who asked me to wait while he tried it to see if it was hot enough... He was on a table of six and all his friends were taking a great interest in this passage of events. He tried it with a spoon, did a little wine tasting like slurping and pursing his lips and said 'no that's way too mild would you mind maybe putting some Tabasco in it to pep it up a bit?' - I took it back to the kitchen in a state of slight amazement and did it ... Maybe 8 - 10 drops and stirred the chilli and returned to the customer... One of his friends tried it then, looked shocked and said there's no way he could have even a spoonful, the chilli fiend tried it and asked for more Tabasco. This happened again and the third time I took the bowl back Adrian took it off me, opened a new bottle of Tabasco, flicked the bit out of the top with a knife then poured the whole lot into the bowl and told me: 'stir it and give it to the fucker that'll sort him out' .

I did.

And the man tried it, said, more of a sigh of satisfaction really, 'that's MUCH better, thanks' and ate it with corn muffins and bread like it was mushroom soup.

I went back into the kitchen and waiters and chefs were looking through the pass to see the guy's reaction and everyone was looking surprised... Adrian and I became closer after that, it kind of bonded us a bit.

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