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Food Folklore in Australia: Restaurants


Email response:

I’m sure you’ve heard about a soufflÈ pump … my ex-boyfriend was sent to borrow one from a neighbouring restaurant when he was an apprentice. Good luck with the project.

Kind regards, Libby Travers
Account Manager
Best Restaurants of Australia


Email Response:

Warren, In response to your call for ‘kitchen pranks’:

In my younger days I worked in the kitchen at a cafe in Glebe. We used to make all our own dessserts, which the waiters would slice and plate themselves from a refrigerated display cabinet near the kitchen. We had a young vegetarian hippish girl, Rachael, who used to cut herself small slithers of cake during service, which annoyed the hell out of me. One day, I retrieved a 20 litre plastic bucket of beef stock that had been prepared the day before from the coolroom. As you know, stock is left in the coolroom overnight so the fat rises to the top, and can be scooped off when it has set. This time, when I started taking out the fat, it came out as one whole disc – about 4cm high. I looked at it, and with malice in my heart, decided to get my revenge on Rachael. I placed the disc of beef fat on a cake plate, decorated it with fresh fruit, then finished it with a jelly glaze. The new ‘dessert’ was placed in the display cabinet just before the beginning of Rachael’s shift. Sure enough, just after she started, she spied the new dessert. Asking what it was, she was informed it was a new cheesecake that the head chef had just made. Sure enough, about 15 minutes later, she took the bait. Cutting herself the usual small sliver, she took a bite of the new cake. It did not seem to quite register at first, as if her brain would not accept what her taste buds were telling it. After a few more chews, and a forced swallow, it all came together for Rachael. With a mouthful of sweet beef stock coating her mouth, she was informed of the recipe of the new dessert. Suffice to say, Rachael never took a sliver of dessert again.

Nick Caraturo
(Nick now works at Sydneyís Buon Ricordo)


Email Response:

from P N ñ name withheld.

ACP Magazines Aust Gourmet Traveller. A friend of mine worked at Kable’s back in the day. They hosted all the big Jewish functions there. The people holding the functions would bring in all their own food and kitchen staff, and to ensure everything was really kosher, they’d get some rabbis in to bless the place and scorch all the stainless steel benches with blowtorches. Naturally, my friend and his apprentice mates spent a good hour slicing up a whole belly’s worth of bacon and gaffer-taping it to the underneath of said benches before the blowtorching rabbis did their work.


Email Response:

August 2005 from Mal in Perth

The assistant chef had a habit of big-noting himself whenever there was a kitchen delivery ñ he always wore the top chefís hat when supervising supplies. One day the kitchen staff decided to stop him and put some turds in the hat. It certainly stopped him and he never said a word about it to anyone. When the day arrived when he was leaving the restaurant the crew asked him: ìDid you ever find out who put the turds in your hat?î. Apparently he looked at them and said, ìNo, never did find out, but I certainly know who ended up eating them!î