Kitchen Semantics

In cooking schools and in life, in a kitchen one knows to say “behind” or “hot behind” to keep a fellow cook from getting hurt or ruining your sauce.

One person on a cooking show I saw recently yelled “MOVE!!!” That is the antithesis of “behind.”

Behind lets one’s colleagues, competitors in this case, know that you’re running behind them with a new ingredient and not to step back. “Move” is a hostile comment that will get you pummeled by your fellow cooks a block away until you agree to an attitude adjustment.

The French brigade is legendary and how many chefs (see Ratatouille, based on Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry restaurant) are in the kitchen. There are rules. If one is washing dishes and dreaming of being on the line, behavior matters. So do tattoos (I don’t have any) but that’s another issue.

No matter what your career path, respect your elders and co-workers and people who work for you. No-one can ever go wrong with that philosophy. Everyone has their own job to do. Now MOVE, people, I’m coming through! No, in Italian it is “permesso.” Would you permit me to pass? I like that language better than MOVE! Cheers, too quiet around here and awaiting husband at midnight. Dee and Zoe

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