Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 15: It's Friday, But Not Quite the Weekend.

Deadly Chickens, (and a few ducks!) in Chinatown

Today a film crew came into the kitchen. They were filming for a website that links in partnership with our school. I avoided them like the P-L-A-G-U-E. Nothing good has ever come with my brushes with the media, but I did want to tell the creator of the website that it was through her hard work that I was attending this particular school, and when I told her of how I found the school through her site while living in Istanbul, she asked me to be on camera.

"No! No, I'd rather not", I told her.

In the end we compromised and I wouldn't be shown, I'd just do a voice-over. I don't know if they'll use it, they just asked me a bunch of questions and I rambled.

Other than this excitement, It was another crazy day of beef. I'm beefed out. Thankfully we move on to pastry next week.

One off-putting thing happened today though. In the morning Chef C asked us to put together a veal remouillage, (a stock which re-uses bones used to make one stock, to make another), and he asked us to make it with left-over chicken stock.

The chefs love to put chicken stock into all sorts of things, and of course many of you know I have a bad reaction to poultry products. I usually go about making things separately or substitute other products, but my partner (with good intentions), wanted to double check and asked if it was OK if we made one with plain old water.

The annoyance on the chef's face was visible not only to me, but also to those around me. He rolled his eyes and sneered, then told me to make one in a separate pot, which I did, but his crappy reaction bothered me.

It's not as if I just don't care for poultry. It makes me ill. Whenever I eat poultry I can feel it within 5 minutes. I start to feel a stinging in my throat and it feels like it's swelling, but it's not. At about 20 minutes my saliva becomes thick and viscous, and I feel like air bubbles are trying to come up my throat, but they can't. They just sit an burn and give me vicious stomach cramps. Then I'll throw it all up and the dry heave for hours. Sorry to be graphic but I want people to understand it's quite unpleasant. I think I need to relay this a bit more formally to the chefs.

So, tonight I googled "chicken allergy", (oh the power of google!), and this allergy is more common than I even knew! It's quite comforting to read about other people suffering from the same symptoms I have. It's serious, some people even need to carry an Epi-pen!

So, I was annoyed for a minute or two. But you know what? Whatever! I need to take care of myself, and if that means ticking-off someone - so be it. I let it go, like water off a duck's back.

So it's Friday night, but no excitement here, because I have to do a food-safe certification tomorrow. All day. Stupid food-safe.


  1. I get what you mean. It's not that I don't like pineapple, I can't eat it. No, I don't want to try organic pineapple.

    But as chef's should understand, people suffer from food allergies and intolerances more and more these days. as a chef, you will need to be able to cater to those who need you to change recipes. It's like yoga instructors who are healthy and bendy having to figure out how someone with sciatic nerve problem or even a missing limb can still benefit from modified yoga positions. My friend Laila went to a yoga training with a slipped disc and could barely do any yoga at all, but because of it she learned so much more about restorative and regenerative yoga, where usually she would have been into the hardcore asana. I feel it's the same with your chicken intolerance.

    I think if you are the kind of chef/ teacher that can do this, then it makes you a better chef. the same with someone who refuses to learn any other kind of English than American English is actually hurting their communication skills if they can't recognize another accent. Sorry for the rant! ; )

  2. You could print off that paragraph you wrote and give it to Mr. eye roller.