A year after I graduated from the CIA, I worked as the Sous Chef at a well known fine dining establishment in Stowe, Vermont. Every Saturday we had some regulars come in to eat religiously at 8:00, two semi-retired couples from CT. One of the gentlemen always ordered the same thing, one tenderloin-Cremated, boiled, tourneed potatoes and steamed overcooked carrots.
One Saturday stands out, the Chef was in a foul mood, one of the compressors on the pastry cooler had failed overnight and we had to throw away most of our dessert list, the prep cook showed up stoned and the night dishwasher showed up two hours late. We had a full dining room and a half hour wait to be seated and of course the Chef’s least favorite person orders his steak well done.
For the first time since I started working there, the customer sent it back to the kitchen as not done enough for him. So Chef curses under his breath about people who ruin a perfectly good piece of meat by overcooking to death and throws it back on the grill. Chef send its out again, customer sends it back, Chef curses even louder and throws it in the oven. A few minutes later, Chef sends the steak out again. The customer sends it back. Again!
Chef completely loses his temper, dumps the steak on the floor and starts jumping up and down on it (the ultimate version of the two second rule) cursing madly and than picks it up, chucks it in the oven again and then completely forgets about it for the next 10 minutes and then sends it back out.
Needless to say by the time the steak went out again to the dining room, it was completely unrecognizable as anything edible. The ironic part, is this customer sent a waiter back to the kitchen after he finished eating his steak to tell the Chef that it was the best steak he had ever had there. There’s no accounting for taste.