From needlessly binning perfectly edible food to using scallops from a tin, top chefs have revealed the mistakes that fellow professionals and amateurs make that make their blood boil.
We asked a handful of chefs whose specialisms range from French haute cuisine to sushi to get the most infuriating kitchen mistakes off their chests. Failing to communicate properly and leaving a trail of mess also got under the skin of professionals. Read on to find out more.
Tilesh Chudasama, founder and chef at London’s Indian street food restaurant Chai Naasto
Buying more than is needed and wasting the surplus. There are plenty of little tricks we can all do to avoid this: buy less, freeze surplus, share it, take a doggy bag, use the leftovers, give it to someone who needs it, make compost. Just don’t throw it away!
Richard Bainbridge, chef and proprietor of British restaurant Benedicts in Norwich
Time management. People usually don’t take the time to organise themselves. It only takes a couple of minutes to give yourself a rough time line of when and how to do things and overall makes your cooking far more relaxed and enjoyable.
Lee Skeet runs a self-titled pop-up restaurant. He is based in Cornwall
Poor sourcing. This applies to professional chefs even more so than home cooks. I cannot understand why chefs don't realise the difference in quality of produce. Chefs that don't realise that scallop meat in a tub isn't the same as live scallops, or who don't buy whole fresh fish because they've “got no time to fillet.” It's something that will always pisses me off. I could rant about it forever but I just can't understand how someone could call themselves a chef and knowingly serve guests anything other than the best produce they can find. For me, if I couldn't get live scallops, I'd rather never serve a scallop again.
Ani Arora, the head chef at Nirvana Kitchen, an Asian fusion restaurant in London
This biggest mistake people make is not being organised and not cleaning as they go. The other thing I don’t like is overcrowding the pan when cooking as the ingredients don’t sear well.
Andrew Dargue, the head chef of vegetarian restaurant Vanilla Black in London
General lack of communication. The kitchen is a busy place and communication is very important. Passing on details of progress, requirements and updates is imperative yet it’s surprising how many people just don’t communicate.