The weird workplace

As long as it's not a birthday suit; 'Rudolph unit, come in'; You're hot and you're cold; Shakespeare would be proud; Degrading recruitment
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/15/2014

You're hot and you're cold

PARIS — The food might be sumptuous but, behind the scenes, the situation is much less dignified. A group of top chefs is calling on their peers to stamp out a culture of violence in the kitchens of France’s top restaurants, according to the Telegraph. It’s time to “lift the lid on the law of silence,” said Guillaume Gomez, head cook at the French presidential palace, citing physical violence, sexual harassment and hazing at some of the finest eateries. All great French cooks are being asked to stand up against violence by signing a manifesto called Touche Pas A Mon Commis (Hands Off My Range Chef). The wake-up call followed an incident earlier this year at a costly Paris restaurant where a station chef deliberately and repeatedly scalded his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon on the arm, according to gastronomy magazine Atabula. Soon, others reported slaps in the face with a wet fish, being stabbed in the calves with a kitchen knife, shin kickings along with scaldings and humiliations. At a university debate in Paris, most chefs agreed violence was unacceptable but emphasized the profession was not for the faint-hearted. “Yes, I have received a few kicks in the ass. Yes, I have taken a rack of lamb to the head,” said chef Christian Etchebest. “It was for my own good. We have a very tough job, you need mental strength.”