One of the things I enjoy doing when I have time and ambition is baking and cooking different recipes. I’m in no way a chef—one that takes random ingredients and makes something amazing. I am a cook. At work, I am a line cook. I follow prescribed recipes and recreate them. I can follow a recipe easily; I could not write one, though. I peruse the internet for recipes that pique my interest and try them out. Sometimes they work wonderfully, and I use them repeatedly, such as the buttercream frosting I make. Other times, like a donut recipe I found, it flops miserably (I threw the donuts away because they tasted like shit, not that I know what actual shit tastes like).
Occasionally, I post pictures of cakes I have made with the decorations I attempt. Mind you, I have never taken a class in anything; I self-teach by watching some videos and trial and error. I have yet to make a cake that looks like those ones you see in baking competitions on TV, nor do they look like something in your local bakery. I am a rank amateur, but I enjoy putting the effort into a somewhat nice-looking confectionary treat. Some who have seen these pictures tell me I should selling them as a side hustle. I take that as a compliment, but I don’t imagine anyone actually paying me to make these things.
For a minute, I’m going to suppose that I was gifted with working capital and a fully-equipped store. I would, first of all, give it a name along the lines of “The Imperfect Bakery”. I would be upfront in saying that my creations would not be in the caliber of what Buddy Valastro (“Cake Boss”) or Duff Goldman (“Ace of Cakes”) would create. My stuff would have their imperfections: icing may not be perfectly smooth; there might be a slight gap on the side; there might be a sliver of cake exposed in a corner; writing may look a little sloppy; among a myriad of imperfections. Also, those who prefer whipped cream frosting (god only knows why🤮) would be out of luck. Many bakeries (including the aforementioned guys with their famous bakeries) adore covering their cakes with fondant, since, admittedly, it gives a certain appearance. I have worked with fondant, and it’s absolutely gross. I used some on a birthday cake for my son—it was a cake that resembled the “Soundwave” character in the 1984 Transformers animated series. We ended up picking off the fondant pieces and discarded them, since eating that was like eating pieces of paper. Nope, fondant is out.
I would make cupcakes, as well. I’d be willing to try out different types, colors, etc. However, strange flavor combinations would be out. I never understood the fascination of mixing a sweet cupcake with something salty like bacon, or spicy like a combination of mango and habanero. In addition to these, there would without question be cheesecake. Good old-fashioned New York-style cheesecake. I would entertain some different varieties, for example a raspberry swirl or chocolate. But, absolutely no pumpkin! No pumpkin anything! Pumpkin spice flavor is overrated, should only be reserved for pie around Halloween/Thanksgiving, and there should in no way exist 19,000 different items pumpkin-flavored. Too much! Pumpkin pie, okay. Pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin chocolate muffins, pumpkin lattés🤬, pumpkin Clorox🤪. No. It’s overkill.
I’m sure I’d have other confectionery goodies in this bakery. Now, if I had a restaurant, I don’t imagine it being very popular. First of all, the customer is not always right. Half the time, it’s the customer that fucked things up and requires remaking food. If you “forgot” to say no pickles on you burger, boo hoo! Pick the goddamned things off yourself! And don’t say you have a “gluten allergy”, because I call bullshit. You can have an intolerance to it, or you could really have celiac disease. Don’t give me that allergy bullshit if you just don’t like bread, or you want to make sure the cook scrapes the grill before cooking your food. If that’s your gripe, say so. I totally get that there are legitimate food allergies, like soy, peanuts and dairy. But if you simply don’t like something, say it. Want your sandwich cut in half? Ask for a knife and cut the fucking thing yourself!
What about steak? Sure, I’d love to sell you a steak. I’ll sell you a nice, juicy cut of steak, cooked perfectly. Did you say you want that extra well done, and you want some ketchup to eat it with? I’m sorry, I can’t maintain my dignity and destroy a piece of meat because you’d rather chew on a tire tread. I’ll give you a medium steak. It’s less enjoyable, but still tolerable. Beyond that, it doesn’t exist here. By the way, when handled and cooked properly, a medium rare steak is very juicy and flavorful, and just as safe to eat as that gnarly-ass piece of charcoal you want to consume. Oh, and let’s not forget about cheese! What real cheese would you like on that burger? Cheddar? Great! Pepper Jack? You got it. Provolone? My pleasure. American? GTFOH! There would be absolutely none of that fake American shit in my restaurant.
Yeah, my businesses wouldn’t be very popular, not with the entitled pricks out there with that “Burger King mentality”. No, the “entitled” ones are not indicative of the population in general. They’re the ones that, no matter what you do or how much you apologize, they will still not be satisfied and feel the need to verbally abuse and berate the servers/staff because they see them as servants whose jobs are below them, like second- or third-class citizens.
Depending on the setting, menu modifications are acceptable. In fast food, most mods are fair game. It might cost you a little, but their menus are designed to be modified. In more standard restaurants, the higher-class you go, the less acceptable menu modifying becomes. Does one really believe that Gordon Ramsay or Wolfgang Puck is going to modify their menu items to satisfy the bizarre pleasures of one patron? They are willing to cook your steak to your liking, but will Gordon Ramsay remove the mushrooms from his Beef Wellington? He’d probably tell you to fuck off.
For the record, if you ever decide to eat at that steakhouse of Ramsay’s in Las Vegas, you’d better have extremely deep pockets, and be prepared for major sticker shock. The aforementioned Wellington runs between $57-101; his 32 oz Porterhouse goes for (don’t choke now)…get this…$105.00. Sorry, I will never be eating there, unless someone else is buying. I can’t with good conscience spend hundreds for one meal. I can buy a week’s groceries for that money.
For the kind of business I would have, it’s probably best I don’t. Like I said, they wouldn’t be very popular, since I’m not the kind of person that would take being told I’m stupid with a smile (hence why I’m not a server, either). I’ll ask, but I probably already know the answer: if, by chance, I owned a restaurant or bakery, would you eat there? Send me a comment. Either way, I won’t get offended! Anyway, have a great rest of your week. As always, be safe and be well.
Also, don’t forget to read my quick daily posts over on Preposterous Ponderings of a Perpetually Perplexed Person!