No Cooks for Christmas

Imagine if all the cooks in every restaurant kitchen disappeared on Christmas Eve. What if Santa finally granted our truest wish?

No alarms would ring. No flashing yellow lights.

A puff of air.  A whispering wind.

Walk a mile in our shoes on Christmas night and taste regret.

A rough night for cooks and servers: two hundred confirmed reservations, all here to celebrate and share the holiday with family and friends. The dining room is filled with a mélange of well-dressed socialites with deep pockets and a thirst for fine champagne.

The adrenaline level is high as the house band competes with the clatter of sauce pans and the rattle of plates rapidly filling the pass. The kitchen is humid and our jackets soak up the sweat.

Try to keep up with the constant chirping of the ticket printer.

It’s approaching midnight, and tempers flare as tired knees and elbows ready for the final push.

Our chef, expediting all night, struggles to remain calm.

Frantic servers try to squeeze by at the pass.

Ok, guys… fire the ten top, I want three amuse bouches for table 52, make that six all day.”

“I need a mushroom risotto to sell this deuce on 60, gimme that risotto now!”

What goes through the mind of a cook when the chef is screaming?

Mangoes, apples, pears…. Are they pleasant thoughts?


The sauté cook seeks frantically for the pan with extra risotto from a previous ticket.

He shoves another pan to the back, cranks the heat up, zaps with chicken stock and parm.

A little more salt and truffle butter, and the plate hits the pass.

Christmas for line cooks…  Every one is  tired.

But this year, a wish was granted and a prayer was answered.

This Christmas Eve, the fire in the grill will remain unlit.

Whisks will fall and stay where they lay. Nothing will be prepped, the door will be shut.

A puff of air.  A whispering wind.

There will be no cooks for Christmas, if only for this year.

A happy day, a joyous day,  a family day…

We would all be home instead.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *