(BACKGROUND MUSIC #1)
Here at the CIA, like any other small college you hear a lot of talk about almost anything. Word travels fast on this small but beautiful campus. The thing that people seem to talk about the most is other chefs. When you talk to someone about a new class the question they will undoubtedly ask is, "WHO DO YOU HAVE?". You always want to try and obtain as much information on your upcoming chef as possible. If you think having the inside scoop isn't to your advantage your dead wrong. Some chefs, the infamous ones, you here about from the beginning. Chef, Clark, Chef Roe, Chef McCue, all these chefs are notorious around here for varying reasons so its always a good idea to talk to people who have survived their classes. Dating all the way back to my very first skills class I have heard side chatter about Chef McCue, the K-16 lunch/dinner chef. From what I have gathered about Chef McCue I can confidently say that the man is NUTS! Outside the kitchen he is engaging, friendly, and hilarious (he's hilarious in the kitchen as well). Inside the kitchen, however, I have heard stories about him that will make the hairs on your arms stand up. With most chefs, if you have a great day in class your fine. McCue on the other hand will mess with your head whether you have a good day or not. He is, what Eric and I like to call "the final boss"...
(BACKGROUND MUSIC #2)
You don't need to be a lover of video games to understand what a "final boss" means but basically a final boss can come at the end of a level or game who must be defeated in order to progress to the next level or beat the game. Even movies have a final boss. You know the evil bad guy at the end that the good guy has to defeat to get the girl at the end. Bowser from Super Mario, Jaws from Goldeneye, or any bad guy from James Bond for that matter ("Do you expect me to escape?" "No Meester Bond...I expect you to die!"), Mr. Sandman from Mike Tyson's Punchout, Hitler from Wolfenstein 3D (from which this picture was doctored) are all infamous final bosses. I can remember as a kid spending hours trying to defeat these bosses, screaming and throwing a controller in frustration with my mom in the background telling me to take a break. Defeating a final boss isn't just to beat the game, its a right of passage. If I never beat those bosses I would like to think my life would be filled with fear and self-doubt rather than confidence and self-worth...
(BACKGROUND MUSIC #3)
Some of the stories you hear about Chef McCue are pretty funny because they were at the expense of somebody else, but when our class enters K-16 I am sure he will have a whole new batch of tricks up his sleeve. here are the stories about Chef McCue I have heard thus far:
- A student once stupidly took one of Chef McCue's side towels during a busy lunch service. When McCue noticed he made the kid wear a roll of paper towels around his apron strings. Every couple of minutes he would call the student off the line (when they were in the weeds) and ask for paper towels. When the student would approach Chef McCue he would take ONE paper towel and tell him to get back to work. This transpired though the entirety of service.
- Before a class started one time he made the entire class stand in a line outside the kitchen, and asked each student a question pertaining to something we have learned at the CIA. Get it right and your granted access to the kitchen. Get it wrong and its back of the line. I saw a student get a question wrong 3 times when I was walking by the other day.
- My friend Matt and his class were slow one day so McCue told everyone to stop and come to the front of the class. He told them for family meal they had to take a banana out to the baseball fields (other end of campus) and take a picture of someone eating it at home plate then return with the banana peel.
- One day Chef McCue kept noticing gloves in the compost bin (we have separate trash bins for trash, compost, and recycling...word to the wise, don't confuse the three!) so he dumped the compost bin out onto the floor and told the class to dig through it until they found the gloves. After digging through the pile of compost McCue said to them, "I was just kidding, there are no gloves in the compost bin. I already took them out."
- Right before lunch service Chef McCue walked up to a student who had just finished making Hollandaise. He tasted the Hollandaise and said it was perfect. Then dumped a ladle of hot water into the bain marie of Hollandaise and told the student to fix it...THREE MINUTES BEFORE SERVICE. See, you don't need to make a mistake for McCue to mess with you.
- Last but not least, my personal favorite. Chef McCue used to have a case called the "Burnt Food Museum" where he stored all the food students badly burnt. Since they were so badly burned they were preserved for years.
If you don't believe me about that last point check this link out. Its taken directly from his Facebook page: Chef McCue's Burnt Food Museum
(BACKGROUND MUSIC # 4)
I'm not making this stuff up, the man is crazy! It used to be that with other chefs, if you had a good day and kept your head down you would go virtually unnoticed. With Chef McCue, even if your doing great he will find a way to throw you off your game. He is awesome though. I like that he screws with people. I like that he tries to throw you off your game because it will only make you stronger in the end. Students always say to me, "Don't take him seriously. When he calls you over if your real serious he is going to mess with you even more. Unless he is crazy pissed. Then be serious." I think I am going to have a blast in his class. I can't wait. Chef McCue, if you ever happen to read this...bring it on!!!