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Food "Practical Jokes" / violations

In college, I remember someone taking an eclair off the dessert tray, supplementing the filling with mayonnaise, and putting it back on the tray. Anyone have any other interesting tales of food violation?

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    1. One April Fool's Day when I was about 7 or 8 I replaced the sugar in our sugar bowl with salt and waited for my dad to have his usual cup of coffee in the morning. My mom had to restrain him from hitting me but I could tell she was trying hard not to laugh.

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      1. re: BobB

        Oh, wow, you had a set even back then. VERY brave.

      2. I think I may have posted this one before, but there's the 'experiment' where you demonstrate that regular table salt sprinkled on butter creates an exothermic reaction. Start with a very soft pat of butter, and sprinkle a liberal amount of salt over it. As you hold your hand over it by an inch or two, announce, "Yeah, I can feel some heat coming off it now..." When your mark holds his hand over it to feel it, you push his hand into the butter.

        1. Pastry chef in a place I worked years ago hated this older sous chef. (We all hated him, actually.) The sous chef was a drunk and kept bottles of cheap brandy all over the restaurant. His favorite was one in a dark corner of the walk-in refrigerator. Very dark.

          Pastry chef put a good 1/4 cup of restaurant-grade red food coloring into the sous chef's brandy bottle, in the walk-in. Sure enough, right after the first wave of business started that night, the sous chef emerged from the fridge and looked like he was bleeding to death. When everyone pointed, he smeared red all over his chef's whites and nearly fainted from fright.

          2 Replies
          1. re: shaogo

            Some stories come to mind from back in the day working in restaurants. One joke with all the kitchen staff in Burlington Vt was to send a new hire in the kitchen to the restaurant down the street to get the "bacon stretcher", he/she would inevitably be sent from restaurant to restaurant in town searching for said "bacon stretcher".
            If a mistake meal is made it is offered to the waitstaff. The chef had it in for new hires and would initiate them by deep frying a dishrag, top it with marinara and then melt mozz over it. He would then put it in the window and offer it to the latest hire and laugh his ass off watching the waiter try and cut into his veal parm.

            1. re: foodsnob14

              I've heard the bacon stretcher joke from older chefs (also, when I was working at a resort hotel, 'go up to the main kitchen and get a bucket of steam'). Another trick was to hide some paprika under a small pile of flour and tell a newbie that you could chop it so fast the flour would turn red. Of course, chopping it would bring the red to the surface. And the newbie would try it themselves, without the hidden paprika...and chop and chop and chop and chop.

          2. a cook I know once prepared plenty of beurre maniƩ before his shift. He patted it, cut it into squares and handed it over to his colleagues, saying it was maple fudge!
            what an unpleasant surprise it must have been to taste the cubes of butter and flour...

            1. We routinely tint the milk unnatural colors (you need a cardboard carton for this to work, obviously) for April Fools' Day. A nice, "wake up" surprise with your morning coffee. Or switch out the water in glasses with flat clear soda...

              1. As a teenager I attended a two week pre-college science program at a local university. There were 12 kids in the group all together, and it was the first time eating in a college dining hall for all of us. We would fill a cup 2/3 with coke from the soda fountain, no ice, then poor black pepper on top to create a floating "seal." The final step was to pour table salt on top of the pepper until it broke through the "seal" and created a coke-volcano. Not really a practical joke, but it did make a huge mess. Of course, being the mild mannered science geeks that we were, we contained the mess on dining trays and always cleaned up after ourselves.