Chefs swear to 'let off steam'

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Stressful workplace: chefs agreed that the kitchen is a high-pressured environment (image credit: thinkstock.co.uk/scyther5)
Stressful workplace: chefs agreed that the kitchen is a high-pressured environment (image credit: thinkstock.co.uk/scyther5)
A pub kitchen can be a hot and fast-paced environment, with the result that chefs have a reputation for using blue language.

Chef-patrons of pubs across the country have told The Morning Advertiser​ that chefs swearing is one way they let off steam.

Jesse Dunford Wood, chef and owner of the Parlour in Kensal Green, north-west, advised that having females in the kitchen can help calm the atmosphere.

He said: “Having women in the kitchen is certainly a great way of making the professional kitchen less macho, testosterone-fuelled and gives a better balance.

“Remember, the kitchen is a high-pressure environment. It does get tense, but there is a sea change in attitude of people trying to work in less stressful and less aggressive environments.

“[However], there are still a few real-life Gordon Ramsays around.”

Calm enviroment

Swearing in a calm environment is how chef-patron of the Longs Arms in South Wraxall, Wiltshire, Rob Allcock, deals with a fast-paced kitchen.

He added: “People swear in every job. I swear but it is in a calm environment and it needs to be [calm].

“You can’t ban swearing. You could try and ban aggression and bullying, but just because a chef swears, it doesn’t mean it is not a calm environment.

“It is a high-pressure environment and we all drop the odd F bomb. Chefs gets bad press but [we aren’t all] loose cannons.

“That may be the case for some, but there are plenty of professional kitchen staff who are perfectly calm although they might swear every now and then.”

Blue air

At the Parkers Arms, in Newton-in-Bowland, Lancashire, chef-patron Stosie Madi said swearing in the kitchen to air frustration is better than shouting at other members of staff.

“Swearing is a way of letting off steam. Yes, it can get blue in kitchens but in my kitchen, it is more of a conversation standard and quite jovial, or as a form of expression to oneself,” she said.

“During a heated service, not swearing and shouting at someone else [instead], is really not good, professional behaviour.

“Most proper, modern-day kitchens know those practices are not conducive to good work and if you want to hold on to staff, then it is definitely not the way to behave.

“Swearing in some form or other will always be around in high-pressured environments and it is not necessary to get uptight about it, just as long as it is not directed at someone else in an aggressive manner.”

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