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:
Stressful workplace: chefs agreed that the kitchen is a high-pressured environment (image credit:
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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John Smith's Great British Pub Awards


Are you running the best pub in the country? If so, you need to be entering the John Smith’s Great British Pub Awards! The competition is the leading awards of their kind for the UK pub industry which sees pubs from across the UK compete to see which will be crowned the best in the country. The Morning Advertiser, which organises the awards, is looking for the best pubs in the trade across 19 categories, ranging from Best Family Pub to Best Freehouse and Best Beer Pub to Best Sports Pub. Entries are now open and it is so easy to enter. Entries close on Friday May 18 and from there, expert judges will shortlist entries for the next stage, and those that make it through will be in the running to win their category and potentially go onto be named The John Smith’s Great British Pub of the Year 2018. The winners will be revealed at a glittering awards night on Thursday September 6 at The Royal Lancaster, London. Ed Bedington, editor of The Morning Advertiser, said: “This is the biggest and best celebration of pubs in the trade and I’d urge all operators to enter – it’s a great way to give your business an MOT, and be in with a chance of winning a prize that can hugely boost your business. What are you waiting for?”

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