The word which every (ok, not every, but I bet most) cook fears most begins with a “B”. Can you guess it?
The answer: brunch.
After my shift tonight I was having a beer with my fellow line cook when the owner comes over and asks how the night was. After some pleasantries and some bullshit about how slow it was – which it really was for a Thursday – he drops the bomb that is Sunday brunch.
Knowing that he would have a mutiny on his hands in the kitchen, let’s just play along for a second. After getting off of work at 1:15 or so in the morning, just how well do you think I’m going to cook at 9, or fuck, anyone else that I work with? Bourdain has a good bit to say about brunch in Kitchen Confidential (as well as a whole episode of the Fox TV series devoted to brunch). Both are worth checking out.
For people who love their Sunday brunch, I recommend going to a place that normally does breakfast, rather than the place that only opens once a week at 9 or 10 on a Sunday. Aside from the staffing issues (remember unhappy me who will be running on a minimum of sleep and possibly if not probably be hungover from surviving yet another Saturday service), Sunday brunch is a great time to sell old product or product that is on the brink of not being good. As Bourdain pointed out, how many times do you think the reach-in is opened on Friday and Saturday nights? Countless. How cold do you think the reach in is after, well, all that reaching in? Not to mention the top has been opened since just prior to service, as it always is on a busy night.
Anyway, you get the point. I’m sure many places offer glorious Sunday brunches and that everyone (patrons and employees) is happy. I for one can’t imagine pulling a 10 hour shift until 1 a.m. only to come in at 7 or 8 to begin prepping for the same people I cooked for the night before, with the exception that all of us are hungover and I’m unhappier than they are.