Sheff

While working for a shop in Spokane, I did a lot of work in the old Davenport Hotel and Restaurant.  The chief cook was called Sheff.  I thought that was a rather strange name.  After many days it dawned on me they were saying “Chef.”  (In Havre, Montana none of the cafes rated a “chef” so I wasn’t familiar with hearing it.)

The restaurant seemed to change chefs off and on while I worked there.  Each one had a different name that came after “Chef.”  One of the chefs in the parade had conduct that I didn’t appreciate.  I never knew if he was married or not, but a wife would not have appreciated what took place on the job.

Nevertheless, I was there to work on electrical things, so I tried to ignore everything else.  One of those jobs involved one of his soup pots.  He had a line of them (perhaps 10 or more) against a wall.  The wall was about 4 feet tall.  The last pot in the line was rotating on a heat source.  Except that, on this day, the pot was not rotating.

The only way to get to the pot in the corner that wasn’t operating correctly was to climb up on the stub wall and walk down the line to the corner, then climb down behind it and work on the electric motor.  As I walked down the wall I thought; “I don’t want to slip now and end up in a pot of boiling soup.”

After I got the motor working on the pot turner, I returned the way I had come – walking the top of the wall.  Chef was there waiting for me.  I told him the pot turner was fixed and working.

I also told him; “When I was walking along that wall I accidently kicked a whole lemon in one of the pots of soup.  If you get rich and famous for a new recipe, I want part of the credit.”

Chef was instantly curious, dare I say anxious, and asked; “What lemon?!  What pot?! What soup?!”

I just chuckled at his frustration and walked away.

I don’t think he appreciated my sense of humor.

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