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  1. Cheesecake. When you insist on asking for cheesecake everywhere, regardless of the style of the restaurant, it ensures that even though I am working in a French place and could be making amazing French treats, I have to make cheesecake. Please, try other desserts for the love of god!
  2. People who fake allergies as a faux justification for completely changing a dish for them. Listen here people, you know who are you and you’re not fooling us. If you pretend to be allergic to onions and request that they are removed from one dish, (because you just don’t think it sounds good) but then order something else, say an appetizer and your response to the server telling you it also has onions and your answer is, “That’s ok because they’re cooked in that one,” IT’S COMPLETELY OBVIOUS THAT YOU’RE NOT ACTUALLY ALLERGIC AND ARE A LIAR! If you hate onions, just say you hate raw onions, we understand that, we’ll do our best.
  3. People who walk in 5 minutes before the kitchen closes, talk forever before they order and stay late keeping the staff there just for them. I know this answer is unpopular with the non restaurant workers of the world. I know you think if the sign says 9 you should be able to order until 9. Please don’t leave me comments about your differing opinion on the matter. I don’t care. If a place closes at 9, the employees should be able to expect to be closed at 9. If the kitchen closes at 9, then in my opinion, the kitchen staff should be finished cooking at 9. Unless you’re going to tip every employee you keep late like a fucking boss, it’s just not cool.

Edit — Yes, we know food allergies and oral allergy syndrome are real. We’re cooks, not idiots. IF you have a legit food allergy, you will be very clear on what you can’t have. You will not cherry pick through the ingredients on a dish to have each one changed then order another dish that contains some of them because it sounds good in that one. It’s just very obvious when someone has a real allergy and someone is just being picky. When someone is preserving their health, they are not wishy washy. They have said their food allergy speech hundreds of times, they have it down pat.

People asking for impossible adjustments to dishes. Let’s look at Beef Bourgnon: it starts with miripoix, which contains onions, okay? And it takes hours to make correctly for service. (I like to serve it with Bordelaise sauce, which also contains onion). It’s unfathomable how many people want the dish without, onions. Better yet, without wine, which is the basis of the dish. And that’s just an example of this. Trying to explain this can lead to an absolute tug of war. But the customer is Mrs. important so and so! Allergic! Recovering alcoholic! Don’t people understand that slow cooked dishes are prepared ahead? Do they want to wait several hours for their order?
  1. In the private world, people politely asking me “What’s your specialty dish?” I know they mean well, but I didn’t invent the cronut. As a Chef I can make quite a few items. I tell them my specialty regions and they seem a bit hurt, knowing that they were deflected.
  2. There are a few more, but let’s let that role. I rarely saw a customer covering a fine aged filet mignon with ketchup (because I wasn’t in the FOH). It’s also annoying when customers don’t understand what they order, but that’s really the server’s department, not mine.

I have to say one word here about onions. Maybe I’m wrong, but I suspect that, like me, most people don’t have an actual allergy to onions; onions simply make them very sick. If I eat raw onion I can expect to be curled up in a corner in the fetal position for the rest of the day. Sometimes cooked onions bother me and sometimes they don’t, it depends on how I’m already feeling. This has nothing to do with whether I think onions will be good in one dish and not in another. It’s easy to ask the chef to remove raw onions from the top of the salad, not so easy to ask the chef to remove the onions from a stew. At that point, you’re weighing your options. Do I really want to try that dish enough to take the chance? You know the raw onions will make you wish you were dead, the cooked onions may or may not bother you. Sometimes I don’t even realize the onions were there until I get sick. Don’t assume people are liars. There is a big difference between cooked and raw onions for many of the people who have this sensitivity. I love onion, so it’s the physical result alone that keeps me from eating them.