Carnivore dreamboat Brian Poe shares this story with Grub Street about frisky colleagues during his early days back in Alabama. "Back in my early, early days of cooking, I had taken a second job at a little bar in Auburn, Alabama, so that I could learn to expedite meals and learn a few other culinary stations to further advance my day job of cooking in hotels. I had worked there for a few weeks so I was comfortable with all of the stations. We were slammed and for some reason, the kitchen manager couldn't seem to get food out of the window. He looked at me and asked if I could take over the wheel. Excitedly, I did. As I was pushing the crew to get the food out, I noticed they were all taking extra time decorating plates and just sort of staring at me." What happened next is something straight out of an Anthony Bourdain retrospective.
"I asked what was wrong and, as they all opened a beer, they told me, 'We all took two hits of acid an hour ago and it's reallllly kickin’ in.' I helped clear the final tickets, then looked over and noticed that the salad guy had just knocked a can of PAM cooking spray into the deep fryer. As he started to reach for it, I grabbed him and pulled him out of the kitchen (along with the other guys) through the back door. As we got out, we heard a loud explosion from the fryers and the ANSUL fire suppression system poured. The owner came around and asked the guys for the 'pinch hitter' in other words, a joint. They obliged and as he sparked it, I could tell he had taken the acid as well.
I took my apron off, handed it to him and left, never returning. It's the only job in my career that I ever walked out on.”