Ever wondered how chefs like to celebrate Halloween? I did – so I asked a few – they even sent me pictures.
Trick or Treat? Guess who this is?
Here’s a hint – his kids will love him for it – hopefully!
And who is this?
Here’s a hint – this caped crusader grew up to become one of our finest chefs.
[Leave your answers (with your @Twitter handle) as a comment and you may win a treat.]
LL: What was your best Halloween costume?
“I went as Michael Schumacher – in my own formula one racing suit.”
“Jake Blues (John Belushi), unfortunately I don’t think I have a photo of that but it was a great costume.”
“My best costume ever has to be when I was Napoleon. And I made 50 grilled cheese sandwiches with black bread for the kids – the lacy sleeves were problematic in the kitchen. I loved it but no recognized me as Napoleon because I was too tall.”
“This will most likely be my best costume ever. “ [see answer to his costume for this year below]
“Best costume was last year, four of us went wearing black suits with sunglasses, earplugs and walkie talkies and velvet ropes. We went to random parties and bars and acted like security and Id’d everyone who would enter. On our clipboard we had an invite list that listed 2 names: “Gorgeous, Smart, sexy woman” with a checkmark, and “GUY” with a line crossed through it. We would let all the girls in and tell the guys to wait in line. It was hilarious.”
“Favorite Halloween costume: Sumo wrestler, i wore an inflatable sumo suit and got to run around all night and run into people. I could barely walk or sit down, it was way too much fun!!”
LL: Who are you dressing up as this year?
“This year for Halloween I’m dressing up as The Fonut Queen. Imitating the picture of the donut queen we have in our bakery.”
“I am working on a Gut (sic) Fieri costume and my wife is going to be Paul Deen. The wig has been bought.”
“I thought I was going to be Napoleon again this year but I just did not get the respect I thought the great leader deserved the last time. I guess it was the height. This year is all about the kids. This is really the first Halloween for them because they were too young for anything last year so I am dressing for them and I don’t care what anyone thinks. I hope I don’t scare them.”
“I am not planning to dress up but if I did I would go as Le Roi Soleil.”
“I would like to go as the guy on the Monday night Football commercials in the blue suit and red beard.”
“If I were to dress up it would have to be Rick James “Super Freak” and I would be super freaky.”
LL: What is your favorite Halloween movie?
“My favorite scary movie of all time was the first Freddy Krueger movie. I am not sure it is a Halloween movie, but it was so great. Then the LA Times went and called me “the Freddy Krueger of the kitchen” while I was at Bastide, it kind of ruined it for me, but now I look back and think maybe I was just channeling my favorite evil character in the kitchen, well at least it makes me feel better – better than calling me Grumpy from Snow White.”
“The first and only great Halloween movie. HALLOWEEN ONE.”
“Favorite Halloween movie PSYCHO.”
“PSYCHO and AMITYVILLE HORROR.”
“The original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. My older brother made me watch it when I was way to young, terrified me, still does!!”
Fire and knives, blood and guts not unusual in a restaurant kitchen on any normal day of the year – no need for Halloween. We all know the kitchen can be a hazardous place – vats of stock to boil over, deep fat fryers catching fire, exploding pressure cookers, burnt eyebrows, frozen in the walk-in – chefs are full of horror stories in their kitchens and here they share their kitchen nightmares from the past.
LL: What’s your scariest cooking/in the kitchen moment ever?
“The scariest moment in the kitchen for me was at age 16 when I was an apprentice at Nandron and a knife slid off and landed upright in my foot! I had to get stitches.”
“First day after employee safety meeting and two days before opening Café Mélisse an employee put arm in moving 80 qt mixer and completely crushed her arm. Bad omen, restaurant closed after 6 months. Horror.”
“Worst kitchen nightmare was watching a employee of mine, put a ticket stabber all the way through her hand. It went in one end and out the other it was horrifying! We immediately had to take a trip to the emergency room. Yikes!!”
“When I was 20 and cut the tip of my thumb off, looking back it wasn’t so bad but the first time you cut a part of your body off its scary, after a while cuts just become frustrating not scary”
“Cooking is always thrilling, but rarely scary.”
“Almost froze my finger off with dry ice.”
“Some people are afraid to use mandolines but I am not. I always tell my young cooks that the most important thing for them to master in the kitchen is knife skills, but mandoline skills are very important too. Take it from an expert, always keep your eyes on your fingers or you might lose the tip of a finger, like me. But when you have 85 people waiting for a six course dinner you have to just pick up the pieces, quickly tweet a photo, and dinner will be served. Finger anyone?”
Thank you to the chefs for joining in the fun and to all those who helped behind the scenes getting me photos and answers:
Daniel Boulud, Daniel, 60 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10065
Michael Cimarusti, Providence, 5955 Melrose Avenue, LA CA 90038
Josiah Citrin, Mélisse, 1104 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Ludo Lefebvre, LudoBites, Popping up soon in LA CA
David Lefevre, MB Post, 1142 Manhattan Avenue, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Waylynn Lucas, fonuts, 8104 W 3rd Street, LA CA 90048
After the devastation of Sandy, this Halloween may turn out to be the worst kitchen nightmare for our East Coast chefs and restaurateurs – stay safe and once everything is back up and running again show your support by going to eat at their restaurants.
And if you are still trying to figure out a last minute Halloween costume how about dressing as a chef – Food and Wine have a little gallery and suggestions on how to get the look.
OMG…. LOVE this post Lucy!! Thanks for gathering these spooky chefs for us. They are great inspiration in both costume + chef whites…