When I was training to be a chef in the Las Vegas casinos in the late 70’s I had to perform and master all the stations of a kitchen.
My final exam for the boucher (butcher) station was the breakdown of a pig corpse into, well everything edible. Pork rinds to sweetbreads.
Now breaking down a sow is not the pleasant task that breaking down a cow is.
In one of the casinos I worked, their specialty was Prime Rib. They were doing it well before the other casinos jumped on board and I would cook off 200 primes a day.
We offered an 8 oz. slab of prime rib with an endless salad bar, a baked potato (all the fixin’s you know, and a piece of buttered Texas Toast.
There was no way were could ever make food cost with those numbers because the managers could care less whether our hand-cut portions were eight or eighteen ounces.
The salad bar was supposed to be limited to one pass through the assorted fruits and vegetables, but good luck enforcing that one.
All the little things that chefs and their kitchen crews used to get away with (and I mean a LOT of little perks and bennies) I would cuss under my breath now, but I had no problem whatsoever taking full advantage when I finally got my first kitchen as an Executive Chef.
I had no idea how liberating and how constricting it was as a chef. It was very liberating as I never had to deal with my hourly employees and any issues they may have at work.
There was a union steward to handle their concerns.
The Food and Beverage staff handled everything else. I didn’t even have to count my own inventory.
In frustration in the early days of my chef career, I once asked my F&B Director what exactly my job responsibilities were?
“Keep ‘em here gambling.”
In other words there was no margin for error. One complaint was your walking papers.
It was also here where I developed the habit of making dining room passes (at the High Roller tables and cabanas. I would carry that tradition of sweeping my dining rooms twice a night until I left the profession.
But in between the passes, depending on the crew and how busy we were, I would drink glasses of VO and chase it with cold Heinekens and then head out to drink and shoot the shit with the big winners and losers.
What an ego, but no matter how bad I ever got, I was nowhere near the asshole as those I trained under.
But I digress.
Back to the most delicious sandwich I ever had:
Garlic-buttered grilled Texas Toast with 5 oz. of rare prime rib slices, 5 oz. of top sirloin slices, Munchee cheese slices and pesto tomato slices, dip it into rich brown demi-glace and