Talk to anyone you know that's worked in a bakery for an extended amount of time and ask them "Who do you hate more.....the French, or the New Yorkers?" More often than not, if you find somebody who is willing to lift the lid off this question and answer, you'll end up delving into a discussion that can go on for an extended period of time.It can be light hearted and fun, or sometimes it leads to toss manhole covers.
Before I tackle this question further, I'm just going to tell those of you from Paris or the 646 to chill, This post is being written in the spirit of fun, and directed primarily at the bakers from said areas. OK....lets get started!
Danny Klecko hates the FRENCH because..........
First off, the French bakers that I have talked with not only in my community, but at IBIE shows or at the AIB pretty much seem to think that they should get a free pass on things because their "system" has been anointed by God and they are his elective.I should point out that most of my experience has come in the field of bread and not pastry, but I could easily write 50 columns on why you should make fun of pastry chefs no matter what country they come from.
Both the French and Italian bread bakers think they are more accomplished in their field than one another, and certainly the rest of the world, but to be honest, both groups pretty much spend the majority of their time in camps that work almost exclusively with lean doughs (flour-water-yeast-salt). Their flour of choice is almost always Canadian Patent, and with that said you can be pretty certain that the protein levels are low.
I've always felt that the Germans were technically the best bakers. They use all types of wheat and a range of rye (and the ancillary ingredients that attach to them) that surely necessitates sweetening agents like honey, molasses and so on.
If you go into a baking convention you'll find that most ethnic groups will start off amongst themselves, but as the event goes on..... coexistence is certain to unravel. Don't be surprised if the Dutch guy selling ovens has a cig in the parking lot with a sale rep from Toronto, or I still remember a pack of Czech guys talking smack to the Pollacks by the Urinals at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The French are different though. They always seem to show up wearing matching uniforms,they covet neckerchiefs and they love to talk really loud at their table, that is until an American or German sidles up and then crickets jump out of the woodwork.The second the interloper leaves, the festival resumes.
Now I'm sure some of you will shout back at me that you knew a sweet guy named Henry at your coffee shop and he made greatest croissants on Sundays and he was the most affable guy you'd want to meet. My response is that Henry's probably lying, he's actually Swiss, think about it......who wants their Sunday morning croissant to be inspired in Geneva?
Danny Klecko hates NEW YORKERS because.........
First off and most importantly they are allies with the Yankees.Short of Nazi's....I hate the Yankees. In fact that has been one of the hardest bakes I've ever had to endure. A couple years ago when they were in town for the play offs (the year Gardy threw Nathan for 3 innings and we lost) we had to bake for their hotel. Sure a guy wants to do unmentionable things to their product, but you just can't, there are ethics that even cover the boys in pin stripes to the right to indulge in meals w/o fear of being harmed.
If you've ever worked in a bake shop out side of New York with some cat who comes from New york, I 100% guarantee you that on his / her first day on the Job, he/she will walk through every department, find the supervisor and in a condescending tone tell them "When we make these in New York" or "In New York we like to do these a little differently, let me show you." Its as if it's the only place on earth where every single person in the city has as much cache as Bono. How can this be?
Years ago I worked with a guy named Mastersimone. He came in and talked to owner ship and bamboozled them with his east coast confidence, and to his credit....they fell for it. They hired him on the spot at Journeyman's wages w/o making him showcase his abilities. Dude was reckless, he over mixed his doughs, underproofed his pan breads, and threatened to kill us all when we refered to him as "Jersey".
I remember on one particular payday, the bakery was having trouble clearing it's payroll checks, so our shift headed over to the casino when we got off, they'd cash anybody's paycheck. Most of us dropped around $20 -$50 each during the first hour, but our good buddy Mastersimone lost everything. He literally started crying and asked us to loan him some cash so he could win his money back.
Most of the boys offered the same response "In Saint Paul - we don't like to lose our bankroll." I'll bet 8 of us fed him the identical line. He ended up getting pissed off and started panhandling random gamblers by the slot machines.Needless to say, security gave him the boot within minutes, and I never saw him after that.
For those of you who have a history with Danny Klecko, you know he usually is about the love, but every once in awhile your senses are peeked if you attach yourself to a worthy nemesis and with me its always been the French and the New Yorkers, I'm not certain which group I like less.....but if you want to offer suggestions, I'd certainly love to hear them.