Talk Like a Chef: Kitchen Lingo 101

Because there’s no time to spare in the fast-paced kitchens that serve restaurant and banquet guests at Turning Stone and our other venues, culinary pros use a language all their own. Want to talk like a chef? This kitchen lingo primer from Assistant Executive Chef Kevin Giunta and Chef de Cuisine Dustin Tuthill will have you talking the talk in no time!

Behind: This term helps chefs avoid collisions as a person is walking down the line. In similar fashion, cooks and servers yell “corner” when they’re coming around corners so as not to bump into anyone. 

Fire: A synonym for “cook.” Example: Fire the grilled cheese that guest just ordered.

In the weeds: This phrase is used when a cook is busier than they should be or having trouble keeping up with all the demands of their station. When someone is in the weeds, a chef might say, “Get the chainsaw out” to signal others to help and eliminate the problem.

86: This number lets servers or front-of-house workers know when a restaurant is out of a given dish or product.

A la minute: This phrase describes when something is made fresh to order, or at the last second. Chef Dustin noted that food prepared in a la minute fashion is done so to preserve its quality.

Mise en place: In French, this phrase means, “everything in its place.” It describes everything cooks and chefs need to work their station or prepare a specific dish, from ingredients to knives and other tools. 

While you’ll hear these terms in just about any commercial kitchen, here’s one you’re only going to hear at Oneida Nation Enterprises: starting pay at $20 per hour. Along with the opportunity to work with some of the region’s best chefs, on-the-job training and great benefits, it’s one of many reasons why our eateries are among the best places to build a culinary career in Upstate New York.

Click HERE to view current culinary job opportunities.


We use cookies for best experience on website. By using our site you agree to Cookies Policy