I have had numerous fantastic work experiences which allowed me to collaborate with well-known chefs and professionals. Even if in different ways, all the chefs have been characterized by big hearts and lots of passion for cooking, the only way to survive long and tiring hours by the stoves.
Among them, Chef Rainer who I recall with great pleasure, former-personal cook of the boxer Mike Tyson. His gloomy appearance accentuated by his mustache hides a gentle and kind temperament. I have always thought he was chosen to nourish the champion because of his strong willingness and sensible soul. Our collaboration, which lasted approximately four months, initiated a long friendship based on mutual esteem.
The kitchen is an extremely hierarchical environment and it takes years of sacrifice to reach the coveted position of Executive Chef. Once you get the highest rank, this does not guarantee the respect of the brigade. The executive chef must deserve the team's attention by demonstrating culinary and leadership skills.
On a rather stressful day a little misunderstanding in the menu pushed my inexperience in the field to a conversation with Rainer during a busy evening among crowded stoves. The Executive Chef's reaction to the incident in front of his team was immediate. He immediately got out of the kitchen to solve the misunderstanding. I, about a third of his size, followed him pointing his finger and repeating loudly the imprecision. The theatrical scene remains in the most beautiful memories of those who were present at the event to this day. The epilogue is clearly a happy ending. The misunderstanding was resolved in a few seconds with Rainer's almost paternal embrace for me which led to greater professional consideration.
From Chef Rainer I learned the first rule to work with great professionals. Never talk to the Executive Chef in the kitchen. The Commander is never approached on a battlefield by his warriors.