All throughout Shitshow Week 2012, restaurant industry professionals will be sharing stories about working in shitshows, and the shitshow moments that they've experienced in otherwise solid establishments. Right now: Jeb Wiseley, the GM of Allswell in Brooklyn. He previously worked with chef Nate Smith at Dean Street.
Well, you know about that whole jukebox thing at Dean Street. But Nate and I actually have a shared shitshow, "WTF is happening" experience that is pretty great. One weekend night in the middle of the summer at that busy restaurant that we all love, the belt to the exhaust fan in the kitchen hood broke, immediately filling the kitchen and restaurant with eye-searing smoke. The chef refused to close, and there were customers that had waited up to two hours for a table.
Nate and I worked in that kitchen with temperatures that reached 140 degrees for about four hours till close, taking turns dunking our heads in a bucket of ice to keep from passing out. To the chef's credit, she did work side by side with us, but yeah what a HOT fucking shitshow that was. Needless to say the exhaust system we got installed in Alllswell is state of the art. You could fly a kite under the thing.