Food Jargon

Jargon Booth

FoodAppetizer: A small first course dish that is presented before the entree. Some guests mistake appetizers for entrees.
Bill: An itemized total of purchases before tips. Perhaps someone you work with.
Break Room: A place where servers can take a moment to relax, smoke, gossip, and plot to get the manager to give them some of their free food.
Bring Back: An entree that is returned to the kitchen because the guest did not like it for some reason usually entails free dessert.
Busser: 1) One who cleans off utensils, plates, and trash from empty tables 2) One that mistakenly cleans off utensils, plates, and trash from guests who are not done with them 3) One who puts clean utensils, plates, and linens on tables 4) One who mistakenly puts dirty utensils, plates, and linens on tables 5) One who drives a bus.
Check Back: A visit a server will make to the table to make sure all the food and drinks meet the satisfaction of the guest(s). At this time the guest will say everything is fine or has the option of saying everything is not fine. A third option is to say everything is fine now, and then later say everything was not fine. If the third option is taken, then free dessert might be offered.
Check Cover: A book used to present the check to the table and/or temporarily store credit cards during transactions.
Chef: 1) A very grumpy man or woman who is in charge of creating foods and food combinations 2) One who has access to very large knives.
Dessert: 1) A confectionary course usually at the end of the meal 2) The first thing a manager will suggest when there is a problem with a guest.
Dry Farming: a type of farming practiced in arid areas without irrigation by planting drought-resistant crops and maintaining a fine surface tilth or mulch that protects the natural moisture of the soil from evaporation.
Expeditor: 1) Also known as “Expo” 2) One who is in charge of line cooks and/or plate presentations 3) One who works in place of or with a chef.
Folding Napkins: To take a napkin and fold, twist, or tie into a new shape so it resembles a napkin that has been folded, twisted, or tied into a new shape, i.e. shell, hat, candle, folded napkin.
Front-Of-The-House: Any area a guest might see including: dining room, lobby, bathrooms, a show kitchen, and/or side station.
Grazing: Snacking on items, such as croutons, tortillas, breadsticks, crackers, sauces, and whatever else might be on the sidebar or along the expo line.
Housemade: Term used by restaurants to indicate food items prepared from scratch such as “housemade pickles,” “housemade gnocchi,” and “housemade horseradish.” Replaces the more amateur-sounding “homemade.”
Line Cook: 1) One who cooks and/or assembles food onto the plate 2) One who works with the chef.
On-The-Fly: 1) A term used for needing something right away 2) A term used when the server forgot to order some part of the entrée 3) A term used to get a new dish in place of a bring back 4} A good place to put the dish if there is one on the table.
Party: 1) A group of people gathered together to eat 2) A group of people gathered together to have fun, recreation, merriment, etc 3) A group of people gathered together to eat and be demanding.
Server: Also Waiter, Waitress, Slave 1) One who takes menu orders 2) One who brings the meals and drinks to the table 3) A person who acts as a representive of the guest to the kitchen.
Squatter: 1} One who helps him/herself to a table, whether or not a seating host is available 2) A party that has finished their meal completely yet hangs around for hours upon hours.
Tip: 1) Money left in exchange for a service performed 2) Usually 15 to 20% in restaurants.
Urban foraging: foraging in urban spaces – finding wild foods and edibles in local fields, backyards, playgrounds, public land.

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