June 1st, 2017

Chef McCue’s Top 7 Teaching Moments

  1. Where’s the Beef?


Another day in the kitchen, another teaching moment. Roast beef was on the menu this day, and we had $400 worth of beef lined up, rubbed, and ready to be roasted. I told the cook to go ahead and pop them in the oven and set the timer, 10 minutes a pound plus five minutes. When you pull them out, they should be ready to go.

So the timer goes off, the kid pulls the beefs out, and they’re gray. These beautiful cuts of beef were just ruined. That’s when I realized he didn’t put them in the oven, but in the steamer! “What did you do?” I demanded. “They were supposed to go in the oven!!” “Chef, I thought I did,” he replied. I shot back: “How did you not notice the steam pouring out of it? You wear glasses! How did you not know?” Sheepishly, he explained, “I thought it was the heat of the oven.”

Lesson: Evaluate your whole environment.


Check out Chef McCue’s blog for more classic kitchen stories!


CIA instructor David McCue is known throughout the college as a master storyteller, and his blog posts—presented with flair and a sharp wit—are the stuff of legend. Here are seven of his most memorable teaching moments.