So a quick catch-up: Baker Bitch and I worked for a mid-priced hotel bakery, making pastries and breads for the hotel's restaurant, and the banquet halls adjoining. The bakery area was a tiny, galley-style, and you had to turn sideways to get past someone, it was that small. If you didn't like your co-workers, you were kind of screwed, being that close physically. Baker Bitch and I were the only ones working in the bakery at that point, and while I didn't hate her, I mostly tolerated her while secretly cleaning up her messes. Now, because the bakery was just the two of us, and open 7 days a week, there were days when our shifts overlapped, and days when we would work by ourselves and maybe leave notes to keep the other person up to speed. This story occurs when the schedule happened to be just BB on her own the first day, and me on my own the next.
There was a large-ish banquet scheduled for my day on, and I had mostly nothing to do with it, as the group had ordered cheesecake for dessert and Baker Bitch had made them the day before. All of the individual plating was done by the banquet staff, so I anticipated a quiet day of prep.
Not so fast, Without Nametag! Remember that your supervisor is Baker Bitch, who is not only ignorant, but thinks that she's Thognar's Gift to Baking. Near the end of the banquet, the staff very quietly approaches me (this very quiet approach was quickly becoming a common occurrence, and meant that BB had fucked something up again, which I would have to fix, also quietly). They brought me a slice of plated cheesecake (no really, "they" is correct: several people wanted to see my reaction), and asked who had made it. Baker Bitch, of course. It was pretty enough, white and creamy-looking, like cheesecake should be, but they appeared nervous. They told me that they were embarrassed to serve this cheesecake. They requested a tasting, which I did.
RHU, do you know what corn starch tastes like? Yep. Now, do you know what corn starch feels like? For lack of a better word, it feels squeaky. This cheesecake had both the mouth-feel and taste of corn starch. After several customer complaints, the banquet staff tried a slice and were horrified. They came running to me.
Do you remember my telling you that Baker Bitch was a vegan? Again, I think veganism is admirable. Many vegans follow this lifestyle because of deeply held beliefs, and it's not easy. The vegans that I can't stand, though, are judgmental vegans, the ones who look down on you for not making the same lifestyle choice as they do. Baker Bitch was this kind of vegan. She got on my case all the time.
I had developed blood-sugar issues earlier that year, and she insisted that my problems would go away if I became vegan. Um no, you dumbshit. My blood-sugar problems actually improve when I consume more animal protein. Don't tell me that beans will provide me enough protein, you're not a fucking doctor.
Back to the story: Baker Bitch, in her infinite, self-righteous wisdom, decided to make enough vegan cheesecakes to feed a banquet of 100 + people, and not say anything. This way, when people came back raving about how good the cheesecake was, she could happily declare that it was vegan, and wouldn't they all be pleasantly surprised? (There is no doubt in my mind that this was how it played out in her mind. I can see the smarmy smile on her face, too.) This was not what the client had ordered. And they were not happy with it.
How did her "brilliant" plan go so horribly wrong? Baking is like chemistry: one cannot simply substitute one ingredient for another without the possibility of failure. A new recipe requires experimentation before the recipe is acceptable, and the ratios of dry and wet ingredients must remain within certain limits in order to bake correctly. Vegan food prep is similar: simply swapping out one vegan ingredient for a non-vegan one rarely works as well as intended, and it will always taste different than the original. Well-done vegan cooking and baking occurs when the chef/baker has spent a while experimenting with the substitutions in a certain recipe and has found a happy medium of taste, consistency, and vegan ingredients. Baker Bitch had not done this. She had swapped out vegan ingredients and probably ended up with a mixture that was too soupy, and so added corn starch... too much corn starch. Sadly, I imagine that she had brought her own vegan substitute ingredients from home, as the restaurant did not stock items like that.
Like many stories on RHU, this one does not have a happy ending. If the banquet had been a small meeting, say 10 people or so, I could have pulled some of the restaurant's desserts and given those to the banquet staff to serve instead. But this was 100 + people. There was no way that I could have found anything that quickly to feed that many people an alternate dessert on the fly.
So the client complained. And I think (I hope) that the head chef gave an earful to Baker Bitch when she came in next. I imagine that she told him that she wouldn't pull any more crap like that in the future. Unfortunately, that's the end. I can't imagine how many of those people at that banquet advised others to stay away from the baked goods at our hotel: "The food is good, but the desserts are inedible."
May you live a thousand years and never eat Corn Starch Cheesecake,