Mindset of a Bad Cook (Alive Juice Bar Owner’s Manual)

Mindset matters. Its what feeds the bad habits others have written about it.

Bad cooks:

* assume everyone likes what they like.
* take it personally when someone doesn’t like what they like
* feel happy when complimented on their cooking
* take it personally when someone doesn’t like what they make
* don’t consider context
* don’t think about what the eater is experiencing
* have high self-esteem

The above explained.

Bad cooks assume everyone likes what they like.
Because they’re narcissists. It’s never occurred to them that other people are not just_like_them, that other people may not want to be treated the way they want to be treated. So they don’t make an effort to get to know other people as individuals with their own palates and preferences. Watching them cook is like watching a guy stick his dick up some woman’s ass without ever asking her if she’d like that because he assumes every woman likes anal.

Not everyone likes cheesecake.  Not everyone likes kimchi.  Not everyone likes bacon.  Some people like broccoli.  Some people like raw oysters. Some people like it up the ass.  Some people don’t like it up the ass.  Bad cooks are like shitty lovers, they’re not observant and curious enough — they rarely ask questions — to ever pay attention to their partner’s unique preferences.


Just because he likes it up the ass doesn’t mean everyone does, ok?

There are only two drinks on my menu that I enjoy and drink daily: the Attitude Cleanse and The Nasty Shit, both of which 99% of people won’t like. The drinks I don’t drink, they’re for customers who have different palate preferences from mine. If I only serve what I like, my business would fail. So know your audience and then figure out how far you’d go to satisfy them. You don’t have to take it up the ass if you don’t want to.  (I’ve seen juice bars resort to selling alcohol and ice cream to satisfy customers). And don’t try to satisfy everyone.  If you do, it means you have no integrity.  Stand for something.

This is a stupid life rule. Narcissists live by this rule because they think that what they want is what everyone else wants or should want.


Bad cooks take it personally when someone doesn’t like what they like. 
“How can you NOT like __________!!!!?????” asks the bad cook. And then he goes on and on and on about how much and why he likes it until he’s made it clear to everyone that he’s superior to anyone who doesn’t like what he likes.

Snobbery doesn’t work if the goal is to get someone to like something they don’t like.  Snobbery is about inflating the ego at another person’s expense.

Bad cooks feel happy when complimented on their cooking
Which isn’t the same as feeling happy when someone is enjoying food. Bad cooks waste their emotions on stupid shit like praise and cook to feed their ego instead of their customers. Put simply, bad cooks are addicted to compliments. Which means they lack integrity, they’ll do whatever it takes to get as many compliments as their addiction needs. If there’s no purpose to the food other than to win compliments, then sell candy instead of kale because a lot more people want the former than the latter.

And in any case, happiness (or is this contentment?) shouldn’t be contingent on external events because you can’t control what happens around you and trying to do so is usually futile.  True happiness comes from within, from that faith in oneself to handle any situation with aplomb. Bad cooks are who they are because they’re an emotional mess, they lose it when an oven stops working or Gordon Ramsey calls them a “dickface” or a car crashes into their kitchen (which happened to our neighbor, who handled it with humor and nonchalance).

Bad cooks take it personally when someone doesn’t like what they make
Bad cooks attach their ego to every dish they make. They think working this way makes them “passionate” when in fact it makes them too emotionally needy to ever take risks that make cooking fun in itself. That’s why bad cooks stick with popular recipes for popular dishes because it’s too risky to invent a dish someone may not like.

Bad cooks don’t consider context
Bad cooks are so focused on what they want that they’re unable to work with what’s available and to cook from multiple perspectives. This limits their repertoire and ability to improvise when something isn’t available.  It would never occur to a bad cook. for instance, to cook a meal on the engine of a running car (roadtrip cuisine!); to use a lemon instead of a lime to cut cost; to substitute this for that when that isn’t available; to work with the seasons.

Bad cooks don’t think about what the eater is experiencing as they eat
Inexperienced employees often ask what size this apple or that cucumber should be.  Never tell or show them the answer.  Ask them instead what size the customer wants it to be.  What does a woman want to look like while she’s eating a salad in public?  Does she want to open her mouth as if a porn star getting ready to swallow some Zulu sized dick or does she want to look dainty?  Would customers prefer their bento meals to look half full or almost too full when they open it? How should a salad be arranged to maximize its appeal to customers? How many colors and what type of shapes and textures should be on a plate?

Bad cooks have high self-esteem
They think so highly of themselves that they can’t imagine themselves making silly mistakes, like forgetting to put ice in a smoothie.  So they never implement checks — eg. feeling temperature of cup after pouring smoothie in it — into their workflow processes, if they even have one.

This hot dog also tastes like shit.

So What Makes a Good Cook?
Good cooks are primarily focused on what their customers want, not what they themselves want.  And then they work to strike a compromise between what the customer wants and what they themselves want and are willing to make.  What else?  Good cooks — their mindset –:

  • keep their egos out of their work
  • know that they’ll make mistakes
  • assume everyone  has unique preferences

Good cooks keep their egos out of their work
This makes them more objective when assessing their work.  This also allows them to not be hurt if someone doesn’t like what they make.  Which in turn frees them to experiment any way they want because they don’t care about rejection.

Good cooks know that they’ll make mistakes.
That’s why they check their work and invite colleagues and customers to check their work.

Good cooks assume everyone has unique preferences
This encourages them to ask customer questions about their preferences and priorities before telling them what they should get. Good cooks respect each person’s individuality.


General guidelines on how to run Alive Juice Bar and more cooking tips coming soon.






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