Food Fight

Mark Mendez pens open letter to employee who stiffed him

He's mad and he couldn't take it anymore.

That's how Carnivale executive chef Mark Mendez was feeling when he was allegedly stiffed by a culinary student he employed.

So he published a rant on Facebook, calling out the student publicly.

"The sad thing is you don't even know how hard it really is, or what it truly means to be a line cook," Mendez wrote, according to the 312 Dining Diva.


Mendez hired the student to be a line cook at the popular Brazilian restaurant, but says she suddenly quit after two weeks because she couldn't handle the sacrifices involved with the job. But what made him particularly angry was that the student didn't honor the two weeks notice promised, instead leaving the kitchen short a line cook on a busy night.

"You will miss weddings, birthday parties, graduations, all kinds of things. You will alienate your friends and family because you don't write or call enough. There are no sick days, personal days, breaks, this is not like a 9 to 5 job, get over it."

The 312 Dining Diva reports that a number of local chefs are throwing their support behind Mendez.

Rob Levitt, of Mado, suggested starting a Facebook page "listing the names of all the cooks/interns that have done something like this," a blacklist idea also supported by Mark Steuer of Hot Chocolate, Timothy Cottini of Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! and Cary Taylor of Chaise Lounge.

By Monday afternoon, Mendez seemed to have cooled somewhat, posting a Facebook status update that he was "amazed at the response to a note hastily written in a moment of crippling anger and frustration," and was "humbled by the positive words from chefs and friends."

"I will follow up with a few thoughts, there are things I could have said better or more clearly," Mendez posted.

As for the student, her actual identity was never revealed. But needless to say, it's a food fight she was hardly expecting.

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