They can handle the heat. That's why they're in the kitchen! - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

They can handle the heat. That's why they're in the kitchen!

August 10, 2007

Albany - As hot as it is outside, can you imagine getting out of the heat, just to stand over a hot grill or fryer for hours at a time? That's a reality hundreds of food service workers in Albany deal with daily, and they do it all for you.

If you're going out to eat these days, here's a friendly tip: tip well. As you enjoy your meal under the cool breeze of air condition and ceiling fans, the folks behind the counter, aren't quite as lucky. "There's no relief in here," said Mary Thompson.

No relief as the orders come flooding in. "We've got two grills, two stoves and four ovens going all the time," said Joe Devane.  As another cook yelled, "Don't forget the fryers." "And two fryers, right," Devane added.  

And as hot as it is cooking indoors, just imagine cooking outside. "The heat outside's really not so bad once you get to the heat of this grill," said David Bass of White's Barbeque. "400 degrees is a lot hotter than 110."

Even so, Bass says if you can't handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen, inside or out. "If you're not used to the heat, stay out of it as much as possible."

And get relief where you can.  Though back at Pearly's, James Abbott says there's really none to be found. "It's hot hot, real hot." Do the fans help at all? "No, nope."

And even though Mary Thompson is burning up back here, "It's hotter in the kitchen than it is anywhere," she said.  Mary says she's actually benefited from all this heat. "I've lost ten pounds." Because of the heat? "Uh huh."

So what's worse? Cooking in the kitchen or cooking in the sun? One cook said, "It's hotter in here."

Bass said, "Your kitchen is no cooler than outside."  And Devane said he doesn't really want to know, "I'd be scared to put a thermometer back here to see."

But rest assured of this, when you put an order in, they'll get your order out, because these folks can handle the heat.

So what do the workers at Pearly's and White's do to cool off? They take frequent breaks, drinks lots of water, and make excuses to go into the cooler as often as possible.

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