Saturday, January 21, 2012

Paean to a Pen

This week I was going through some of the thousands of photos that I've taken over the years and suddenly it struck me that there was a Sharpie in many of the photos. That got me to thinking about how this unsung and unglamorous pen is a staple of every restaurant kitchen and that Sharpies rank right up there with knives in terms of importance to chefs. In fact, I've never seen a chef's knife kit that didn't contain a couple of Sharpies. And we have them all over the kitchen.

I use them to label anything and everything. They write prep lists and cross items off prep lists. I use them to manage my ticket rail, crossing off the courses as they are fired and as they go out. I kind of freak out if I get into dinner service and there's not one in my jacket pocket. They are hanging by string in convenient locations in the kitchen—so they don't grow legs—especially near the freezer.

In case you think I'm alone, check this out.

We use them to label all kinds of stuff from our pantry staples

to the sauces and garnishes we use on the line.

They hang around all over.

And my jacket never wants for one or three.

They even go where I go (and claim what I own).

David Lebovitz, eat your heart out!


  1. Ed, is that a microwave I see sneaking in to picture #3 ???

  2. Why indeed, you know it is. One of two. Most awesome implement ever invented for melting chocolate!

  3. Chef,

    I agree- Sharpees rock! The only way to label bags of fresh produce and herbs without smudging. Phil and I hide them from each other throughout the year, and then give them as stocking stuffers.

  4. Oh yes I love my sharrpies too - I can write directly on all kinds of containers directly (including Mason jars). A little bit of rubbing alcohol erases the marking when no longer needed.