Everybody wants to be a chef.
Here’s a typical example to illustrate this:
C buys some food, and then starts dumping pepper, Tabasco sauce, soy sauce and whatnot into it.
Apparently, these people didn’t think highly of what they bought, so they wanted to convert the original taste of the food with the overpowering, tongue-stinging chilli.
This kind of contradicts the idea of dining out, especially when you’re talking about paying a premium at restaurants for better-tasting food (in addition to the fact that you don’t feel like preparing your own food).
If I were the chef, witnessing someone dump chilli and condiments onto my piece of work is like a slap in the face, in front of an attentive audience.
Think of this, if I had to put chilli in the food I am about to eat, why would I bother paying a premium for someone else to cook the food for me? Why don’t I just buy some low-quality food and just add the chilli?
There are exceptions, of course! Satay is prepared to be served with satay sauce (the creamy, sweet and tangy sauce with added crunch from the chopped peanuts). That being said, I always tasted my satay sans-sauce first, to see if the meat was fresh, not overcooked, well-caramelised and whether it had that right balance of burnt taste (aka wok-hey in Cantonese) and tenderness. Then I would add on the sauce to see if they complement each other.
But most of the time, I will eat them separately, especially when they are both very good on their own!
I love my food, and I respect my chef. And yes, I will only add chilli to food that I thought were bad, so if you see me add chilli on the food you made, but I still told you it tasted nice, know that I was trying to be polite.
Last but not least, I enjoy the way food is prepared, Chinese, Korean, Italian, German, French style. No added condiments needed!
N.B: I wrote an entry on this topic about 4 years ago, but I used stronger language and was just venting my anger on someone who poured pepper onto my food without seeking my permission (he said the food would taste better with the pepper added, but I found nothing wrong with the food in the first place). That act, of course, was more about respecting personal space and not about disrespecting the art of food preparation, hence I removed it in this re-written version.