A cook preparing a dish on a stove.
What Does It Mean When A Dish 'Dies On The Pass'?
Working in a kitchen is all about communication and sometimes that happens with kitchen slang. However, no chef wants to hear that a dish is “dying” or has “died on the pass.”
This means a dish has sat out for too long and has lost quality or freshness. It will be set aside, tossed out, or redone, a waste of precious time in a busy kitchen.
“Dead” describes the dish or drink past its prime, and the “pass” is the pivotal area of a kitchen where finishing touches are applied and order tickets are checked.
Servers and food runners have to pick up the ready dishes in the pass and some kitchens even have a person responsible for “running the pass” and monitoring orders.
A server might forget they have an order waiting or get busy tending to other tables, leaving a dish on the pass in danger of dying before they can get it to the customer.
Presentation is key when it comes to the dining experience, and you'd be hard-pressed to find professional chefs who are comfortable serving a subpar meal.