I’m a chef at a local eating establishment and I’ve tried to use your phrase “it is what it is” when responding to questions/complaints about what I’ve prepared. For some reason, it doesn’t garner the same passive response that you get when you use it during your press conferences. What gives?
From the Playbook:
It’s all about the follow-up. Say you put some squid innards on a plate and call it “Buddha’s Surprise.” The customer calls you over to the table and says, “What is this?”
You: It is what it is.
Customer: This is inedible.
You: Your opinion is your opinion. My opinion might be different.
Customer: If this is your signature dish, how bad are your regular dishes?
You: I can only talk about the dishes that are here.
Customer: I’ve half a mind to throw this on the floor.
You: That’s not what we’re looking for.
Customer: I demand an apology.
You: The streudel is really my focus right now. Any questions about the streudel?
Customer: That’s it?
You: I regret that I misinterpreted the recipe for Buddha’s Surprise. I’ve acknowledged that and it’s time to move on.
Customer: How bad is that streudel?
You: It’s a little too early to start working on its bust for Canton.
Customer: Might as well bring two spoons.
You: The spoons are on the house.