Two days ago, I adopted a cat that we lured out of the ceiling at work. They were doing construction behind my office, and they had ripped off a wheelchair accessible ramp to do some work and then they bricked that area up. He had become trapped a week ago, and we got a critter service to get him out of the ceiling. Now he is happy and living at my house. He is very affectionate and I think he has been owned before; as we have had no issues with the litter box (he knew exactly what it was) and he rarely sharpens his claws on things he isn't meant to.
But the large problem I am tackling right now is food and counter surfing. Whenever he smells food he goes nuts. Completely nuts. Anything with chicken, or fish he goes straight for and sticks his head into it. Last night he also tried to eat my tapioca pudding. He also had a brief encounter with a hot stove (electric, flush surface) but there wasn't any damage to his pads so I think he jumped up next to it and it scared him.
I want him to know that our food is off limits to him, and so is anything that isn't in his food dish as well as the kitchen counters and kitchen table. I give him free reign of my desk, window sills, bed and couch, but whenever he thinks we are not paying him enough attention at a counter, he hops up onto it.
My current method is to simply say "down" and either knock him off (gently) or normally i just put him back onto the ground. After a few times of that he gets to stay in the bathroom until I finish cooking.
Is there anything else I should be doing or not doing?