Monday, 11 January 2010

Genesis of a Grumpy Chef (As published in ONE magazine)

Bonsoir mes merveilles d'or scrumptious de sel et au vinaigre!

I don’t quite know where it all own grumpy love of food. Maybe it was the mounds and pounds of brussels sprouts I was forced to peel on Christmas at three years old. Maybe it was my first corporate kitchen experience, dissecting and quartering forty frozen, pre-roasted chickens leaving my entire torso and brand new pristine-white clogs covered in chicken fat, hen skin and soggy giblets. When I returned home after my delightful first day, my Father, who’d never so much as run a vacuum cleaner in seventeen years guarded the front door until I stripped to my boxers in the street and binned my uniform.

I remember now, it was my first ‘real’ kitchen job in a two-rosette restaurant. I was the Commis Extraordinaire, lowliest of the low; the bottom rung of the ladder, Orwell’s plongeur: a young target for every Jolly-Jack-Tar to push, pull, punch, cajole, kick, and once, even try to ram an entire Salmon up my young a— . With this, came the realisation that most, if not all, Chef’s are nasty, sarcastic, drunk, narcissists with a penchant for depravity (see: ‘Salmon’). This was the beginning of my evolutionary process; where it all began. But one incident in particular made me the crabby cuisinier I am today—when ‘The Grumpy Chef’ was born.

First, take a flavoursome Pâté de Foie Gras: finished with a vibrant caramelized red onion chutney and robust slices of airy Brioche toasted to perfection; followed by a salad of peppery Mizuna and fresh cilantro, gently dressed with extra virgin olive oil, cracked black pepper and crunchy rock salt. The result: a plated orgasm, erotically enticing any lucky recipient to dine in sublime ecstasy.

Next, add the f*ing “customer” who sent the dish back. ‘Why?’ you may ask. Why send back a wonderfully crafted plate of delightful flavour and texture that took such a great amount of time and skill to create? Answer: his girlfriend, who’d decided that right then, there, at my table six, would be the perfect time to tell him l’origine de foie gras — that a goose had its bill opened, a tube shoved down inside, and then had been force-fed until its liver was on the near point of exploding just so we could cut it out and enjoy. So what? I worked long and hard on that pate, first time on my own without one of those Chef de Partie numpties screaming in my ear and down my neck, which, I could stand—but a plate return, never!! A dish created lovingly and brought to your table at the zenith of perfection and you send it back? To that ‘person’ I say this ... to this day I hold only contempt for you, and your kin — which only fuels my passion.

Ladies and Gentlemen...The Grumpy Chef is trying to give up those atrocious sticks of pure evil called 'cigarettes'. God help us all...any ideas who is gonna help God though? I don't.

News, news, news. Yours truly has been asked to write for ONE Magazine again! At least I am good for something. Initial draft due in by Friday and publication should be released on the 25th January. If you would like to keep an eye on my ramblings there then please follow the link in the 'Beyond The Hotplate' section. Also, to remind you all I am twittering follow me at the top of this page and for those on Facebook, the Grumpy Chef Groupies Page needs some more members and as always all comments are gladly welcomed.

Until next time my delightful Snozberries...

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