The Diaries of Chef Todd Chapters 1-8

Chapter 1: Salutations!

To the denizens of Albuquerque, allow me to introduce myself. I am Master Chef Todd Dürst, and it is with great pleasure that I tell you of my plans.

I will begin with a list of my accolades, so you know I am for real.

I have worked a full week, for free, in some of Europe’s finest restaurant kitchens, observing and absorbing important lessons from chefs and artisans alike. I have used my hands to touch some of the rarest ingredients known to man, and I have stood for long hours by the icy Fjörd, contemplating new and exciting flavors. I have filled my foraging basket with nature’s bounty on three continents, and now I have returned home to share what I have found.

Albuquerque, after being named to Business Insider’s list of “Top Foodie Towns of the Future,” seemed like the perfect venue for my innovative restaurant concept to incubate and come to life. I will use my skills as a Master Chef to prepare simple, familiar comfort food, and will guarantee that every dish will be the best example of that food you have ever tasted. Literally 100% of my menu will carry my personal guarantee that it will be the best, with the exception of my Tagliatelle Bolognese, which has consistently been referred to as “Best best of the best” by anyone who has ever attended one of my invite only pop-up feasts, held at my apartment. I chose these kinds of food because, after tasting numerous versions, most people have a reference point from which to declare that my version is the best they have ever had.

After three long, hard years working in kitchens, including culinary school and a year abroad working for free, I know that I am finally ready to see my dream come to life. Using my culinary skills, combined with a bit of know-how from a Javascript class I took in High School, I have devised a style of cooking that I call “Flavor Programming.” This allows me to invoke the power of science and math to ensure that every dish that I engineer will consistently be the very, very best.

When crafting the name for my restaurant, I consulted with the area’s top wordsmiths in an effort to seek out one, simple, powerful word that would sum up my dream in its entirety. The reasons for my choice of “Bestiality” are threefold, as it embodies my desire to be the very “Best” while both inspiring my inner “Beast” and honoring the many animals that will give their lives for this important culinary endeavor.

If you access the restaurant’s website, you will find my manifesto. You will also find a link to the Kickstarter campaign that I have launched, in an effort to raise the $302,434.33 USD necessary to cover opening costs. Please take the time to watch my video, as it will explain exactly where this money goes. It also features a terrific slideshow from my European adventure, including pictures of the great chefs that I can now call friends.

Lastly, the site includes a link to the Guild of Master Chefs, of which I am the creator and sole member as of now. If you are interested in learning more about the rigorous field test to become a member, the information is available here.

I look forward to becoming an indispensable element of your community, Albuquerque. Let’s take this journey together.

I will leave you with a quote, as always.


Chef Todd

 “Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness”

– Escoffier

Chapter 2: How can YOU make Bestiality a Reality?

 Though I have zero regrets, I will admit that the biggest drawback of working for free is that by the end, the “coffers” have pretty much run dry. A state of financial ruin is by no means a platform from which to launch the world’s best restaurant, so that is why I need your help.

Though $302,434.33 USD may seem like a lot to the non-restaurateur, you can rest assured that this is actually very middle of the road, in the scheme of things. The best cookery is done with the very best equipment, and that costs money. You may think that supporting local farms, rather than going with soulless Ca-Ca like Sysco and U.S. Foods, is cost effective but in the end, though you get what you pay for, it is not. My printing of my business cards alone will probably occupy at least 5% of the total budget, but like I always say “You’ve got to spend money to make money.” Lastly, during the opening process, I would prefer to have my thoughts unfettered by financial concerns such as paying rent, car payments, groceries, new laptops for the business, and dining out to research my competition. The more I can focus, the more I can get the flavor program right.

This being said, I would like to go over the different tiers of sponsorship and what you will get in return for being a part of them. Remember I am using IndieGoGo now, because I found out that in order to receive funding through Kickstarter you actually have to reach your goal, and I simply cannot have my livelihood at risk in that manner.

Here we go, and bear in mind that with each tier you also receive the bonuses imparted by those prior on the scale:

Contributors of $99 and Under will receive one of my handsome business cards in the mail, which will have the restaurant’s address and phone number proudly displayed on both the front and back. You can use this to make reservations from anywhere in the world.

Contributors of $100 will receive a hand-blown mason jar of Chef Todd’s Simply the Best Flavor Rub™. As stated in my manifesto, simply applying this to damn near anything will instantly reprogram the flavor and elevate it to the status of “best best homemade.”

Contributors of $300 will receive a graphing calculator, with which you can attempt Flavor Programming in the comforts of your very own home.

Contributors of $500 will receive my beautifully illustrated instructional guide to mastering Flavor Programming, for use with the graphing calculator from the previous tier. It is worth noting that my work in this guide has been nominated for the coveted Caldecott Medal.

Contributors of $1000 will receive a leather-bound copy of my cookbook “The Best Within,” available from Penguin Books as soon as I write it. My goal with the book is to create something that would be more useful in the living room as a conversation piece, rather than being stained with food and cooking liquids in the kitchen.

Contributors of $5000 will receive an invitation to the next Bestiality Underground Pop-Up Dinner at my apartment, the date for which is TBD. These events usually combine elements of the classic American Pot Luck with the prohibition-era policy of BYOB.

Contributors of $25,000 will receive the unique opportunity to have Chef Todd program their favorite food ever and include it on his menu. Imagine something you have been enjoying your whole life, and now you can have the very best ever, whenever you want? These are truly wonderful times we live in, people.

Contributions of $100,000 would be fucking awesome.

Contribtutors of $302,434.33 will be declared the “Patron Saint of Bestiality” on a stunning, hand-etched gold plaque that will be proudly displayed next to my menu by the entrance of the restaurant.

I want Bestiality to be an important part of your community, and for us to open it as a community. Please visit my IndieGoGo page and crowd-fund it generously, the quicker I reach my goal the quicker you will be feasting on the best food you have ever tasted.

Per usual, I will leave you with a quote,

Chef Todd

“I like very much Louis Vuitton, my wife loves it too”

 – Chef Eric Ripert

Chapter 3: Success is “Measured” by One Thing Only…

 To any would-be restaurateurs out there, I will offer one solitary piece of advice (free of charge, anyway).

Before you even think about selecting a space in which to house your innovative restaurant, it is absolutely imperative that you conduct at least seven menu development meetings. This is because without a clearly plotted chart of all of the fare you will serve, it will be next to impossible to persuade any contractors or real estate agents to believe in your vision.

The first meeting is informal, with my newly hired general manager and myself focusing one thing: What kind of paper do we use for menus and cardstock for business cards? I have always been partial to the opulence of real gold on paper, and though “Bestialtiy” suggests something more wild and primal, I want my customers to have the best. For most patrons, there is nothing better than gold, which I know because of the phrase “__________ is like gold around here,” which suggests that it is sought after like I want my food to be.

Fonts, well, that’s a whole different monster. Finding the right fontographer to do a proper custom job can take awhile, especially if you are looking to have each menu character hand-painted. I believe there to be a multitude of studies and tests that have been conducted in an effort to pinpoint which kinds of shapes are most pleasing to the human eye, and this is why I held the font meeting at the public library.

Most seasoned veterans will tell you that your business card is the “Silent Salesperson,” and though I agree I’m not completely averse to mine being a few octaves louder. I have always been a fan of the texture of papyrus, but want to make sure that the structure of the card is firmly reinforced with some kind of metal, with a heft similar to the American Express Black Card.

The logo was my design, as I wanted something simple that could not be mistaken for anything but the best. This is why I chose the gold star – no words, just a wonderful, shiny gold star. Uncomplicated right? At the heart of every human beings wants and needs is that desire for a gold star on their work.

Whenever I am deep into menu crafting, my first priority is to think about how these dishes will react when the restaurant inevitably gets super busy, a term which we chefs like to call “being in the weeds.” I always found this term to be rather silly, so in my kitchen I insist on using the term “smelling the flowers” instead.

As I mentioned before, I will focus on an array of comfort foods from around the world, but I simply cannot resist including a small “bar menu,” which will focus on all of the wonderful things you can cook with different species of lichen. The BM will also feature my famous Nordic Caviar Lollipops, which are especially delightful with one of the tasting flights put together by our resident water somm. I will need extensive training manuals for my cooks, with each flavor program laid out in detail.

I’m wracking my brain trying to figure out fire times, and wondering what kind of POS system I will use. I think that most real estate brokers are going to take you more seriously once they find out you’re going with Aloha, but I just wonder if that initial expense is worth it? Well, I am trying to be the best here, so money really can’t be an object.

After our second meeting, I send the GM away with a bit of homework, instructing her to read every Danny Meyer novel she can find at the library, and watching every TedXTalk regarding the lost art of chivalry in restaurants at least 14 times apiece, as to establish a habit. In the beginning this is how I ride my people – you know I can definitely have fun and maybe even drink a beer or two after the meeting is over, but I need them to know that at the end of the day, Chef Todd is the boss.

Spending so much time not getting paid made me realize that I have paid my dues, and that’s why I treated myself to being the founding member of the Guild of Master Chefs. I wanted a place that like-minded professionals could gather and bounce ideas around the room, away from the prying eyes of less talented cooks.

I will leave you with a quote,

Chef Todd

“The excellence reflex is rooted in instinct and upbringing, and then constantly honed through awareness, caring, and patience.”

 – Danny Meyer, Setting The Table

Chapter 4: I Found a Space!

Today is an extraordinary day, and for that I feel grateful.

Earlier, while on foot at a brisk pace down Nob Hill, adrift in my thoughts per usual, I inadvertently plowed into a hefty sandwich board, taking both it and myself to the ground in a heap. The disruption was so spectacular that almost half of the diners from the sidewalk in front of the café rose from their seats to ensure that I was not hurt. Typically, I would be overwhelmed with embarrassment at such a thing, but for some reason I found myself with a tremendous desire to stay for lunch at the café.

After apologizing to the owners, whom I believe to be of Polish descent, I am seated inside and begin perusing the menu. I opted for a simple ploughman’s lunch of meat, cheese, and onion, and when informed that this was not actually on the menu I begrudgingly agreed and ordered a chicken Caesar salad.

While awaiting my food I surveyed the dining room, and the gears started turning. I could envision my restaurant living in this hallowed space, and I excitedly imagined bistro-vested servers darting about, entering orders into the glorious Aloha POS screens, located both at the service bar and near the host stand. I saw myself, adorned in my monogrammed Hedley & Bennett apron, hard at work in the open kitchen, engaging in a precise and beautiful dance with my cooks, no one saying a word but reacting to each other in perfect harmony. In the window, I saw a simple gold star.When my salad arrived, the server asks me what is wrong. I am unaware that tears have been streaming down my cheeks. I inform him that I am completely overwhelmed with the beauty of it all, and ask him to leave me be. The dressing on my salad had too much garlic, and the croutons were clearly made from inferior bread, but these things did not bother me today. No, I had more important things on my mind, starting with my plan to wrest control of this dining room as the foundation for Bestiality.

The next day, I returned to the café with my GM, to run a few ideas by her and also to get important measurements. I need to know that I can walk around 89% of the restaurant while wearing a classical toque and not hit the ceiling, as I subscribe to the belief that if your toque hits the ground, you must burn it. While trying to explain my actions to the server, the language barrier gets in the way, and I realize that measuring the ceilings would have to wait for the time being. I contemplate politely explaining to this person that I may be his boss someday, but think twice about giving myself away this early in the game.

I think that the best course of action is to schedule a meeting with the owners of the café, where I will offer them a lifetime supply of Bestiality Gift Certificates in exchange for the space. If need be, I will invite them to one of my pop-ups, so they can see that I truly deserve to have their restaurant. In the unlikely event that this does not work, I will make an offer, more as a sign of good faith than anything else.

I am far too excited to sleep, so I will stay up reading Larousse Gastronomique until my eyes can stay open no longer,

I will leave you with a quote,


Chef Todd

“All great deeds and great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant’s revolving door.”

– Albert Camus

Chapter 5: The Importance of Feeling Important

Salutations friends!

I am happy to inform you that we are going full speed ahead trying to get Bestiality ready for the grand opening. Unfortunately, after an unsuccessful negotiation with the Polish couple who basically, in so many words, told me to go fuck myself, I am still searching for the perfect space for the restaurant.

The Polish couple has been officially placed on my “no-fly” list at Bestiality, and as soon as I acquire the means I plan on savagely harming both them and their loved ones using both fire and poison gas. I simply do not understand how anyone could be so delusional and turn down an opportunity to help me craft the greatest food that the world has ever tasted! On my way out of our “meeting,” I grabbed an entire stack of Café Babushika to-go menus and flung them everywhere into the street, and as I watched the wind whip them up into a turbulent spiral I vowed to write so many fake Yelp! reviews that it would take their rating down a full two stars. Then, so they never forget the name Chef Todd, I will begin the process of attempting to get them deported to whatever icy prison they came from.

Alas, these things are at least four items down on my to-do list today. First off is a meeting with my GM to discuss the blueprints for our exclusive, members only VIP dining program at Bestiality.

The “One with the Best Club” will entitle members, for the paltry sum of $14,213.21 USD, to some very special perks when dining at the restaurant. These privileges (not rights) are as follows, and please remember that I am limiting membership to those who pay for it so reserve your spot sooner than later for fear of missing out on something very, very, very special.

Membership gets you:

Privilege #1

Members gain access to our temperature-controlled, color-coded Solitary Cocoon Chambers (SCC), where they will dine exclusively and alone. Food and drink are administered through a small, hand-blown glass door to avoid unwanted contact with the general dining population.

Privilege #2

Members will be awarded one monogramed pair of velveteen Crocs, as well as a hand-hammered Nordic party helmet, to be worn at all times in the SCC. We reserve the right to terminate membership with no refund if this dress code policy is violated at any time.

Privelege #3

Members will receive special bottle service where they will be provided the opportunity to mix their own cocktails from a variety of hand-squeezed juices and artisan soda, as well as a multitude of local roots and lichen for garnish. We reserve the right to terminate membership with no refund at any time if you spill on the fucking carpet.

Privelege #4

Chef Todd will personally visit each SCC to make certain that each member considers his cookery to be the very best best of the best. We reserve the right to terminate membership with no refund if this is not the case.

Privelege #5

Chef Todd will personally initiate a one-on-one friendship with all members. We reserve the right to terminate membership with no refund if Chef Todd feels that you are not properly reciprocating in this gracious partnership.

Privelege #6

Because we want our members to emerge from their cocoons feeling like beautiful local butterflies, Chef Todd has begun crafting artisanal peppermint suppositories that are guaranteed to put a glide in your stride and a dip in your hip. We reserve the right to terminate membership with no refund if we deem your mood to be less than stellar upon emerging from the SCC.

As I said, I can only accommodate those who pay membership dues, so please do not hesitate to reach out with a personal check, or cash (please no Italian Lira). I am confident that you really DO NOT wish to miss out on this exclusive dining opportunity, because you are important to me and you are important in general

As always, I will leave you with a quote,


Chef Todd

“My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four unless there are three other people.”

– Orson Welles


Chapter 6: I am funded, now it is time for Chef Todd to get back to the root of things. 

Thanks to the anticipated contributions by both the Albuquerque restaurant community as well as my parents, I am proud to say that Bestiality is almost funded and is now essentially a reality. As I strong disciple of Calvinism, I always knew this day would be upon me.

To observe my triumph, I cobble together the modest yet impeccable meal of the master chef after he has done a great thing. In the quiet of my parent’s kitchen at 10PM, the only sound to be heard is the rushing of filtered water as I cleanse the impurities from 1 cup of vintage Jasmine rice from the Sisaket region of Thailand. After steaming, I place the rice into a Chinese porcelain rice bowl and, utilizing the glass chopsticks from Kyoto that I found during my travels through the archives of eBay, I enjoy grain by grain while I sit in seiza. When my flawless repast has concluded, it is well past 4AM, and I am eager to retire to bed and read a few chapters from Sun Tzu’s Art of War before dozing off for a few hours. Tomorrow is exceptionally important.

Bestiality is not a restaurant, it is a culinary crusade that has been thousands of years in the making (basically the first crusade since the other one, featured in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, which is, I must say, a criminally underrated film featuring quite possibly the most important love song of the 20th century – by none other than Sir Bryan Adams himself).

With doubloons in my coffers, it is only a matter of time before someone shows up at my doorstep with the perfect space for the restaurant. While I await this visit, there is something important I must do.

Throughout my unpaid career, I have always held steadfast to the principal that the very best food practices are the old ones. Your first reaction upon hearing this would of course be, “Chef Todd, what about the flavor programs? The graphing calculators? The prestigious Caldecott awards? Are these not the product of the endless potential of the human mind in regards to technological advancement?”

My knee jerk reaction to these kinds of comments is to lash out, to denounce the pedestrian, small-thinking diner for putting me on such a pedestal and failing to recognize that I am just a man like everyone else. But then, after several minutes of Taoist Longevity breathing, I am able to collect myself and calmly explain that none of my contributions to the culinary universe would have ever been possible without the work of those who came before me.

With this in mind I have decided that I must dip into my IndieGoGo funds in an effort to purchase a working farm and transform it into a gift to Albuquerque in the form of a non-working monument to the Navajo people that once cooked on this good land.

My goal is for those who journey to Dürst Farms, once they have made their $40 strongly required suggested donation ($39 for those under 6 or over 90 years of age), to feel like they have stepped back in time to 1845, prior to the infamous Long Walk.

It is here they can watch me craft an entirely new, yet so very old, ethos when it comes to the treatment of my animals.

On the farm, we strictly adhere to the following olden practices:

Do NOT clap at sheep because things will happen to them and you will have a small herd.

Do NOT say, “I wish I had some meat” when you have the hiccups or your livestock won’t grow.

Do NOT leave deer blood where sheep can walk on it or all the wool will fall out.

Do NOT cut a horse’s tail because it will fall of a cliff.

Do NOT watch a horse or other animals give birth or you will go blind.

Do NOT burn livestock manure because you are burning the animals too.

Do NOT twist goats’ tails because they might come off. You will have bad luck.

Do NOT throw things at the sheep or they will disappear.

Do NOT ride on a sheep’s back or as punishment you will be hurt.

Do NOT put food in a bird’s mouth or you will get a sore throat.*

Once they have had their fill of the no-petting-please-and-thank-you-in-advance zoo, visitors will be corralled towards my newly- built Hogan, where I will be cooking maize (pronounced MAY-ZZ and means “corn”) in an ancient cauldron. Visitors will be allowed two kernels apiece, and it is worth noting that this preparation falls under the trademark of Chef Todd’s Best You Will Ever Taste™ series of Bestiality menu entries.

This is how I give back. You are very, very welcome.

Per usual, I leave you with a quote:

“They say never trust a skinny chef, but the fact is, to stay healthy when you’re a chef means you have to work twice as hard”

 – Marcus Samuelsson


* new ethos taken from


Chapter 7: The Reviews are IN!!

As you all know, Bestiality is going to be a very special restaurant, the likes of which you have never seen. I will admit that, after all of my very hard work so far, it is heartening to see the reviews start piling in from all angles as I am on the verge on finding a space for the restaurant.

I thought I would share a few of my favorites, feel free to enjoy:


Chef Todd Dürst brings to Albuquerque a new hope, playing on the simplicity of the human condition in that all we want is simply the best. His promise to seamlessly fuse classic Italian American cuisine with ancient Navajo dishes, garnished with a fluttering of high-born French, makes Bestiality an absolute must, if you’re lucky enough to get a reservation! ★★★★★

– Jim Duggan, The Albuquerque Sunday Telegram


“Recognized on Eater National as one of the Most Anticipated Openingsof autumn, winter, spring, and summer 2017. Also Recognized by Eater: New Mexico as one of Albuquerque’s Most RecognizableEateries of 2017.”


The idea of the gold star, according to Dürst, is not only about always being the best and serving the very best food we have ever tasted, but also about the color he always perceived the stars in the sky to be when we was growing up on a farm. Farm life didn’t suit Chef Todd, and before he knew it he was off to Denmark to formulate his celebrated method of Flavor Programming on the icy fjord. History, as they say it, was about to be made.

 Joe Josepherson, Modern Albuquerque Online


Not since I was set adrift on memory’s bliss, in a hell of a K-hole, have I ever experienced a concept so mind-bending. It’s not unlike when I was a child and they told me that some people were packaging fruit and cake for the masses. Those “people” went on to be Fig Newtons.

– Ricky Duff, The Phoenix Phoenix


Splendiferous logjammery to the nth degree, Chef Todd Dürst is sure to be touted amongst the ranks of his James Beard Award winning brethren within seven short minutes of opening the doors to Bestiality. A truly magnificent meal awaits, I am absolutely, one hundred percent sure of it.

– Tommy Turquoise, The Turquoise Tureen


I had a conversation with Chef Dürst about his “Flavor Programming” before anyone else in town. Remember, I told you about it first. Me. It was me, I’m the one who said that FP (As we now refer to it around the office) is the future of the way that human beings consume food. Of course, I wouldn’t dream of being caught dead dining anywhere but in my personal SCC (Solitary Cocoon Chambers), which are available to very important people for a price.

– Shauna Lemiuex, The Magazine of Modern New Mexico


I’m already envisioning myself one (too many) perfect Bestialitinis deep at the bar, on a regular basis. I’m a regular there, I will know the chef, and I will go there enough that they will call me (a)(ir) regular. Also, I like to drink! Did you hear that? I DRINK A LOT!

– Ryan “Snoopy” Kurtz,


The cocktail program’s use of lichen is certainly revolutionary, especially alongside the menagerie of bitters made from dead things. Chef Todd’s inventive way of vigorously shaking the drinks while not disturbing their soul, The Dürst Shake, feels like gilding the lily at this point. Albuquerque is very fortunate to have cutting edge drinksmithery of this caliber on it’s roster.

Aleister Lycra,


I remember Chef Todd Dürst. His restaurant will be very special.

– Top Chef, USA


There you have it, it’s wonderful to see the positive feedback in regards to the way I will be shaping lives.

As always, I will leave you with a quote:


“Before nouvelle cuisine, no chef had the right to create their own dishes. You had to copy Escoffier.”

 – Chef Michel Richard


Chapter 8: A Chef is only as good as his ink

Most of you know that, as a chef, I am very busy most of the time. My intricate flavor programs require my utmost attention, as even the most seemingly insignificant miscalculation can lead to the complete and utter failure of a dish to be the best you have ever tasted. If you think special agents who disarm explosives have it rough, trust me – they wouldn’t last 10 seconds in Chef Todd’s kitchen without completely self-destructing from the intense pressure.

So naturally, when I’m actually able to get away for 8-9 hours and check (and frequently post to) my Instagram and Facebook accounts, plus my three hidden email addresses that I use for fake Yelp! reviews, I’m pretty goddamn beholden to give myself a much-deserved break.

During these small breaks, I have been noticing an alarming trend of chefs posting and showing off their tattoos as if they were some kind of badge of honor. A Wüsthoff knife here, a diagram of a pig there, maybe some bullshit about sriracha – all of this crap is so mundane to a real chef like myself. Sometimes I find myself tied up for hours on end, reporting photos that I feel represent of misuse of and disrespect to the #cheflife hashtag. Don’t even let me catch you messing around with #inkedchefsofinstagram, or I will personally fake review your Yelp! account until it is on it’s knees, begging to hold on to that one last star. I won’t let you.

I’ve interviewed a few of these fucking bozos, and I am validated each and every time when they can’t hack me using our meeting as an opportunity to give them the gift of an explanation as to why their tattoos suck and the ones that I am going to get are going to be the best.

Typical of a spoiled millennial who can’t stand the heat, so to say… Good riddance, and don’t even THINK of mentioning me as a reference you miserable piece of shit. I hate you. I hate you SO HARD.

I’ve received multiple emails from top industry professionals asking me about my plans to ink myself up, and for the first time ever I feel the need to share them with laypeople such as yourself.

I plan on starting the first piece immediately after service on Bestiality’s opening night. After going on social media to tell everyone how perfect my restaurant is, I will get a ride to The Studded Bolo tattoo shop to begin. I will pack a flask filled with my favorite natural wine, which is from a producer you would have never heard of but makes the most wonderful, volatile, and sometimes unidentifiable juice to come out of an Amphora since Bing Crosby tap danced with Marcus fucking Antonius.

Of course, just because this is my first tattoo doesn’t mean I’m inexperienced when it comes to getting tattooed. I’ve got four burns at different points over my entire body, ranging from one on my palm from grabbing a hot pizza stone straight from the oven, and one on my lip from being impatient with a piping hot Freschetta pizza (which are like napalm, if you’ve ever had the pleasure) straight from that stone – so I am NO STRANGER to pain.

For my first tattoo I will transform my entire left leg into a working plunge butter churn, and will instruct the artist to make my skin appear as if it were made of wood from the 1800’s.

Why? This brings me to a very important point.

Classic butter-churning songs from various cultures are starting to disappear, because the machines have taken over the process and have no need to sing to pass the time during the intensive labor. This is a shame, and I do what I can to help – all cooks in my kitchen are required to learn at least one butter churning song from four different cultures – Gaelic, Punjab, Tibetan, and classic American South – to be sung nightly, in unison, throughout service. I was unable to find a voice coach who specialized in this form of vocalization; the closest thing was some rude asshole who wanted to teach me a bunch of sea shanties until I chased him out of my parent’s house with my custom ashwood handled chef scimitar. The nerve of some people, I swear to god.

In addition to my important work with these songs in my kitchen, I have also decided to accessorize my butter churn tattoo with the lyrics to “Risseldy, Rosseldy,” penned by an unknown churnsmith, in script on the small of my back – they are as follows:

“I married my wife

In the month of June,

Risseldy, rosseldy,

Mow, mow, mow,

I carried her off

In a silver spoon,

Risseldy, Rosseldy,

Hey bambassity,

Nickety, nackety,

Retrical quality,

Willowby, wallowby,

Mow, mow, mow.


She combed her hair

But once a year,

Risseldy, rosseldy,

Mow, mow, mow,

With every rake

She shed a tear,

Risseldy, Rosseldy,

Hey bambassity,

Nickety, nackety,

Retrical quality,

Willowby, wallowby,

Mow, mow, mow.


She swept the floor

But once a year,

Risseldy, rosseldy,

Mow, mow, mow,

She swore her broom

Was much to dear,

Risseldy, Rosseldy,

Hey bambassity,

Nickety, nackety,

Retrical quality,

Willowby, wallowby,

Mow, mow, mow.


She churned her butter

In Dad’s old boot,

Risseldy, rosseldy,

Mow, mow, mow,

And for a dasher

Used her foot,

Risseldy, Rosseldy,

Hey bambassity,

Nickety, nackety,

Retrical quality,

Willowby, wallowby,

Mow, mow, mow.


The butter came out

A grizzly gray,

Risseldy, rosseldy,

Mow, mow, mow,

The cheese took legs

And ran away,

Risseldy, Rosseldy,

Hey bambassity,

Nickety, nackety,

Retrical quality,

Willowby, wallowby,

Mow, mow, mow.”

What most chefs don’t realize is the struggle of those who came before them when it comes to artisan butter, and as they happily chuck in knob after knob in an effort to boost their anemic, limp-dick sauces they bring shame to both the neckerchief and toque of a true chef.

This is something to remember the next time you see some asshole with a diagram of a cow’s primal cuts tattooed on his forearm – this animal is responsible for far nobler work, and that work is butter. I think I will let the quality of my food speak for itself on this one.

Per usual, I leave you with a quote:

“Unbuttered toast is a substance half complete, and to be forced to eat it in that state is necessarily to feel deprived.”

 – John Thorne, from ‘Pot on the Fire’


Read On to Chapter 9 Here!