To read Chef Todd’s previous diary entries go here.
Chapter 9: So you think you’ve got what it takes to work at Bestiality?
Recently it was brought to Chef Todd’s attention that a restaurant in Bloomington, IN had come under fire for clarifying what was expected of their cooks in a craigslist ad.
Because I will be zeroing in on a space any day now, I consulted Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and came to the conclusion that I should investigate the hiring practices of inferior restaurants.
When I actually saw the ad, needless to say I was appalled at what many considered to be Draconian rules and regulations. They reminded me more of the average code of conduct applying to the break room only after one is hired to be a greeter at Wal-Mart.
I immediately took to laptop and posted an ad of my own – an ad that I crafted to pay homage to the old way, the right way, of doing things while making them even more perfect by applying my opinions and flavor programs.
Think you’ve got what it takes to work at Bestiality, you Bozo?
Line Cook (Albuquerque)
To be a line cook at Bestiality you…
- Are in charge of knowing what your schedule is without actually seeing it posted. If you cannot think on your feet, don’t even bother (bozo)
- Must learn at least 4 butter-churning songs, one from each of the following cultures: Gaelic, Punjab, Tibetan, and American South. You will perform these for me, 5 times each, on a nightly basis. If Chef Todd senses that your enthusiasm may be waning for this team-building/thanks-giving exercise, you will be sentenced to an entire day on the butter churn in our barn, where you will inevitably get a feel for where the butter-churning songs came from.
- Are capable of admitting that everything, EVERYTHING, you have ever learned in the past is 1000% the wrong way/answer/thing. You belong to Chef Todd now, and any kind of freethinking falls under the category of “not encouraged.”
- Before you even think of sticking your chubby little paws into one of my bronze salt amphorae, you had better know the flavor program. Knowing the flavor program is about more than just knowing the flavor program, it’s about being able to live inside of it for a while, get a feel for why Chef Todd created it. Think about direction. Wonder why we have it.
- Understand that every taste I see you take while cooking will be deducted monetarily from your paycheck. We encourage you to taste all of your food before it goes out, because, if YOU don’t know what tastes good how can you expect Chef Todd to be able to get a good night’s sleep.
- Are completely aware that any form of complaints is considered high treason against Chef Todd, and is punishable by butter-churn duty for 4 consecutive days with no sleep allowed (If you Chef Todd catches you nodding off, he will start removing your hand with his mandolin, strip by strip). Chef Todd has NO Control over the fact that you simply cannot control yourself, especially that big, pig mouth of yours, and you must be disciplined accordingly for your parent’s mistake of bringing you into this world.
- Will respect the following co-workers: Chef Todd, Chef Todd, Chef Todd, and Chef Todd. You will not have time to respect any of the following staff because you will be too busy respecting Chef Todd: Other cooks, servers, bartenders, hosts, polishers, night porters, musical guests in the kitchen to accompany butter churning songs, managers, coat check personnel, minister of gold, menu scribes, Chef Todd’s parents, Poet Laureate of Bestiality, Farmer Seamus, Farmer Nan, Farmer BillBob, or the minister of employee cheer at appropriate times.
- Know that if you feel that you are too ill to work on Chef Todd’s line, we request that you show up to work. Once Chef Todd has visually evaluated you, you will be stripped down and forced to work the fry station in nothing but a pair of boxer shorts made from thumbtacks.
- Are completely incapable of contracting any kind of illness whatsoever. To confirm this is true, all new-hires will be subjected to extensive lab work and testing to prove immunity to various life-threatening diseases.
- Must be able to work the line utilizing only your legs and that pig mouth of yours. You never know when you may need to whip up a pot of Oxtail stew on the battlefield after having your arms shaved off by shrapnel. Chef Todd would like to remind you that his kitchen is a battlefield and will be respected accordingly.
- Smile. Don’t you fucking DARE stop smiling. If I walk into that kitchen and the smile I like to see is absent from your stupid face I will.. I… just… let’s just not let it happen.
- Are responsible for knowing which line cooks will be in the weeds and in need of assistance a full 24 hours before service. During pre-meal, Chef Todd will identify each cook that is going to be in the weeds and terminate them. We don’t need weak links at Bestiality.
- Know that if I actually have to explain to you about Mis En place, you are already dead to me? And no not just basics – I’m talking special holiday meez. Boxing Day? Make sure you prep extra raw pinecones. Columbus Day? You’re going to need extra edible gold leaf. Führer Tag? More like STRUDEL Tag!
- Understand that each night, after service, Chef Todd will call in his midget trash detectives and they were personally pick apart the garbage can from each station. Every bit of food will be organized neatly into a box for the corresponding cook to take home, attached to it a receipt for the total charges being deducted from their paycheck.
- Know that Chef Todd didn’t become a master of his craft by lazily putzing around some four star kitchen with a pair of tweezers. Each morning, cooks will be expected to meet at the restaurant for strength and agility training led by the restaurant’s strength and agility manager. Once he has ensured that they have become faster and stronger on that particular day, they will be allowed to return home for breakfast.
- Have one shot to get it right and one shot only. If Chef Todd sees you going to the walk in during service, he will be led to assume that the purpose of that visit is to steal from him and the offending cook will forced into the Hobart and washed until burned and clean.
- Are aware that the only “breaks” happening here will be in your chubby little fingers when you make mistakes (BOZOS)
- Know how to cook in any kitchen outside of the one in your trailer.
- Have been warned that if you are out of line at any point – breaking the formation, insubordination, stirring dangerous ideas amongst the staff – we reserve the right to shoot first and ask questions later (so to speak, and by “shoot” we mean more of our classic handbreakery).
- Know about food, and then forget all of that knowledge because it’s senseless and idiotic. Chef Todd understands that your preconceived notions are entirely your fault and could have been prevented if you weren’t so goddamn stupid, but he also knows that if you believed any of that shit in the first place than you will literally believe anything. Notice the glass of Kool Aid provided in your interview? Yeah, that one. Drink It. Smile.
- Know that if flavor programs are tampered with, the entire universe suffers because of you. If you want to know what living in a world of fucked-up flavor programs is like, I can refer you to the AMC series, The Walking Dead.
- Will read #20 again. Now Read #1-21 again. And again. AND AGAIN. AGAIN! DON’T STOP READING!!!
- Are in agreement that you no longer have your freedom after you have signed the mandatory documents that make Chef Todd both your legal guardian and owner.
- Are comfortable with these rules being very, very redundant. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT YOU BOZO.
- Before the midget trash detectives (MTD’s) show up, each station should be spotless and ready for inspection. To achieve this, we ask that you SCAt (Service, Clean, Attack!) regularly throughout service. Remember your SCAtological equipment is your own, and should be protected as if one’s life depended on it because… well you probably guessed it. Cleanliness is especially important in our Solitary Cocoon Chambers (SCC’s) because we often have little control of the distribution of bodily fluids while they are locked in there throughout service.
- Understand that you are ALWAYS wrong. Even though this is true of the ENTIRE staff ONLY Chef Todd will have the liberty of pointing it out at every single opportunity he gets.
- Know that, if you have a suggestion about how Chef Todd could somehow improve on perfect, you are a very stupid asshole. Imagine that.. You! You being YOU! Having a SUGGESTION for CHEF TODD. It’s not a goddamn comedy show, it’s a professional kitchen, and I swear to the god of Bestiality that I will remove your tongue strip by strip with my mandolin and use it to accentuate macaroni art at the local preschool.
- Are aware that the only proper response to ANY question from Chef Todd is either “Alala” or “Eleleu,” preferably in unison as to resemble flocks of screaming birds. If this sounds militaristic to you, know that you have 5 seconds to tell me from which culture it originated or you will be on that butter churn so fast your head will fall off.
- Should read #28 again and know that the ONLY exception to this rule is to repeat a flavor program after being assigned by Chef Todd so he knows you aren’t deaf and are actually good for something.
- Will give us your shoe size. At each station, we will fasten our cooks into special stationary boots that only Chef Todd has they keys which to unlock. This both eliminates kitchen traffic AND assures that the mis en place of each cook is up to Chef Todd’s rigid program of rules and regulatory measures.
- Will sign away any liability for the restaurant if you run out of an ingredient during service and Chef Todd is forced to savagely beat you while you are still firmly locked into your stationary boots. Some day, when you are being pushed around Storyland in your wheelchair, you will truly regret your lack of foresight when it came to minced shallots.
- Will warn Chef Todd up to four days in advance about the potential to 86 a flavor program. This way he will have time to put another ad out and find someone to replace you while you are on butter churn duty for the rest of your life.
- Are required to work a minimum of six quadruples a week – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Fun Cleanup Inspection Time Shift (FCITS). Any time off requests should be submitted to allow Chef Todd ample time to both deny them and go to your house and murder your family.
- Don’t expect payment, ESPECIALLY not in compliments.
- Realize that you are merely a replaceable cog in a machine that will be perfect with or without you. Actually, we are much better off without you. You are on butter churn for the next four nights now GO!!
- Know what is on the stove, at any given time, in EVERY single restaurant in Albuquerque. Chef Todd became the absolute best by KNOWING his enemy, and your input could potentially be marginally not helpful.
- Do not take yourself too seriously, because you’re worthless. Seriously. I’m actually surprised you’ve made it this far in life without succumbing to natural selection. I hate you. You are a bozo.
- Understand that, given the perfect nature of Chef Todd’s restaurant, we will ALWAYS be busy. However, we expect you to perform as such but also, in addition, to do extra work equivalent to the fantasy situation of us actually being slow. This changes through the quadruple and can sometimes be non-applicable during FCITS.
- Will never leave the line. Ever.
- Arbeit Macht Frei
- Semper Fi
Per Usual, I will leave you with a quote:
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your whole life”
Chapter 10: Servers make too much money and MUST be stopped
I am VERY excited to announce that I have decided on a space for the restaurant, and am currently in talks with the voicemail at the real estate company about getting the current tenant evicted so I can begin renovations for Bestiality.
I think that the problem may be that the broker is aware that I have not yet completed my menu as well as my Chef Todd’s mandatory training laws for all new personnel yet, and is apprehensive about getting his feet wet with someone so unprepared. Well, fair enough. I should get to work.
Which brings me to my next topic.
They are the necessary evils of the restaurant business, the kind of shady characters that I so badly wish I could do without but alas, they have weaseled their way into the system and have spread like greedy little termites.
I am talking about the servers.
As you know, I am a chef, which means I have spent long hours on the kitchen battlefields, often during unpaid internships at very important restaurants. I have watched as these servers show up, bitch about their lives for 20 or 30 minutes, sell some of their doodles on Etsy through their iPhones, and then wait on three tables and walk out of the place with $500 in their pockets. Over a year I have become an expert at picking these money grubbing little bastards out of a crowd, with that telltale look of entitlement on their stupid faces as they waltz in to work and make rent in one shift. I hate them.
The problem is that everyone who works in a kitchen was never given a chance to work in the dining room. ALL of us love interacting with the public so much, and no matter how hard we tried to score a job as a busser we were told that we would never amount to anything more than a dishwasher.
Every year, as I watch them have the privilege of interacting with high-maintenance clientele while I was stuck in the safety of the kitchen with my peers, I have grown more and more jealous. Even though it is the most well known fact in the restaurant business that the front of the house makes more money than the kitchen, I was never given the opportunity to get myself to think about asking to transition to a job there because I was so busy being upset about not working there.
I am also aware that most customers are completely in the know about the server epidemic, and to ease your minds as patrons I want to lay out Chef Todd’s Revolutionary New Way of Making Sure Everyone Makes the Same Thing Except For The Servers (CTRNWOMSESTSTEFTS). When you are presented with a check, and see the blank tip line staring back up at you, it is time to make an important decision, and I want you to feel better equipped to do it.
The basics of CTRNWOMSESTSTEFTS at Bestiality:
You will never, ever be forced to look your server in the eye again once you have purchased your mandatory dessert. I have hired special check collecting and processing personnel who will handle the transaction from here. Their salary will be paid with tips.
The breakdown of your tip at Bestiality:
It is important for you to know where your hard earned money goes once you have decided to convert it into gratuity. Here is a breakdown.
40% to the check collecting and processing personnel
45% to the kitchen, to be divided up evenly
1% to coat check
2% to the hostess
2% to the graphic designer for my business cards
1% to the florist
2% to the local center for children who want to become chefs
3% to myself for non-restaurant related grocery needs
1% to the mailman, because he is prompt each day
1% burned daily in our custom-built stone hearth as an offering to the gods of cookery
1% to the builder of our custom stone hearth that is truly the soul of Bestiality (besides Chef Todd, of course).
As you can see, your tip money goes a very, very long way and touches the lives of those who actually deserve the money. If you’re wondering why I don’t take a cut of the money, It is because I do this out of my love and passion for the craft and do not require any compensation for this beyond the yearly salary I take for myself.
I am hoping that other prolific restaurant personalities, the Danny Meyers of the world for example, will acknowledge CTRNWOMSESTSTEFTS and let it start working for them as it becomes doctrine in their establishments as well.
My work for the day is done, and, per usual, I leave you with a quote:
“If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.”
– Ray Kroc
Chapter 11: As a customer, you are on a need to know basis
First off, I am frustrated to inform you that the space I had decided on for Bestiality has once again fallen through. The owners of the current restaurant in that space, who will remain nameless save for when I invoke Vali, the Norse god of revenge and retribution who ALSO just happens to be one of the sons of Odin, to visit them in their sleep and asphyxiate them with marshmallow peeps, have felt it necessary to file a restraining order against myself and my contractor. Apparently they couldn’t handle the way my awe-inspiring presence was affecting their current staff as I assumed the liberty to take measurements so I could begin to plot out my dream kitchen. These very staff members will be given one chance, and once chance only, to repent once I have taken my rightful place at the helm of the world’s ultimate restaurant.
This brings me to my contemplations for today – I have realized that, at the end of the day, the customer is really on a need-to-know basis when it comes to dining in my restaurant.
Ancient Egyptian laborers, who were in fact craftsmen while many assume they were slaves, would routinely band together into phyles (Greek for “tribe”) and assign colorful names to their groups like like “The Friends of Khufu” or “Drunkards of Menakaure.” It is my goal for a similar kind of spirit to pervade the dining room of Bestiality, encompassing the staff and bewildering the patrons.
The dining room will be broken down as such, and for example if a customer were to call and ask very politely (other dispositions will not be tolerated and will result in immediate termination of the phone call) to reserve banquette #2A4, he or she would have to be able to correctly identify that area of the restaurant as Heit-el-Ghorab, or, “The Wall of the Crow.” This is my litmus test for whether or not they are ready to handle the cerebral nature of my tasting menus – if they can’t get the species of bird right than how can they be expected to understand why lichen works better than breadcrumbs as coating for the schnitzelstaffel? Those who are arrogant to enough to think they can determine their own seating arrangement and then fail this test will be identified daily on Chef Todd’s facebook page.
Chef Todd is confident that each of his potential regulars will excitedly immerse themselves in ancient Egyptian history prior to dining at Bestiality, which will save him the Sisyphean task of visiting each table to explain what is actually happening/about to happen to them. If they are absolutely insistent on having the restaurant concept explained to them, Chef Todd would refer the patron to Amazon, where they can purchase his book, Why am I at Bestiality? And other infuriating queries, available for $43.95 from Penguin Books as soon as he writes it and procures a publishing deal.
The modern diner wants to be confused, and recalling what curiosity did to the cat they know to refrain from asking silly questions like, “What is the deal with the décor here in relation to the food,” or, “Why are the menus laid out in hieroglyphics that resemble emojis? Is that a picture of Lobster Thermidor?”
Of course this transition into hieroglyphics for the menu was no small feat, and I was forced to fire my current fontographer when he grew insolent and mentioned the invoices that I have yet to pay. I reminded him that, when I had discovered him in the beginning, he was nothing in the world of restaurants, haphazardly relying on the use of Copperplate Gothic Bold for nearly EVERY single menu he had been previously commissioned to design. I had given him the opportunity to work with a living demi-god, and he has squandered it. On his way out the door I promised to wait until right after his funeral to vandalize his tombstone in Comic Sans.
At the end of the day, the Egyptian artisan/craftsman wanted nothing more than a hot meal and great time, which is why this concept translates so well into the restaurant business. By dining at my restaurant, you are furthering a tradition that is older than our story – building our own Great Pyramid, so to speak – and I know that, because you aren’t me, there is a void in your life and hopefully this small contribution can help at least a tiny bit.
This is all you need to know about my restaurant, and if you do not yet have this knowledge you will seek it out. The Pharaohs let the gods do their advertising for them, and I am cutting out the middle man because no one listens to gods anymore, they only listen to me.
I have much work to do, as it may be challenging to source such a substantial amount of ink made from pure gold – I will start by wearing my chef coat into the nearest Staples and demanding to speak with the man in charge of ancient lettering.
Per usual, I will leave you with a quote:
“If you trust men, you trust water in a sieve”
– Egyptian Proverb
Chapter 12: Don’t Think You Could EVER Date Chef Todd
First off, before I illustrate my primary objective, I would like to inform you that I have found a new space for my restaurant – an abandoned train station outside of Albuquerque. My restaurant would, of course, spearhead the development and revitalization of the entire rail yard community, drawing other businesses as well as fostering the production of a very large roller rink – which will be catered by Bestiality. Imagine roller-skating while consuming the single greatest hot dog you have ever had, while downing a goblet of barely passable local wine, and you’ve pretty much got it. The Rink at Chef Todd Piazza will also serve as a concert venue, and I am looking forward to confirming a talent lineup that culminates with the London Philharmonic Orchestra performing musical interpretations of my flavor programs. The audience for the first showing of this opus will be limited to myself only.
Which brings me to my second point, the reasons why you, as a regular person, could never, ever date Chef Todd. As you all know, I am a chef. My choice of profession alone makes my time far too valuable for any potential suitors, yet for those who need further explanation as to why their advances are continually spurned – here is a list to break it down for you.
1. I am a chef, and chefs have long hours.
Most days I clock in around 3:30 AM to begin prep, with hopes of being done early and getting out by 4:30AM the following morning. This leaves -1 total hours for human contact outside of my kitchen temple
2. My hands are for touching fine, expensive ingredients
They are not to be tainted by the flesh of average, ordinary people like you. I’m sorry; yet again I am not sorry. If you were to take a beautiful, farm-fresh piece of seasonal white asparagus and rub your grubby little paws on it, it would no longer be fresh. You see, I can’t have that at my restaurant. My fingers are trained for one purpose only.
3. I will never cook for you at home
Your inexperienced palate could never hope to provide me with the validation I am looking for regarding even the most basic dishes that I prepare, like my trademarked Chef Todd’s Best You Have Ever Tasted Icelandic Skyrr with Crowberries. I will also be far too busy coddling my perfect chef’s sandwich of tomato, bacon, and egg, at a pace to ensure that it is, in fact, perfect EVERY time, to ever toss together any scraps for your trough. I may let you have the privilege of watching me eat it while you sip lukewarm tap water out of a Dixie cup (I don’t want your clumsy fingers breaking my fine china), but I would refrain from getting what is left of your hopes up.
4. If you listened to me discuss food, without someone to filter it into laypeople’s terms, your head would explode
You are an idiot. Granted, everyone but me is an idiot but you are particularly idiotic. You know how I know? You have tried to pursue a relationship with a demigod.
5. I am a chef, and no one could ever, ever understand what that could be like but another chef.
In the case of Chef Todd, there aren’t even any other chefs who can understand. My mind is like a superhighway of flavor programs and plating arrangements, I exist on a different level than any of you so HOW could you EVER expect to be able to carry my seed? I am sweet. I am savory. I am LIVING UMAMI.
6. Your occupation is of minimal importance, and a child with a severe learning disability could do your job for you, and better.
I am a chef, I have to do ALL of the ordering or the patrons will NOT get fed. I have to manage a crew of derelicts through fear while instilling in them the sense that they will never be ANYTHING without me. I have to COOK FOOD. How could you possibly think I could ever find you or your silly little job to be captivating in any way whatsoever?
7. You read food magazines, and therefore I loathe you.
In my opinion, one could gain more insightful views on cookery by way of reading and analyzing the words on street signs. All of the bright colors and pretty pictures in your copy of Food & Wine Magazine exist solely to distract you from the pathetic, horrible life you lead. Of course you’ll spend $50 on a bottle of piss-poor olive oil at Williams Sonoma, which you will use to follow a recipe that requires drowning a shitty piece of salmon in it and pairing the whole monstrosity with a dreadful California Chardonnay from a producer who received a high-rating based solely on the full page ad they took out. Of course you will. I hate you.
8. Though you are, undoubtedly, used to spending time at night all alone, this will DEFINITELY not change if you tried to date me.
Plus if we ever were to live together, you would fuck up every single piece of beautiful cookware I own by washing it the way you think you should, or read about in one of your Food Network cookbooks by Ina Garten or the one with the spiky hair there…
9. People are terrified of me, and you should be too.
The fact that you think I would ever date you is very, very offensive to me.
10. I am a chef, and my passion is for cookery and cookery only.
I did not choose this life, this cross to bear. I had no other choice. The world, as we know it, depends on my menus to keep it inspired and save it from descending into darkness once again.
11. Not only am I a chef, but also I am an artist and a brand.
You are the human equivalent of a dish that looks marginal but tastes very, very unbalanced. I have devoted my life to making ugly vegetables, like carrots, into objects of beauty, which unfortunately leaves no time to do the same with you.
12. It’s not me – it’s you.
I’ve got one word for you: Hubris.
That perfectly represents the idea of you thinking you could ever date someone so far superior to yourself. My meteoric rise to culinary fame is a journey that only allows room for one, myself, though to be honest I would not so much as let you check my baggage for the trip.
I like to think that this letter should serve as a sufficient response to your inquiry as to whether or not I’m seeing anyone. If you desire further clarification I will urge you to procure one of our custom-made Bestiality business cards so you can make a reservation, like everyone else, and see my art for what it is.
As always, I will leave you (everyone, not just you- you aren’t that special) with a quote:
‘When you acknowledge, as you must, that there is no such thing as perfect food, only the idea of it, then the real purpose of striving toward perfection becomes clear: to make people happy, that is what cooking is all about.’
– Thomas Keller
Chapter 13: Conducting Interviews
Today is a very busy day and I have no time to exchange pleasantries. I have been conducting front of the house interviews for Bestiality (opening date TBD) and, upon speaking with one of these little shit-stains in particular, felt the need to re-open my diary after an admittedly prolonged absence.
It went like this – I was in the middle of explaining my firm policy of abolishing the tipping system so I can take from the undeserving waitstaff and give to my kitchen crew. Now what these front of the house types don’t understand is that everyone who works in the kitchen never had the opportunity to choose our profession. We were never able to walk into a restaurant and make a decision all by ourselves regarding whether we’d like to toil away in a hot, sweaty kitchen for $10/hr or work with the general public and increase our income potential astronomically. We never had the option of choosing a job that literally anyone can do which pays hundreds and hundreds more dollars per day than the other job that anyone can do, which we opted for. I knew that my hands were crafted by a god to do much more important work than dropping off plates, illegibly scribbling down orders, and smoking cigarettes before work.
So I’m in the middle of driving this point home brilliantly when this little bastard looks me straight in the eye and says, “Chef Todd, you DO understand that, if given the choice, a very high percentage of the world’s population would wholeheartedly agree that the job of the garbage man is exponentially more important and indispensable than the work that a chef does, right?”
While my knee-jerk reaction would be to drag this little worm into the bathroom and drown him in the toilet over the course of 5 or 6 hours, I knew that would take time and I, as previously mentioned, had a hostess/guest relations liaison interview in 10 minutes. I picked up the phone and started to dial 911, I figured I’d let the police sort this one out while they keep this little Neanderthal on ice. However, before I could even finish explaining his crimes to the dispatch person, he had neatly packed up his things and walked out the door, stealing one of my sought-after Bestiality ink pens in the process.
My rage knew no bounds, and I decided that I would write him a letter explaining exactly why I’m more important than a garbage man. I got up and left the public library in a huff, completely blowing off the hostess interview, and headed home to pen my retort. On the way, I passed the space where I think I may one day finally open Bestiality and realize my restaurant dreams.
Once safely at home with my laptop, I snipped a handful of fresh chervil from the garden, muddled it with Genever, and poured over ice. I needed a very special cocktail for this and as it turned out, the flavor program was just right. I will have my head kitchen farm bar mixo-chef-ologoist add this to our future cocktail list immediately.
First off, I do not believe in “garbage.” When I open my restaurant, not only will we secretly compost in all of our neighbor’s yards as a special favor to them, but all of the other refuse will put to use to create and beautify parks along the side of the highway. This Chef Todd museum/monument/gift to the people will be my way of giving back to the community while completely relieving myself of any need for trash pickup. This trend will one day be as important as solar power and electrical cars, and you can remember where you heard about it first.
Admittedly, I am too distracted to properly compose the letter, given that I have so many irons in the fire. In addition to trying to find a space for my debut restaurant, Bestiality, I am also in talks with investors about a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th space, including a better version of the edible forest from Willy Wonka at the Bestiliaty GastroPettingZoo.
If you are on my mailing list, you are very lucky. Not everyone’s inbox can handle the kind of tidings I bring, and this next announcement is no exception:
To commemorate the grand opening of my first restaurant, I will be holding a pop-up at my third restaurant, the virtual reality, “gotta shuck em’ all” oyster shanty, to promote my second eatery, a buffet that exclusively serves different interpretations of traditional communion wafers, each made with water and salt from different parts of the globe. Tickets will be $273/head (not including gratuity because I’ve stopped all of that) and will include pairings of natural, biodynamic, house-blessed holy waters – including the famous dessert holy water, Lacryma Chef Todd, a blend of hand-harvested tears from the rare occasion that I find myself crying over how perfect my food is. These pairings will be lovingly coordinated by our team of Holy Water Sommeliers.
I am out of time, but will leave you with a quote as always,
“If you are not extreme, then people will take shortcuts because they do not fear you”
– Marco Pierre White
Chapter 14: History is important but not as important as HIS story
While many of you think that you may be owed an apology for the considerable amount of time that has elapsed since I last posted in my journals, I refuse to give you the satisfaction. How soon you forget that if anyone should be apologized to it is I, for it looks like my relentless search for the perfect space to host my restaurant, Bestiality, has come to an end. For now….
It has come to an end because I have decided that the world, and it’s ever-changing political climate, simply cannot handle the best food they have ever tasted. Now is not the time. You people wouldn’t even know what to do with yourselves, and I don’t want social media to be flooded with posts about my food and have those flavors mingle with posts about Donald Trump, North Korea, other chefs, or inclement weather – because that would simply taste awful.
So instead I have decided to delve back into simpler times, like the mid-1800’s, to inspire my newest project while I put my opus temporarily on hold.
I have set my sights on a dilapidated structure resting on the coastline, the actual structure and the specific coastline are still TBD.
It is here that I will launch my cookery practice simply known as “Ahab & Queequeg,” where the Bill of Fare will incorporate cuisine with a strong foundation in nautical, biblical, Homeric, Shakespearean, Miltonic, and cetalogical influences.
A&Q will pioneer a new style of gastronomy, one meant to thwart scurvy and promised to never, ever spoil once you take the leftovers to go. Signature dishes will include Chef Todd’s technologically advanced recreation of the hardtack biscuit, using only flour and water, and artisan cocktails like “Mouthful of Lemons,” where the whole lemon is massaged by hand for 30 minutes before being pureed whole and poured into a hand-blown glass rendition of the cup of the carpenter.
I am looking for line cooks, dishwashers, scallywags, brigands, haberdashers, busser, food runners, service bartenders, and server-trons, all with a minimum ten years’ experience re-enacting naval warfare from the 1800’s, also a bachelor’s degree in something I would be interested in learning about. I will be the judge of that.
The interview process for those seeking employment in my galley involves using one hand to assemble an extensive mis en place while using the other hand to win three games of Bilbo Catcher, utilizing one of Chef Todd’s original Cherrywood whittlings of the time-honored classic. Once this requirement has been met, the interviewee will prepare me a meal that is both delicious and guaranteed not to cause scurvy.
In the front of the house, server-trons will be rubbed down with artisan salt pork on a daily basis, and encouraged to memorize the story of Moby Dick, as the menu will consist of a leather-bound copy of the Hermann Melville classic, with diners being encouraged to read through the book and eventually locate parts of the menu on pages 134, 219, 345, and 402. Those who stare at the table of contents for a long enough time will eventually realize that what they are really looking at is the cordial menu. Haha, who knew that there is no chapter in Moby Dick called “Fine Bottled Madeira.”
Customers who arrive at Ahab & Queequeg unprepared and unfamiliar with Chef Todd’s highly advanced sense of the way things should be will find themselves simply reading quietly at their tables until they can learn what they want to eat for dinner. Server-trons are VERBOTEN to assist in this process, and all food served to other tables will be under cloche as not to give away any hints as to what we do here.
Furthermore, to thwart customers who may have spoken to friends who have dined at A&Q previously, I will be changing the names of the menu items each night, and alternating between the King’s English and the Pig’s Latin when I do.
Construction will begin TBD.
Per usual, I leave you with a quote,
Chef Todd Dürst
“Drinking the salt water makes you thirstier.”
-Captain Ahab, c. 1845