Monday, June 29, 2009

An introductions of sorts

Through Facebook I recently got back in touch with an old friend from Greensboro who had worked in the restaurant scene there when I was first coming up as a saute cook with a history of dish washing on my resume. He's no longer in the industry. Lucky him. When I described my set up in the kitchen here in San Francisco as me, thirteen Mexicans, one dude from Peru, and a white guy his response was "get rid of the white guy." So true, so true. Honestly in my career out here in the Bay Area, which granted is not exactly prolific, it has been a rare occasion when I have worked with a caucasian American male who did not prove to be a complete fuck up. Even more of a fuck-up than me. I should say that this does not include Scott Love, my former intern and devoted pupil, but that will be a post unto itself I think.

And so begins North Beach Agonistes, my answer to the madness. At the cafe we have a summer tradition. It's called chaos. Usually I lose a few cooks to serendipitous voyages south of the border that seem to be embarked upon at the spur of the moment. This year my one white guy has embarked upon a walk on the wild side. In a cheap blazer. Not even a week into official summer and here I am once again fucked. It will be tough for a while. For me a lot of the time it is just hard to get my brain turned off at the end of the day without resorting to a couple of gallons of hard alcohol. But since my wife has threatened to leave me; and since I have made the mistake of signing a document that states I will pay for her deposit and first month's rent when she does move into a nice new plush Nob Hill apartment if I do come home loaded one more time; and since the only other thing I like to do besides cooking is writing I have decided to finally begin my cook's blog. Also upon a second inspection of above said document I noted that getting drunk in the house once I have come home is not precluded. So, as my lovely wife once wrote, get ready for "play the Pink Floyd loud until someone bang the door" and some good old fashioned blogging. And though I don't want to jinx it I am excited to announce that I am in negotiations with a carpenter friend with a plan to build a small facsimile of Columbus Cafe here in my dining room so I don't have to go all the way across town to make an idiot of myself.
I have been a fan of reading food blogs and chef's blogs and the food sections of several papers for many years. I have published a couple of blogs myself of mostly disturbing rants and flights of imagination that usually ended with gruesome descriptions of genital mutilation and infanticide and one visit from the FBI. This time around I would like to try to wed those two disparate elements into something that I can parlay into a book deal with Ten Speed Press...or Hustler, minus the home invasion by the feds looking for pictures that I maintain I Was just using for my research. One of the inspirations for starting this blog has been my recent infatuation with the Facebook application. For a long time I scoffed at the notion of it when my wife suggested I check it out. God, I am embarrassed to admit it now but...I was happy to periodically check my myspace page and occassionally post something on my blog there. Sometimes people actually read it. No blog element on the FB, I would yell at her, get out of here girl. Then I saw the light. Facebook has reconnected me with so many friends from Greensboro and San Francisco and points in between and being back in touch with all of these people has of course brought back many fantastic memories and since I have been a cook for as long as I care to recall (not true as I plan to recount some stories of my youthful labors as an acid dropping pot smoking pot scrubber in a Quaker nursing home) naturally much of this history that has resurfaced in my mind is intertwined with working in different restaurants and with different people and with the food that we made and our collective experiences while on the job and somtimes immediately after the job at the closest bar or brothel.
Did we ever go to brothels? I don't really think so but I also want to introduce an old west theme to this blog as well. Periodically I will be recounting ficticious gunfights a la Oakley Hall. Hall, if you are not familiar, wrote a fine novel called Warlock that happens to be a western. A native of San Diego and a graduate of Berkley he ran the writing program at UC-Irvine for many years and he was mentor to a whole generation of California writers notably Micheal Chabon and that kooky Amy Tan. Hall scores major cool points for being mentioned by Thomas Pynchon in his introduction to Richard Farina's Been Down So Long Looks Like Up to Me. Pynchon writes that they formed a "mini-cult" around Hall's Warlock. Wow. Be still my foolish heart. Oakley Hall passed away last year at the age of 88. Also check out his Ambroise Bierce series. He wrote several novels in which the much mythologized San Francisco journalist and author of The Devil's Lexicon, pictured above, who vanished into the wilds of Mexico becomes the main character in criminal investigations set here in the old barbary coast of San Francisco yore.

But I digress. A final observation. While I hope to devote a good portion of North Beach Agonistes to food and the cook's life please in no way mistake this for a foodie blog. I hate that word. I hate those people. Shit. Fuck. I will kill them. Goddamnit. I will string them up by their fucking tongues. I wll tear the mutton chops from the sides of their heads. I will knock out their frigging molars. I will rip their bladders out. I will puncture their lungs. Fuckers. I will burst their spleens. I will split open their stomachs and I will pull out their half digested foie gras and I will ram it up their butts. I will take their penises and their vaginas and I will stomp on them!!Stomp. On. Fucking. Them. With my steel toed chef's clogs...Yeah! Oh yeah! Oh yeahhhhh!! You see that little baby...huh mama??...huh?? got a little baby...give me that baby...hey little baby you see me stomping on these penises and vaginas...yeah??yeah??....throw you out that window little baby...what you say little baby..yeah mama what you want...hey??..what you want..hahaahhahaahhahhaahhahaha....there go your baby...yeah...yeah....babies don't fly mama....hahahhahaa...kill...kill..killl..killlll....

1 comment:

  1. are you going to write on this blog???