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Chef/Writer Spencer

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Everything posted by Chef/Writer Spencer

  1. I'd rather employ crack baby rhesus monkeys than alcoholics--not to dispute Zen master Tony. Having been close to the edge of alcoholic madness myself, and having watched my mother bleed out before my eyes from cirrohsis, and having to deal with drunk fuckers for years on end has shaded my perspective. Yeah, I still toss the occasional brewsky at my boys for job well done but under no circumstances will I allow a cook to come to work drunk or on his/her way. Totally hypocritcal, I know, since I got on a soap box about pot (grey area), but I know from first hand experience that nothing good can come out of alcohol when you're cooking. I tell tales in my writings about drinking the William Wycliff box o wine, making spritzers on the line, about removing the prep from a low boy to make room for a pickle bucket full of margarita because I need to get that shit out of my system, write about it, use it as hindsight therapy, so I can embrace the killer situation I'm in now (that I all too often take for granted). I wasn't capable of creating the kind of food I can now. I was stuck in macadamia crusted mahi-mahi hell, pork nachos, short rib chili cheese burgers with basil ketchup. Alcohol is second only to coke in my opinion--heroin has never played into my scene thank god. In the restaurant world it's a highly acceptable rite of passage, but that doesn't make it any less of a killer. God I'm hungover.
  2. Apples to oranges. If the cook who's cooking my food has just puffed tuff I'm not going to feel the same way I'd feel if my surgeon did right before an op. There's a little more breathing room in the cooking profession. What I continually have problems with are the crackheads. Crack undoubtedly has no place in the kitchen. Fire, knives, rock cocaine?
  3. I'm with you Katherine...Maybe a little fresh tarragon on a special occasion but yeah, just plain butter is the way to go.
  4. Yeah, I tell you what. The idea of putting the cracklin' in with the meat was beautiful. Really made me want to come through the tv. I could just taste it. That's the one thing I think Memphis barbeque is missing---texture. Yum.
  5. You sound like the producer manager I knew who basically said he wouldn't interfere with a client if he knew that client had a drug problem because "he might screw up the chemistry" the guy had in making hit records. That "client" was in and out of rehab 3 or 4 times before he finally gave up the blow and alcohol for what looks like for good. I don't care whether someone is snorting or shooting the GNP of Peru or Mexico, as long as he or she is not fucking up, ruining product, and making me hip to it. As Malachi posted above, yes, this profession attracts a certain kind of person, and I'm one of them. I'm by no means a saint, I've done pretty much everything under the sun, and thank god I've never gotten hung up on any of them. Alcohol was a near miss, something I grew to keep my eye on, as to my using it, and I've wrestled with a few other things as well, that weren't of my own choosing. I'm not looking down my nose at anyone, guy. I just get tired of all the poseurs who think they found the combination to the frustration lock, only to find themselves locked out. And who come into work the next day, dragging their sorry asses around, not worth crap. And that bit about "out back behind the dumpster" is cool, man. Are YOU going to be out back behind there when you're 45? Except I'm the guy making the hit records. I'm stable, with beautiful children who worship the ground I walk on, a corporate gig with job offers emailed to me like spam, respect from my staff , and...a nice Scooby bong sitting behind the apples on my fridge. Smoking weed doesn't mean missing work, cooking shit food, underseasoning because of smoker's palate, and job hopping. I've found the balance. My problems stem from hubris, not weed. You guys/gals that think smoking weed is kin to waking up in a strange bed with a tawdry whore are kiddin' yourselves.
  6. Hey Tony, the BBQ show should have been a square not a triangle. Memphis? Come on. Oh fuck, I'm actually defending this city. Maybe I do have a heart. Good show though. I've shared a pit with guys like that many a time.
  7. Blah. Too easy. I thought you were smarter than that.
  8. Invento...I like you dude. But quoting some Brillat Savarin for this modern quandry is like masturbating with a condom on to me. Bullshit's a word, not skewed logic. I find fault with the intellectualizations not the sentiment. When I smoked weed I made my best food.
  9. The naive are congregating around some intellectual stance against drugs in the kitchen, and I for one would like to slice a piece of my mind off for your utter disgust. Please fill us with your disposable wisdoms and then step back from yourself and realize that you haven't a clue what you're talking about. Like when I ramble endlessly about pine, not knowing whether it really adds to the food, you anti drug SS are potentially way off base. Yeah, if you're shooting heroin in the lockeroom before a shift I agree, it's time for rehab and a sabbatical in the professional institution of your counselors choosing. But, if you like to go out back behind the dumpster between seatings to see what you're garde manger's got that so much better than yours before you go back in to knock another 230 covers out then goddamn, that makes you family in my book. I find it highly hypocritical for cooks/waiters/chefs to look down their noses at people who have figured out the right combination to the frustration lock.
  10. you know you're making headway when you get KIMWB fired up. congratulations on this great post. i hand any credibility i had over to you malachi.
  11. Next to Bourdain's publishing gem, I give this post of the year status. Awesome work.
  12. Bourdain, the king of culinary testosterone junkies.
  13. Well Bux, if this is another Spencer is bashing the French thing again I beg your pardon. I just purchased The Apprentice today and find it fascinating already. The war stories are compelling, his maman was quite the hero and of course his father... I hadn't read a lick of the book when I made the overediting comment. I was referring to the fact that a lot of French write like they talk--which in English could make for some grammatical inconsistencies. Like read the intro. to Perrier's cookbook Le Bec Fin recipes. It's written exactly like he talks--and I find that entertaining because it belies Perrier's true character. Though Pepin is obviously well versed in English there's always the possibility that Franglais may not make it past an editor. To read a whole 293 page book of it would be a feat better suited for a linguistical gymnast. just for the record... I LOVE THE FRENCH. I'VE LIVED IN FRANCE (MEAUX, 24 rue de la croisee, 77110). EVERYONE I CAME IN CONTACT WITH WAS ERUDITE AND PASSIONATE ABOUT FOOD AND LIFE. THE FACT THAT THEY HAVE HISTORICALLY PUSHED AMERICA'S BUTTONS IS OF NO CONSEQUENCE TO ME. IT'S OK TO CHIDE THEM IN GOOD FUN, NOT OK TO CHUCK THEIR WINE IN THE RIVER. BUT FUCK JERRY LEWIS.
  14. Oh shit Tony, another testerone jacked trench monkey seems to have found a home. I say welcome.
  15. The difference is what separates a chef from a fucking kitchen manager. I'm with you invento...
  16. i agree. on a related note, thomas keller reportedly doesn't even taste his food. that, i never quite understood. perhaps just hype? [i'm guessing there will be some mis-directed pro-keller tirade on the way which will have little to do with this comment.] pro-keller tirade.
  17. Spencer, this explains a lot about the content of your posts! Pot makes me a better writer than Proust too. My cooking doesn't suck as bad as my writing...
  18. Every thing I just said was an inflated attempt at trying to be cool.
  19. eGullet thankfully is too cosmo for Memphians...I think they've got better things to do than bust me for smoking weed...Hell, everytime you step out your door there's some crackhead gunning for your wallet with a baseball bat. The Memphis cops don't give a shit about pot, unless you're selling.
  20. Pot makes me a better cook. I'm not afraid to say it right here, in front of the culinary dea/christian cook movement that a couple tokes before a grueling service makes the service a lot more enjoyable. And, I get ALOT more ideas while puffing tuff. Disclaimer...I don't smoke at work, but on the way.
  21. Monica's quite the prolific and talented writer...but she still won't send me a promised copy of one of her books....
  22. Yeah, but don't let your brown nosing turn to meaningless drivel. Genuine enthusiasm is always preferable to a well-rehearsed spiel...sorry dad.
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