Sophie Marceau has succumbed to the And then there’s me, who, for six months, became infatuated with a guy who made Italian sandwiches so tasty that I might have killed for them.
I went to his shop every day at lunch, watching him slice that prosciutto like it was live porn. Soon he was pulling back the sleeves of his sweater, revealing the forearms of a Viking, as well as a majestic tattoo of his homeland’s coat of arms.
And secondly, because ten years back, the figure of the French chef—as broadcast by popular culture—was either Maïté, Jean-Pierre Coffe, or Joël Robuchon of French TV show Bon Appétit Bien Sûr.
Its promise: the kind of cooking that was all sauces and butchery, as heavy-handed as the dirty jokes its heirs regaled in every morning on our school bus.
Cooking show judges, prize-winning chefs, their most promising prodigies …
I had, before my eyes, the darlings of French cuisine getting trashed, drinking beer out of motorcycle helmets, and attempting Jackass-inspired hijinks that only seem like a good idea when you’ve got eight grams of alcohol in your blood.
It was around this time, on a freezing February night, that the gastronomy gods had my chef and me cross paths outside some seedy bar. I immediately recognized the emblem—we were from the same region.
A gin-and-tonic, two Ricards ,and five or so mystery shots later, I’d learned that he’d worked in some of the city’s most reputable kitchens, that he’d never watched Game of Thrones (despite his striking resemblance to one of the show’s manliest heroes), and most importantly, that he wanted to see me again.
Very quickly, I got sucked into some kind of Rabelaisian tornado, inside of which swirled magnum bottles of grand cru wines, luxury deli meats, and nonstop dick jokes.I was stunned: No less than 500 miles away from my native Pays Basque, I had somehow managed to step foot inside a space-time vortex and land inside the never-ending hell of the , death wish included—only the whores were missing.