Sunday, March 22, 2015


I’ll tell you what I don’t miss about learning to be a chef at Luminarias.
The Corporate Executive Chef would come visit from time to time.
I remember his first visit, when I was just a line lunch cook. He had stood at one end of the line watching me. I was nervous as a cat. Chef John Bonner was a serious fellow, but really cool looking in a Dean Stockwell kind of way.
In fact, Chef John Bonner looked just like Dean Stockwell in “The Dunwich Horror”.

After the rush I grabbed a bucket of soapy water and began to scrub the line, splashing water everywhere in an effort to look like the good worker I was. I looked up to see Chef Bonner surveying my work with a fairly critical eye.
I grinned at him.
He furrowed his brow.
“You know Renfro, you sure make a big mess when you clean up” and he turned around and caught the next flight back to Corporate Headquarters in Los Angeles California.

A few months later, I’d been promoted to First Cook, in charge of sauces, meats, specials, general kitchen stocks and soups.
Chef Bonner came to visit.
He looked at my walk-in, he looked at the Prime Ribs, he tasted my rice. He watched while I diced onions and chopped saffron, and made the chili con queso. Then he got about 10 spoons and went and tasted all my sauces.
He asked how I made my roux. I told him.
He shook his head.
“No wonder all your sauces look like shit.”
OK. Thanks chef, tell me how you really feel!

It wasn’t my Brown sauce, it wasn’t my White sauce, it wasn’t the Bordelaise, the Mornay, the Apple-Brandy or Demi-Glace.
No, it was ALL my sauces looked like shit.

That’s how it goes in the kitchen. Like Janos Kiss would say in his thick Austrian accent after he finished reaming you a new asshole…
”Its OK, guys, lets not be sensitive”

And ten years later, you find yourself telling some young guy, without even blinking:
“Well, no wonder all your sauces look like shit”
God, sometimes I do miss it so.

Here Dean Stockwell calls on The Old Ones in Lovecrafts "The Dunwich Horror"

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