Professional cooking was described to me by one highly experienced executive chef as blue-collar work. Why has an essentially low-paying, high-stress, physically demanding job become so alluring in recent years?
I think TV is hugely to blame for it, because it has the ability to glamorize anything. If a reality show can glamorize nannies and dog trainers, of course TV can glamorize chefs. It seems like a private club that somehow, once you get in, you're in this exclusive company that people want access to.
What happened with Gray Chef?
It was one of those situations where "I pushed you because I love you." One day I made puff pastry with tuna and I was expecting a hard time, and he said, "It's perfect." I think there's something to that. There is nothing better than pleasing your harshest critic.
Does he know he's in the book?
Oh yes, he thinks he's the star of it. Now he calls me "ma petite amie."