Monday, September 22, 2008

Chez Moi: a novel

This first chapter explains it all:

"Am I a liar? Yes, because I told a man at the bank I'd been on a hotel and catering course and done an eighteen-month work placement at the Ritz. I showed him the diplomas and contracts I'd made the day before. I also brandished a management training certificate, a really good fake. I like living dangerously: that's how I lost my way in the past, and why I'm on a winning streak now. The banker was completely taken in, and gave me the loan. I thanked him without turning a hair. The medical check? No problem. My blood, my precious blood is clean, nice and clean, as if I hadn't been through anything.
Am I a liar? No, because I can actually do everything I claim I can. I can wield spatulas like a juggler with his batons. Like a contortionist, I can supplyly activate several different parts of my body independently: thickening a sauce with one hand while separating eggs and tying filou pastry parcels with the other...
My restaurant will be small and inexpensive. I don't like frills. It will be called Chez moi because it really will be my home, I'll be sleeping there; I don't have enough money to pay for the lease and a rent.
It will serve all the recipes I've invented, the ones I've transformed and the ones I've worked out for myself. There won't be any music--I'm too emotional--and the light bulbs hanging from the ceiling will be orange-tinted. I've already bought a giant fridge on the Avenue de la Republique. They've promised me an oven and a hob at a good price...
I cook with and out of love. How am I going to manage to love my customers? The sheer luxury of that question makes me think of prostitutes because that's precisely what they don't have--that luxury."

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