This was one of a dozen ideas that my sister Eve dictated to me off the top of her head, one morning in 1994. That notebooks is buried in my archives, but I remember a few other topic ideas by heart:
WHY BREAKFAST COOKS TEND TO BE SPEED FREAKS
THE KITCHEN AS HELL; THE RESTAURANT PROPER AS THEATER (and the class differences that prevail in both worlds)
THE HUMBLE GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH AS PROOF OF A RESTAURANT’S COMPETENCE
THE MONUMENTAL PAIN-IN-THE-ASS OF PROVIDING FRENCH FRIES
Of course, all this and more has been since handled by Anthony Bourdaine in “Kitchen Confidential.” Not to detract from the maestro’s fame, but he writes with exactly the tone and language that Eve can muster at the drop of a hat—still—even after the chemo. I can’t help but wonder if he saw this piece, which appeared in a couple magazines prior to the publication of his book. It may seem like a small point, but it is indeed a sticking one. He, too, used that comical aside seen below, “CHEF, YOU WOULDN’T!?”
To see and download the entire piece at an enlarged scale, visit Google Docs.
Eve also presaged David Sedaris’ languid Billie Holiday imitation (in his notorious Macy’s Christmas Elf sketch) by about 25 years. Back in the early ‘60s, she made up a little ditty which she could deliver with the saucy lilt of Lady Day:DIS-EN-CHANT-MENT….CAN’T STAND ANYTHING.