After being bombarded with endless listicles predicting food trends for 2013, I wonder if there’s one that’s been left off? Or let off. And by that, I mean celebrity chefs’ farts. Perhaps sealed in vac-pack bags and poached gently in a sous vide water bath at exactly 37.2C for 37 minutes and then carefully unsealed at the table to be sniffed eagerly while licking a shit-caked brick served by a cook who talks about himself in the third person?
Eau de Heston? Ramsay No.5? And what about an iPod playing the actual sound of the famous chef’s trump that created such a umami-bubbling bouquet as thrill-seeking, trendsetter diners tuck into the food his slaves have cooked in his own name?
I’m joking, of course, but it does give me the opportunity to point out once again how many bullying, megalomaniac, deviant psychos you’ll find in professional kitchens. I wrote about this in my book Down And Out In Padstow And London about the insane characters you find behind the stove and the abuse they regularly inflict on their staff.
But I was still surprised to read about the actions of an apparently fairly well-known American chef who started out on a culinary mission five years ago to fart on every one of his 37 employees - including his accountant - and to chronicle his attacks in some sort of bilious journal, the same way a stalker might keep disturbingly detailed, breathless notes of interactions with victims.
The mystery carrot chopper claims to have had one or two shows on something called the Food Network, which narrows him down to about 100,000 and counting, because everyone’s a celebrity chef now aren’t they. You only have to do a quick news search on Google to find idiots you’ve never heard of donating mince pies they’ve incredibly made themselves - in their own time, and out of the very goodness of their heart - for some charitable cause and a few lines in the local paper.
The chef, who claims to have a restaurant in New York’s Meatpacking District, apparently even has a colour code for the offending farts he forced his employees to inhale, and has recorded his parps in a “rant and rave” section on Craigslist.
In the first strike, inflicted on a lowly kitchen worker on January 21 2008, he says: “It was hot as hell in the kitchen that night, sometimes I like to turn off the air conditioning to give my staff a bit of a stir, it makes their blood flow, their tempers flash, but for some reason, their discomfort turns out better quality food.
“So with all the air off, there is no air flow in our downstairs kitchen, and its small and cramped and really, really fucking hot, even in January. We have our plates in the warmer under our pass, so i was helping my hot apps guy plate a new fungi misti when it happened.
“He had the pan in his right hand, and we both reached to bend over to get the hot plate, i got there first, so he inhaled the entire hot air load that i let roar out of my pants. It was bold, loud, and completely unapologetic...”
He was so delighted, he decided to fart on the rest of his kitchen crew in alphabetical order of their surnames. One by one. And two days ago, his quest was complete.
“I think it took them out of whatever musical they thought they were living in, and made them alive, made them smell, made them want to throw up for a valid reason,” he muses.
“I think all farts should have a color assigned to them, because you know when that one fart comes out and lingers in the air and wont leave, I mean its obvious that is a green fart. Everyone should know this by now, its even documented in cartoons.
“A red fart is a spicy one, probably incurred by some type of spicy ethnic food with a great amount of chilis and onions. A yellow fart, well these are worse on the farter, than they are on the fartee. These are sick farts, the ones that are on the verge of being sharts. Just imagine the fart that comes after downing like gallon of vodka, eating like 5 gyros on st. marks, then bagging a hooker named natasha, who acts like she is from russia etc etc.”
The chef - who describes himself as “definitely known in and around NYC” and brags that he has had “several specials on foodnetwork (sic)” - promises to detail the story of each fart over the next 37 days. Well, he would have done if his odious postings hadn’t already been removed by Craigslist. If his tales are true, let’s hope there were lawyers reading...