"We found them in the kitchen."
Town & Country US|December 2022 - January 2023
Give a man a pot-or teach him how to use it?
By Joel Stein
"We found them in the kitchen."

Some people watch sports and wonder if they could play professionally. I eat at great restaurants and wonder whether I could work in the kitchen.

I don’t have the knife skills to julienne or chiffonade, so my dream of being a chef is akin to wanting to play for the Yankees but not knowing how to catch.

Luckily, Ludo Lefebvre, the handsome, tattooed, Michelin-starred chef who owns the Petit Trois restaurants in Los Angeles, didn’t know that.

At noon on a Thursday I walked through the swinging kitchen door of Chez Maggy, Lefebvre’s bistro at the Thompson Hotel in Denver. I was met by chef de cuisine Jeff Schwing, who was much cheerier than I thought chefs were allowed to be. He gave me a black button-down shirt, an apron, and the worst knife I’ve ever used. It had a plastic handle, a dull blade, and, I’m guessing, a rich history of opening Amazon packages.

I was there to “stage”—the French term for unpaid interning at a restaurant either to learn or audition for a job. But I had created staging as an entirely new endeavor, as a baseball fantasy camp for foodies. Soon dentists and executives alike would follow my lead and pay to peel carrots at Le Bernardin. The fantasy chefs would show their friends photos of them holding a pan with Eric Ripert and explain how they now understand that a kitchen is too hot and too stressful, and how they appreciate fine dining more than they did before. And I think they’d be getting a deal.

This story is from the December 2022 - January 2023 edition of Town & Country US.

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This story is from the December 2022 - January 2023 edition of Town & Country US.

Subscribe to Magzter GOLD to access thousands of curated premium stories, and 8,000+ magazines and newspapers.

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