When I was first writing PERMANENT INK my friend Jenny read the first few pages. Then she sent me this article. Do you know this guy? she said. I think you have a crush on him.
I'd never heard of him. But I think she was right.
We all have our weak spots. We have a type. We do. We might want to argue otherwise but, well, I just can't help it. I love cooks.
They're supremely undateable. They work 362 days a year and a short day is 10 hours. Their hands look like battelgrounds. Their fingernails can never really get clean. Their forearms are scarred and burned and blistered. They come alive at 2 in the morning. They have a little too much fun. They smell like mussels and fried spinach and garlic and rosemary and burned sugar all at once. They flirt with waitresses and wine reps and customers and bartenders and your best friends. They live for anxiety and heat. Their apartments have no furniture and empty refrigerators and they rarely do laundry. When they do, they send it out and the bag the laundromat returns, with their shirts neatly folded, serves as a closet.
O man, I love cooks. I just read this book. And then this article. All I want to do is read about chefs. And I feel giddy. Because the thing is, in spite of (or in addition to, depending on how you look at it) all of the details I just mentioned, they are the best kind of artists. Because their food means everything to them. They live and breathe it. They don't have time for anything else. They don't have time for the scene or the image or the competition. They are just imagining the food. And then preparing it. They shape it and grill it and saute it and taste it and hate it and revere it. Then they FEED you. Come on. Looking at a painting is nice. A great song can make you cry. A poem can send chills across your shoulder blades. A novel can make you take deep breaths in awe. But a fantastic meal. There's nothing like it.
So today I keep re-writing the meal that Parker cooks because, well, there are so many possibilities.