Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Prodigal Chef

I've been reading Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" which is about his many adventures and ... misadventures and scandalous contretemps and truly crazy things he's done in his life as a chef. It's a great book. I can't wait to get his cookbook.

He runs his terrific Les Halles restaurant in NYC like the captain of an ARRRGHHH pirate ship and the crew is a wild bunch.

One of the chapters is about a fellow chef, Scott Bryan, who he makes out to be a brilliant, disciplined, smart, did-all-the-right-things kinda guy. I'm sure he is. Bourdain admits that his own life has included hard drinking, sexy antics, coke, heroin and marijuana indulgence and if he'd been as careful and reasonable as Scott Bryan, he'd have been better off.

All well and good. But, Christ! Bourdain is a terrific writer BECAUSE he is so much more HUMAN and interesting despite (and thanks) to his flaws, his fuck-ups and his fantastic appetite for life (and food, and sex and drugs ... you name it), isn't that what makes him GREAT!?

A prodigal son is just so much more fun to welcome home. They have done the worst. They make the rest of us feel pretty damned superieur and secure. They've fallen and landed on their ass many more times than us.

Give me the sinner over the saint any day!

The chapter made me pause and understand why we love a guy who is willing to LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST and make a mess of things. It's just so much more exciting than the careful life.