Le Chef is …. well, you fill in the blank. But today il m’ennuie un peu (I’m finding him annoying).
We were at his kitchen at Baru 66, where we were set to work on another “chef et bonne femme” recipe. I told him that before we got to work, I needed to stir together a little salad I was taking to a local soup kitchen that night.
He directed me to the smallest workspace he had: a 3-foot by 3-foot station. I hardly had enough room for my ingredients, let alone a mixing bowl. I wanted to spread out. And really—it was about 3 hours before his crew was due to arrive to set up for the night. So what was the problem?
He answered, “Tu es bordelique.”
Bordelique? That was a word that I had not yet come across. I wanted to think it had to do with Bordelaise—a word that refers to anything that comes from the elegant city of Bordeaux.
Well, no. Actually, the word bordelique is actually derived from the word bordello.
Photo by Madolan via Flickr.
Seriously? Was he calling me a putain?
Well, no, he explained. While the word bordelique is related to the word bordello, there’s no sexual connotation to the word bordelique.
After a little back-and-forth, we decided that what he was trying to say was that I was messy. I suppose that bordellos and messiness do have a commonality….
To add insult to injury, he added, “Toutes les bonnes femmes sont bordeliques. “All bonnes femmes are messy.” Ouch.
He went on to explain that he gives his messiest prep cooks the least amount of space to work in. The less room you have, the less messy you can possibly be.
Question of the day: How is it that the French get to say these things and somehow, we don’t have the urge to flatten them with the nearest meat pounder?
David Baruthio in his kitchen, which is anything but bordelique.