Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Closer to Massimo

Chef Buttaro with his American wife; he speaks
always of their success, not his accomplishments.
Look at that pose; this is a man to love, nest pas?
He's holding up his book I just got. It's by Phaedon.

I can't read the citation, but I love seeing him looking proud.
He has so much to be proud of as a man and chef.

Excitement is a state that’s become increasingly difficult to experience. Aging seems to come with an antidote to excitement whether you want it or not but true excitement coursed through me and gave me actual shivers when I read the last sentence of this email from “SpoonHQ:”

Picked up your piece this morning. You might care to update it so that it reads that Osteria Francescana is currently ranked number two in the world by The World's 50 Best Restaurants awards. Goodness knows where it will come when the new list is announced in New York in June this year. Also Massimo's sous chef dropped the lemon tart on the kitchen pass and didn't drop a plate ... but these are minor matters and I hope that you continue to enjoy France, the food and the blog that you have created. I haven't brought your post to Massimo's attention yet.

My friends know how much I have enjoyed having heroes. I idolize the people who inspire me; my idolatry is good for me because my body and soul fill with love. Don’t you agree? The objects of my affection don’t even know I exist. 

But that last sentence gave me goosebumps to “feel” so close to so great a man — the writer appears to know Mr. Buttaro. Could "SpoonHQ" be someone who works for him? Can you hear my heart beating? I idolize Mr. Buttaro as much as Chef Buttaro because of how I imagine the arc of his sous chef’s emotions. The humanity of the man and the boss, transforming the grief of an employee to pride, is as beautiful as the chef's creations; hence my fandom.

Imagine what that sous chef must have felt when he dropped the lemon tart on the kitchen pass. Whatever he felt has been replaced with, I imagine, incredible pride because the incident not only inspired a treatment for a dessert, but also a story that has become a publicity mega virus. 

It’s a circle: I fell into deep, wonderful admiration of an inspiring man and chef and so I wrote about it and someone who knows Chef Buttaro has brought me an emotionally deeply enriching reward. What a wonderful world.

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