Stefan Richter on His Memoir, His New Restaurant, and, of Course, the Ladies


Jada Yuan caught up with Stefan Richter at another Le Tourment tasting, and in addition to discovering that he likes his absinthe with Diet Coke, she confirmed what we suspected that he hasnt made much progress on his memoir. Instead hes been eating burgers and pig ears at the Spotted Pig (best burgers ever! best pig ears Ive had in twenty years!), having dinner with Ariane at Minetta Tavern, hanging with Leah at Centro Vinoteca, and crossing the country with his fellow Top Chefs. So are they traveling to learn the cuisines of the world? No, theyre traveling for publicity, he tells us. What we all do. Heres more from the interview, including news of a new restaurant, his thoughts on Pino Luongos suspicions of thievery, and, as hoped for, his techniques for winning over a lesbian. Its all about charm, folks.

Whats going on with your memoir?
Im working on it. See, Im so busy. And Im the worst frickin speller.

Dont you have spell-check?
I have spell-check, but Im OCD. So I cant type anything in small and little captions. So I have to type everything in big captions.

You mean big type?
Yeah, but spell-check doesnt work in big type. Well, not for me. But mostly I need to write it and have somebody go over it and rewrite it. And Im opening a restaurant. And all this stuff about the memoir came out and people called me. Its a bit of a naughty book. A lot of people are like, oh God!

Whats your new restaurant going to be like?
Its opening August 1 in Santa Monica. Its going to be [called] Stefans plus the name that it used to be.

Whats the old name?
I cant say it. The lease we sign on Wednesday. Im not gonna jinx it. The place has been there for a long, long time.

Okay, so whats the memoir about?
Shit-talking. What people want to say, but they dont say. What the restaurant business is all about.

You mean, sex talk?
No, Ive been in the restaurant [industry] since I was 13. My parents were in restaurants. Stuff about drugs. I dont do them. I smoked pot once, seven years ago. I thought, Im gonna die! I was bawling like a little girl for six hours. Ive never done drugs. I dont wanna do drugs. I booze a little bit. I have my Scotch or my absinthe. Its fine. A couple beers, a glass of wine. But in the restaurant biz, a lot of drugs are going on all the time. Which we ought to change, because we should not be doing that. It kills your taste buds. And you end up being a druggie. Ive seen a lot of good chefs going down on drugs. Also, as a rule, I dont drink before seven oclock at night.

So is it a memoir or a tell-all about the biz?
Its mine. My stuff. What Ive gone through. My parents. My stories. My funny stories about my move to America.

I thought there was a lawsuit about the name?
[Ed: No lawsuit was ever filed] Dirty Dishes? Theres no lawsuit! Oh, Pablo? Paulo?

Pino Luongo was [thinking about] suing you.
Oh, who gives a shit? Fucking go on Google and look up "Dirty Dishes." Theres 25 titles out there called Dirty Dishes. Fucking sue me, dude. Ill call it Stefans Dirty Dish. Then what the fuck are you going to do?

Did your charms ever work on Jamie?
Ask Jamie. Wouldnt be the first one. No, you know, we all truly believe that as lesbians, theyre lesbians. I have friends that are gay. Theyre gay. Lesbians are lesbians. But I truly believe that theres a lot of men that are really piggish in America and I could truly understand why a woman would want to be with a woman instead of a man. I 100% get it. Because Ive seen it with my friends. Im like, Dude, come on! Dont be a pig! Of course theres something intriguing about lesbians. If you cant get it, you want to have it.

And is there a technique that works?
Its all about being charming. You cant be a dick. Youve got to be very loving. Youve got to be sensitive to your feminine side. Then youre going to work it out. Thats why I get mani-pedis every week.

How has that worked out for you? Do you have many lesbian lady loves?
I have lots of lesbian lady loves. Cat Cora, if you ever change your mind, call me.