As has become a trademark of Lucky Peach, the new ‘Chefs and Cooks Issue’ opens with a transcript of a four-way rant amongst chefs. In this case the conversation took place at Fisherman’s Wharf over some bread bowls last summer between David Chang, Daniel Patterson, and the two chefs from across the pond that Patterson had in town one week guesting at Coi, Sat Bains and Claude Bosi. It’s a convo full of the usual Chang f-bombs and bluster about the influence of big-name chefs, and chefs who copy other chefs. But there’s an interesting part toward the end where they debate whether or not its necessary to be an asshole in the kitchen in order to be a great chef, and Patterson concludes that though it makes him feel better sometimes, “you haven’t made anything better in the kitchen” by blowing your lid.
Patterson admits that his right-hand man for several years, Evan Rich, has been especially great to have around because he has superior people skills. “You know what was great?” Patterson says, “I would go to Evan and I would say, ‘That’s really fucked up over there, deal with it.’ … He’s way nicer than I am.” The only excuse Patterson can offer is that restaurants like Coi are “art projects,” and he ends up working two days for every normal person’s one day, which can wear a person down. He adds, “You know what’s great? My staff thinks I’m a fucking asshole, but then I had Claude come in and work with everyone and now they think I’m a nice guy.”
Also interestingly, Chang admits he’s growing up and “it’s not worth it” anymore to get too angry and yell in his kitchen. “It’s only a green bean, and there’s a better, smarter way.”
Chefs and Cooks Issue [Lucky Peach - print only]
Earlier: Lucky Peach Issue Three Cover Art Revealed
What You Missed at the Sat Bains/Claude Bosi Dinner at Coi