Marco Canora on His ‘Bratty’ Former Busboy, Jake Gyllenhaal

He's the boss.
He’s the boss. Photo: Thos Robinson/Getty Images

At last night’s Inaugural Spring Benefit for Edible Schoolyard NYC, foundation ambassador Jake Gyllenhaal let slip that he once worked for Hearth chef Marco Canora in Martha’s Vineyard — and mentioned that he had been, in his own words, “a little brat.” After Gyllenhaal’s speech, we caught up with Canora to get the full story — and to find out how Canora got his payback.

Jake Gyllenhaal just said he cooked for you?
No, he worked for me as a busboy.

He said he was kind of a brat. What happened?
Well, he was very young. I think he had just turned 16 at the time. On Martha’s Vineyard in July and August, it’s crazy-busy. Every night is like a busy Saturday night, so you need everybody to show up to work, right? He had his mother call into the restaurant to say that he was sick for the day. My buddy and I who ran the place were like, “Oh my God. I can’t believe that Jake’s mother just called to say that he’s home sick and can’t come to work.”

So the next morning, we went to the drugstore and bought a baby bottle and a little pacifier, and when he came back to work, we gave him so much shit. We just didn’t let up. Every day for the rest of the summer, we kept on giving him water in a baby bottle. He was just telling me how that kind of resonated with him in terms of work ethic, so I thought it was kind of cute.

That is cute. I feel like it’s also fair — you’re 16.
Yeah, you’re 16. Your mother can’t call, right?

I almost feel like you’re overcompensating — like, are you really sick or are you going sailing?
Exactly. It was probably sailing. But it was fun. He and his sister worked at the restaurant.

Maggie worked there too?
Maggie did, yeah.

At the same time?

Was she a bus-person also? Was she a busgirl?
She was a busgirl, yes. And now look at them. Top of the world.

Marco Canora on His ‘Bratty’ Former Busboy, Jake Gyllenhaal