[The Amateur Gourmet is on vacation and, while he’s gone, he’s asked his friends to cover for him. Today’s post comes from Dan Ahdoot, a stand-up comedian (see his website), who spent part of his summer, this summer, working at The Spotted Pig. This is his story.]
I’ve always been obsessed with eating good food. After reading books like Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential and more recently Bill Buford’s Heat, my obsession took me from the dining room to the kitchen. In a masochistic way, I craved the kitchen’s insanity and abuse that was depicted in such raunchy candor in these books. So you can imagine my surprise, and in a weird way, my disappointment when I walked into the kitchen at The Spotted Pig on my first day as summer intern, greeted by a tender, sweet-faced woman named Nicola who practically hugged me and said: “Hey Dan, welcome to The Spotted Pig. We’re excited to have you.” What? No hazing? No ‘who the fuck are you’? Is The Spotted Pig the Romper Room of kitchens? Seeing Nicola’s arms as we shook hands suddenly dispelled that fleeting thought. Her arms are not only tatted up, they’re also covered with burn marks…deep, violent, permanent burn marks. You know that scar from 1st grade you show off whenever a scar contest starts? She’s got about 15 of those on her right forearm. Nicola was the perfect person for me to meet first because she embodies the kitchen run by head chef April Bloomfield. A very sweet exterior, coupled with a truly hard-core interior.