Sunday Times Column: For the love of chefs


The last flat I lived in had no oven. All you’d find in the fridge was nail varnish. In front of me now is my shopping list, which reads: fags, vodka, soda water, Tampax. In a world where everyone is a foodie, I hate cooking. And cooks. Although, I love chefs.

I’ve been obsessed with chefs since I was a teenager. No sappy boy band could match my crush on Anthony Bourdain — a culinary pirate who tells tales of chefs shagging waitresses in dry-goods areas and snorting coke through dried pasta tubes. My copy of his book Kitchen Confidential is signed to me and my chef ex-boyfriend.

My first love was a chef and my first job was working under him, as a kitchen porter doing dishes in my school uniform (when I forgot clothes to change into). As an impressionable 17-year-old thrust into a world of hard-drinking, swearing, knife-wielding men who smoked spliffs out of the window, broke waitresses’ hearts and played Beastie Boys on a grease-stained stereo, naturally, I idolised them.


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