What if Freddie Kitchens had a terrible celebrity chef doppelganger?
HOST: Hi, I’m Zack Bertman, and welcome back to The Inner Monologue of a Chef: But Now It’s Outer!, Netflix’s top-ranked fourth-tier chef vanity show. We’re taking you all over the world to some of the hottest, fanciest, and most innovative restaurants, and finding out what makes the people behind them tick! [busy and frankly unappetizing montage of the host and his friends eating a variety of foods] HOST: Today, we’re visiting a long-running restaurant that has fallen on some hard times, but hopes to revitalize itself under an up-and-comer who’s manning a kitchen as head chef for the very first time. [exterior shot of a restaurant] HOST: This is Le Fourrière, once a beloved institution in Cleveland. The classic French restaurant was once the place to go in town if you were celebrating something big — birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, pre-merger NFL championships. [black-and-white photo of Frank Sinatra being restrained by tuxedo-clad bouncers from punching local celebrity “Big Chuck” Schodowski] HOST: Changing tastes and poor management plagued the restaurant for years, however, and it closed for several years before a new restaurant group tried to revive the flagging brand — without much success. [color photo of Drew Carey not appearing to enjoy a meal in 2001] HOST: It looked like Le Fourrière might go the way of the automat or the Arch Deluxe, but last year the ownership decided to shake things up, promoting a line cook all the way to head chef. He brought a brash new energy to the staid institution, shaking up the menu and casting off the once-stodgy atmosphere. That man? Our guest today: the one, the only — Frédéric Footballfields. FRÉDÉRIC: Hello. HOST: Freddie, you gotta tell me. This was a big jump. Most big restaurants like this, they have a real hierarchy, a way of doing things in a certain order. If a head chef leaves or gets fired, usually there’s a favored sous chef ready to step in, or they’ll hire someone with experience running a kitchen. It’s almost unheard of for someone to jump from the line straight to the toque, but you did it. How? FRÉDÉRIC: The owners, you see, they are easy to persuade. The man who owns this restaurant? He sells counterfeit T-shirts to discount stores. He is a businessman, but he is not a food man. Last year, our head chef, well, he had a very bad time. First, he had an entire night, he served no food. Just forgot. He swore it would never happen again, but it happened again. Then he fell in a lake. HOST: That’s rad. FRÉDÉRIC: So the owners, they do not like the sous chef. He is not a pleasant man. He would pay waiters cash bonuses for spitting in critics’ food. I tell them, I will run your restaurant, and we will get four Michelin stars. HOST: To be clear, no restaurant in the world has more than three. The scale only goes up to three. FRÉDÉRIC: The T-shirt man does not know this, and he respects bold ideas. HOST: So you took over, and suddenly business was booming. It was the talk of the town. Sold out for weeks. Suddenly the local press is saying you’re an innovator that’s going to bring this old gray mare into the 21st Century. What were some of your big ideas? FRÉDÉRIC: You know Taco Tuesday, the idea? HOST: Oh yeah. Rad stuff. FRÉDÉRIC: I put on Taco Threesday. I served tacos, but three different ways. HOST: Wow. Wow. FRÉDÉRIC: Hard shell, soft shell, and something I call “in-between shell”. HOST: That’s wild. Wild stuff, man. Reminds me of a meal I had inside an abandoned factory in Berlin, and — [an explosion is heard from inside the kitchen] HOST: Do you need to check on that? FRÉDÉRIC: On what? HOST: [mildly concerned, but continuing] OK, so you get through the holiday rush season last year, everyone’s talking about Le Fourrière again, and suddenly expectations are high. Ownership opens their wallet, and loads you up with talent. Top sous chefs, a world-class pastry chef, a sommelier from France, even one of New York’s top sushi chefs! How did you incorporate his sushi into your menu? FRÉDÉRIC: We do not have sushi on our menu. HOST: So, what are you doing with — OK, nevermind, nevermind. [another apparent explosion is heard from within the kitchen] HOST: Are things going according to plan for you this season? FRÉDÉRIC: There have been some growing pains. SOUS-CHEF [chef’s whites blackened by soot]: I’m sorry to interrupt, Chef, but the salmon dish you planned for tonight keeps exploding. I think it might be all the gunpowder causing the problem. I think maybe we should try a different — FRÉDÉRIC: [with unearned confidence]Add a quarter-cup more gunpowder. SOUS-CHEF: I just don’t think that — FRÉDÉRIC: If it does not work, blame me. SOUS-CHEF: I want to be very clear, everyone blames you for everything. That is not in dispute. FRÉDÉRIC: [thoughtfully]Make it a half-cup. SOUS-CHEF: [sighs, returns to kitchen] HOST: I understand you’ve had some struggles. FRÉDÉRIC: It takes time to implement a plan. HOST: There was the night you gave everyone in the restaurant food poisoning. Even a few people just passing by on the street got it. Didn’t even eat the food. Didn’t know that was possible. FRÉDÉRIC: That’s on me, and I’ll take the blame for that. HOST: All of your kitchen appliances were stolen. FRÉDÉRIC: I have started locking the door every night after this. It’s a lesson learned, and we’re growing as a staff. HOST: Several diners have gone missing while eating at your restaurant. FRÉDÉRIC: Everyone’s experience is going to be their own, and we’re just going to have to keep doing things according to our plan. The results will come. HOST: You attempted to officially challenge a magazine’s review. FRÉDÉRIC: I thought that was the rule. SOUS-CHEF: [arrives at the table with plate of food] The chef’s specialty; Salmon ala trinitrotoluene. HOST: Wow. This looks dynamite. SOUS-CHEF: [pleading with his eyes for the host not to try it] It literally is. HOST: [ignoring him] Now, Fred, I have to ask — you’ve got a very unusual family name, that’s not one you hear much. Did you ever consider going into football coaching? Maybe there’s something to nominative determinism, perhaps your bombastic style would be more suited to the sideline than the prep line. [both glance over at a television, where the Cleveland Browns are currently attempting to “go for four,” and the referees don’t seem to know what to penalize them for] FRÉDÉRIC: No, of course not. Imagine a man of my kitchen talent on a football field. It would be a disaster. HOST: Well, I’m sure glad you — [takes bite] [explodes] VOICEOVER: Shortly after this episode aired, management of Le Fourrière removed Frédéric Footballfields from his position, citing “a culture of winning,” and also numerous health-code violations. The restaurant has been rebranded as a Perkins.
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