Letters

Kitchen Stories

The real world, Houston:I just wanted to thank you for your story ["Chefs Rule," by Brian McManus, July 7]. Until recently, I taught culinary arts at HCC, and your article aptly describes everything I tried to make my students understand about the real world. Especially when they got their feelings hurt by another student. Or came in thinking they knew everything. Or yelled "Bam!" in my presence…

Scott W. Smith
Spring The bald truth:I enjoyed your stories of life in the kitchen, especially the one about the name Filthy McNasty. In it, you ponder the name Shoemaker for someone who is lazy. Most kitchens in Houston are manned by Latinos. "Shoemaker" is a direct translation of zapatero, which is Spanish slang for "lazy." Believe me, it's one of the kinder ones, too.

I once had a bald waiter, and on his first day, the kitchen began to call his orders by his nickname, Pellon. He asked me how they knew to call him that, because at his last job that was what he was called. You should have seen his face when I told this guy it meant "hairy," snidely implying that he was bald. He did not have a hair on his head!

The kitchen is a magical place to be. And for those who think that magic comes magically easy, there will be many disappointments. It's hard work, and I tip my hat to all who do such work.

Tom Williams
Houston

Eat it, pretty boys:Holy shit, I have to thank you a million times over for writing this article. I was beginning to think Houstonians were left out of the evil-restaurant business. (We're always hearing stories out of the mouths of people from New York, the West Coast, New Orleans, whatever, but hardly ever from Houston. Odd.) Anyway, I was highly amused that you mentioned Tony Bourdain, because I totally dig the guy, and then you even went so far as to dog Bobby Flay and Emeril -- right on! Jesus, have you seen the shit the Food Network's been putting out lately? Something about being the "next Food Network star" or some such. Like they need another damn pretty boy, honestly. Anyway, I really enjoyed reading this article. I don't know how many times I've listened to my peers speak of what hard-core rollers (insert Food Network stars here) are, when the real cooks are busting their asses in the kitchen, through pain and injury, and going completely unnoticed by the general public. Talk about the justice system being fucked up.

Sarah Katherine
Houston

Can-Do Cantineras

Sex selling:About ten years ago a friend of mine told me about a bar where there were attractive Hispanic women who would show you a good time ["Addicted to Love," by Keith Plocek, June 30]. (Both of us are white.) I went, and although I speak not a word of Spanish, this beautiful Hispanic girl was all over me asking me to buy her drinks and to dance and doing tequila shots while sucking salt off my neck and eating limes out of my mouth, making out with me, etc. I was having a great time, and then the bartender tells me, "She wants to know will you sleep with her for money." I declined, and she turned to ice and walked away.

I almost fell out of my chair when I read in the article that "Cantineras are there to sell liquor, not sex." In my one experience, that was not the case. I can understand how you could get addicted to those places, because I had a great time. The funny thing about the place was the messier and sweatier you were, the more attention you got from the girls. Apparently the big spenders were blue-collar construction-worker types. If you came in all dressed up wearing cologne, forget about it. No love!

Name withheld by request
Houston

Bring It On

Subjective glop: Thank you for reviewing my exhibition "Virtual Urge" at the Deborah Colton Gallery ["Art Lite," by Kelly Klaasmeyer, June 30]. As the old adage goes, "Any press is good press," except for an obit. One question: Did you go to college, or did you spend your intellectual formative years watching Star Trek repeats, visually consuming cartoons and eating presweetened cereal? Kelly, come on, I feel sorry for your lack of maturity and embarrassed (for you) that you would expose such a keen sense of ignorance and denigrate work that is both spiritual and philosophical.

Rather than spend my time commenting on your subjective glop, I will keep it bite-size…You are over your head in a sea of pop culture. Rather than drowning, take some time and "bring it on" at a higher level, so you can see the light.

Jonmarc Edwards
Los Angeles

Credit Report

Rize up: I have to take issue with your article about the movie Rize ["Dance, Dance Revolution," by Luke Y. Thompson, June 23]. You criticize the movie, saying it "barely acknowledges the more obvious heritage of both rock concert mosh pits and professional wrestling." Was this meant to address the film not giving credit for the idea of the BattleZone? I can concede that it takes different aspects of big-arena entertainment from the sources you mentioned, but I fail to see where the credit is due. Following your logic, if they used the phrase "Let's get ready to rumble," then you would want them to give credit to boxing.

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