I spent a while schmoozing with people backstage: people with money, chefs, food writers and the people giving out free booze, of course. I went from vodka cranberry cocktails to Saint Arnold's to champagne. Yeah...then, just when things couldn't get any better, I looked up from my drink and saw t'afia's Monica Pope.

Back story: I was a sous chef for Monica ten years ago at the legendary Boulevard Bistrot. I worked my ass off for her, and after a couple of years she fired me. I've never had any resentment toward her, though. In fact, I have the utmost respect for her, as a chef and a talented businesswoman. After ten years, I'd never had the opportunity to tell her that I don't hate her. This was my chance.

"Monica Pope," I slurred out at her. I told her everything I just told you. She smiled and laughed and went back to drinking champagne and eating cheese. It's probably something she will never think of again. As for me, I finally got some closure.

Looking casual: Our mustachioed interloper.
Katharine Shilcutt
Looking casual: Our mustachioed interloper.

I soon realized the booze was running out, the crowd was thinning and I was shit-hammered. Also, if I stuck around too long, I might have to help the Laurenzo's crew clean up. I looked around for Bourdain, who had disappeared back to his hotel room...with my Sharpie!

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