Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bonus Reading:  How April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig passed Mario Batali's 15-second interview test:
           Friedman called. Neither he nor Batali had ever tasted Bloomfield’s cooking, but Batali said that if he met her he’d be able to tell in fifteen seconds whether she was right for the job. (Friedman and Batali are at least as good at mythmaking as they are at spotting talent.) So, in the spring of 2003, Bloomfield flew to New York for a job interview that turned out to be something between a fraternity rush and a competitive eating event: tuna burgers at Union Square Café, dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai, lobster rolls at Pearl Oyster Bar, pastrami sandwiches at the Carnegie Deli, apple cider at the Greenmarket in Union Square. Friedman’s pièce de résistance was a blowout feast—“this ten-hour, like, eating fest” at Lupa, which Batali partly owns—that only Bloomfield seems to recall. “We had spaghetti with eels, which I’d never had before,” she said. “There was headcheese, on a slightly warm plate, so that when you picked it up it dripped off your fork. Then we went to Babbo and ate there, too—lifeboat squid with caperberries, beef-cheek ravioli, stuffed quail.” Bloomfield was in: “I’d never seen a quail tunnel-boned. It totally blew my mind.” Thanks to a missing fingernail and some scars on her forearms, she had passed the fifteen-second test. Friedman recalled, “Mario said, ‘It means she’ll sacrifice her body. She’s a star. I can tell.’ ”

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