Lardo is cute and contemporary, a restaurant that would fit right into Seattle or Brooklyn or Boston, and It’s our last day in Mexico City, but I’m trying not to think about that. I want this to be life, for us to be in the same city, going to eat together, going home together, doing life together. I wonder if you’ll miss me as much as I’ll miss you, if you’ll count down the days until we see each other again with as much steadfast ferocity as I will. I don’t know why it’s so easy for shit to devolve into competitive bullshit, even when it’s love.
I think you’re feeling the same — not competitive, but sad. You’re quieter than usual, which I guess isn’t saying much because it’s not like you’re the chattiest person to begin with, but your quiet this morning feels different.
All the cooks in this kitchen are men, you say flatly, and I almost laugh because that’s not what I was expecting you to say.
True, I say. The owner/chef’s a woman, though, isn’t she? Same woman behind that Italian place we were supposed to go to the other night? Y’know, when we went to get rice and noodles instead.
I think so.
Do you think about that when you hire? Like, make sure to hire women?
Honestly? you say, absently stirring your iced latte as we wait for our food. No. I just want good people in my kitchen, and that doesn’t have to do with anyone’s gender. Or skin color. Or sexual orientation. Though I do think I gravitate towards certain people, and they happen to be people of color who are queer because that’s what I am and I didn’t grow up around that, so maybe, on some level, I like surrounding myself with that kind of people.
I get that.
Though I don’t know. I think that, sometimes, people hear that, the whole “I don’t think gender or race or sexuality matter in a kitchen,” and think it’s some kind of bullshit. It’s not always what people want to hear.
Yeah, well, some people talk a lot of bullshit, and, sometimes, it’s the “right” bullshit that makes the zeitgeist happy, but it’s still bullshit. Matters more what people do.
I guess, you say, crush the last of your guava pastry with your fork. I think gender and race and sexuality do make a difference in the kitchen, though, but maybe in indirect ways. Like, who you are affects how you experience life, and that shapes who you are and how you react to the people around you. And some people might disagree, but I think that matters in a kitchen — and I think it matters that it happens naturally, not because people are being forced to look for their one token line cook to make a quote-unquote “diverse” kitchen. It sets the tone. And that affects the dining experience, whether the diner knows or not. I guess I think about this more than I thought I did.
This kind of stuff honestly didn’t really bother me before, though, definitely not when I was starting.
People grow. They change.
Yeah. Thankfully, you say, sitting up straighter as our food arrives, a croque madame for me, poached eggs with mushrooms and Jerusalem artichokes for you. I’m going to miss this a lot.
Me, too. But I’ll see you in New York in, like, two weeks.
These two weeks better fly.