Indeed it was all about the ice cream. But in this episode the two big features were once again the crazy pace of plating under outrageous circumstances, and the rapport between chef and sous-chef. This episode can painfully illustrate how brutal the restaurant business can be: the cuts, the burns, the bumps, the yelling, the cursing, the mess-ups (fritters that almost ended up in the trash), and the mad rush to beat the clock (60 seconds left!). Memoirist Jason Sheehan offers the analogy of a tornado in his phenomenal book Cooking Dirty to explain the atmosphere of the kitchen in a crab shack he worked in just off the interstate in Florida: "The truest thing ever said about a tornado? 'There was wind. And then, after a while, there weren't any wind no more.' I heard that once long ago on the TV news from some fat, florid hillbilly whose trailer had been flattened by a big twister while he huddled beneath it. There was wind and then there wasn't."
Sous-chef David, although a chef in his own right, rightly describes how Chef Robert suddenly "gets in the zone", how his tornado-like irrascibility comes forth and virtually swallows everyone and everything in his path. Nevertheless, Chef Robert volunteers an interesting exegesis: "It's all about the can-do attitude." Indeed, it must be all about attitude when it comes to Chef Robert and his right-hand man Chef David because, like no other memorable scene in Dinner:Impossible, Chef David's frustration is very keenly felt and observed towards the end when Chef Robert keeps interrupting innumerable tasks and it's nothing but stop-and-go-stop-and-go to seating. Chef David's irritation is agonizingly clear. It seemed that it would be his last mission with the illustrious Chef Robert. Unflinchingly, Chef David demonstrates the greatest form of can-do attitude: sticking by Chef Robert. (On a personal note: if given the opportunity, I would cherish the chance to ask him if he still endeavours to set up a mise-en-place of his own in spite of the difficulties/challenges/insane-adrenaline-highs of each mission.)moreless