Everyone loves a good public meltdown, and this one from Boston’s French restaurant Pigalle is certainly a doozy. Responding to a displeased guest, who likened the pumpkin pie to vomit, the restaurant’s owner/chef Marc Orfaly unleashed a tirade of invective that would make, well, a chef blush.
Typically something like this would be confined to local industry media, and it certainly was well-covered, with the Boston Herald writing: “In an epic Facebook meltdown, the owner of one of the Hub’s fanciest French dining destinations went schoolyard crazy on a woman who dissed his pumpkin pie, calling her “fat,” “uneducated” and “unintelligent” in a series of expletive-laced and misspelled rants.” The Boston Globe and Boston Business Journal chimed in as well. But in the past day it’s taken on a life of its own, graduating from social media controversy to Social Media Controversy, getting picked up by BuzzFeed, who have the screen shots of the entire sad ordeal, and the Daily Mail, who know a good shit-tossing fight when they see one.
There are probably all sorts of lessons here about the hospitality industry and the way that social media has changed how businesses interact with customers and bla bla bla, but I think there’s a bigger one worth pointing out: many, many chefs do in fact hate you.
It’s not just true of chefs, of course. Everyone with any sort of talent, or who perceives themselves to be in possession of talent, is burdened with a white hot core of self-loathing that manifests itself through disdain for the people who their efforts are meant to please. Musicians, authors, actors, sports figures? They all hate you. That’s true if you don’t like them, because then you’re an ignoramus for not appreciating their talents, or if you do, because then you’re just a faceless number put on the earth to bask in the Talented One’s glory and therefore a lesser being.
It’s the same way you might lose respect for someone romantically once you’ve won them over. I don’t want to belong to any penis/vagina that would have me as a member.
In fact, I hate all of you reading this post right now, both because there aren’t enough of you and that makes me feel bad about myself, and because I question your judgement for being someone stupid enough to enjoy something that I’ve created.
It’s a miserable existence, producing anything ‘creative’, be it a blog post or a pumpkin pie, or a song, and the only thing we hate more than the people who stymie our divine right to success are the people who enable it. Your existence as a fan is an indictment, because recognizing your pitiful, individual, countable humanity is an affront to the mythology we build about our sense of self. At least our critics we can kind of respect, because we have something in common: we hate ourselves.
That doesn’t mean we should let that it come out, especially if we’re trying to run a successful restaurant/website, but it’s something that we should all keep in mind next time we’re out to eat, or appreciating any sort of artistic endeavor. If you’re wondering what the secret ingredient in there you can’t exactly place, it’s probably loathing.