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Cooking Advice from the Gentlemen of Satire V

Buongiorno! A true gentleman is a master of the gastronomical arts. As a courtesy to the reader, the gentlemen of Satire V offer their advice for the aspiring culinary craftsman.

  • Use only the finest cutlery. Ginsu knives. Very, very sharp knives. The kind of knives sold on TV that can cut through a shoe. Stay up until 4am on a weekday night and purchase the shoe-cutting knives.

  • Always have a glass of merlot around. Sip it speculatively as you make cooking decisions.

  • Try an apron: neat, pressed, in a dark solid color or pinstripe. No floral patterns or frilly edges. Beneath the apron, wear something neat, yet casual. You'll look dashing in your Calvin Klein Collection shirt, made of only the finest Egyptian cotton, in solid black with spread collar, $79.50; trim and trendy grey tweed pants from Ralph Lauren, cotton blend $80; and distressed calf-skin oxford shoes from Kenneth Cole Reaction, $150.

  • Lotion. Nothing speaks louder for one's love of cooking than a pair of soft hands. Gentle hands. Begin at the cuticle and slowly work your way to the wrist. Offer to lotion your guest's hands, as it is done in Peru.

  • Use a catchphrase. Recommended words are "flavor," "savor," and "sensuous". Highly recommended is declaring "delicious" or "here it is" in a non-English, not-cliched language. Avoid boisterous, percussive exclamations at all costs. You are a gentleman, not a hack.

  • Throw wine and flour on everything. Pinch a little bit of flour, and flick it gingerly. Open a bottle of wine, cover half of the top with your thumb, then sprinkle.

  • Turn the heat up. As the fire's glow lights the undersides of your face, flare at your guest. Mouth the words "Hand me the oregano" as you shed a single tear.

  • Cook with wood. Keeping the temperature at a comfortable 350 degrees, gently twist each log in a firm yet loving manner. Mind the elbows.

  • Recount trips to Europe and Asia as you prepare the dishes. Describe the rustic villages and rustic old people and who taught you that great food is a form of love and prayer. Often reference Paolo, the aged fisherman who taught you about trout and sea bass, but also opened your eyes to the truly important things in life as you fell passionately in love with his daughter, a poor waitress named Marcella.

© 2003