|About the Book|
When, aged 18, Kent Austin quits his dead-end job selling porn magazines to become a chef at an up-market restaurant (‘No experience necessary, as full training will be given – live in’) it’s in a last ditch attempt to escape a life of mediocrity.HeMoreWhen, aged 18, Kent Austin quits his dead-end job selling porn magazines to become a chef at an up-market restaurant (‘No experience necessary, as full training will be given – live in’) it’s in a last ditch attempt to escape a life of mediocrity.He certainly has no inkling of the weird and dysfunctional world in which he is about to find himself. Inhabited by a cast of oddballs and eccentrics – including two ‘hyphenated heiresses’, a Swiss ‘nymph armagnac’, a premium-rate yogic guru and an aristocratic boss who claims to be the bastard love child of King Edward VIII – nothing is as it seems.Kent Austin’s comic culinary memoir The Mousse and the Man from the Michelin is a tale of optimism laid waste by incompetence. Whether it’s cooking for an overfull restaurant in a woefully underequipped and understaffed kitchen (while also being filmed by the BBC), pandering to the whims of food critics and C-list celebrities, or fending off the advances of waitresses of a certain age with an appetite for younger men, disaster lurks at every turn.“Extracting innards of one type or another was to form a major part of my daily routine...”Firmly at the bottom of the kitchen pecking order, Kent is tasked with all things dangerous and disgusting – including grappling with the anal cavities of decomposing pheasants and the systematic genocide of the many mange-ridden feral cats that inhabit the kitchen garden. But despite getting off to a worse start than England in the World Cup, he sticks it out, and even harbours fantasies of becoming a celebrity chef.When he isn’t failing miserably to master the finer points of nouvelle cuisine (including such instantly forgettable classics as compote of calf’s liver with frozen grapes and Pernod mayonnaise), he’s busy making mousses – lots of them, in all their ‘bland and ethereal glory’ – because, as everyone knows, this is the best way to please the Michelin Guide and win that coveted first Michelin star – or so he’s led to believe.Worn down by the stress of the job, Kent cries out for help, but instead finds his life hijacked by a predatory drug dealer and his entourage of freaks – among them a trio of stoned troglodytes and a sex-obsessed laughing gnome who once served as a muse to David Bowie.And just when it seems that things can’t get any worse, he receives an unscheduled visitor... It is the dreaded Man from the Michelin.