Transcript: James Chatto | Oct 18, 1998

(Rhythmic string and wind music plays)

In animation, a word in pink slides by against a gray background as hands paint strokes using paintbrushes, play a piano, and touch as in a ballet performance.

The title of the show reads “Dialogue.”

The title of the episode pops up against an image of Richard Ouzounian and a guest sitting at a bar table: “James Chatto. Author.”

The place is small, with orange walls partially covered with posters of paintings.

Then, Richard appears facing the screen. He's in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short side-parted blond hair. He's wearing rounded glasses, a gray suit, lilac shirt, and gray checked tie.

He says WELCOME TO
DIALOGUE.
I'M RICHARD OUZOUNIAN.
DOES A MAN LIVE TO
EAT, OR EAT TO LIVE?
NOW, THAT'S A GREAT DILEMMA,
EXCEPT FOR OUR NEXT GUEST,
BECAUSE HE'S ABLE TO COMBINE
BOTH WONDERFUL SIDES
OF LIFE IN HIS OCCUPATION.
HE'S WRITTEN A NEW BOOK
ABOUT IT CALLED
THE MAN WHO ATE TORONTO.
THIS
DIALOGUE
IS
WITH JAMES CHATTO.

James is in his fifties, clean-shave, with wavy gray hair. He’s wearing a pale yellow suit and a striped blue shirt.

Richard continues SO, JAMES, A LOT OF PEOPLE
ENVY YOU BECAUSE YOU'RE
IN THIS POSITION OF BEING
ABLE TO REVIEW RESTAURANTS
AND WRITE ABOUT THEM
FOR
TORONTO LIFE,
AND IT'S THIS GREAT PANOPLY
OF CULINARY EXCITEMENT.
BUT I GATHER THE
PERSON WE INDIRECTLY
HAVE TO THANK FOR IT
ALL IS ROBERT MORLEY.

James says THAT'S TRUE, THAT'S
ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, YES.
HE WAS THE MAN WHO
FIRST BROUGHT ME
TO TORONTO 21
YEARS AGO.

Richard says YOUR GODFATHER.

James says MY GODFATHER, YES.
AND HE'D WRITTEN
A PLAY CALLED
A PICTURE OF INNOCENCE
THAT PLAYED
AT THE ROYAL ALEXANDRA.
AND IT WAS ABOUT A
TRANSVESTITE
HIGH COURT JUDGE,
PLAYED BY HIMSELF.
HE WAS HAPPILY MARRIED
AT THE SAME TIME,
AND I WAS IN THE COMPANY,
AND WE CAME HERE FOR A MONTH
IN THE MIDDLE OF A RATHER
EXTENDED BRITISH TOUR.

Richard says SO, 1977, TORONTO - WHAT
DO YOU REMEMBER EATING?

James says STEAK.

Richard says A STEAK.

James says YES, STEAK, ALMOST
EXCLUSIVELY, IN FACT.
THERE WAS ONE
SUBMARINE SANDWICH,
WHICH WAS ALL I COULD
FIND TO EAT AT MIDNIGHT,
FROM A MACHINE IN THE
BASEMENT OF THE ROYAL YORK.

Richard says SO, IT WAS THAT
BAD BACK THEN.
I DIDN'T MOVE TO
TORONTO UNTIL '78.

A caption appears on screen. It reads “James Chatto. Author.”

James says I DON'T KNOW
WHAT IT WAS LIKE,
IN THE HINTERLAND
NORTH OF FRONT STREET.
OUR VIEW OF TORONTO
WAS RATHER SMALL AND
RESTRICTED TO THE AREA
BETWEEN THE ROYAL YORK
AND THE ROYAL
ALEXANDRA.
BUT WHENEVER WE WERE
TAKEN OUT TO DINNER,
IT WAS ALWAYS
STEAK, YEAH.

Richard says NOW OBVIOUSLY, BEING
IN THE ROYAL ALEX,
YOU GOT TO GO TO ONE OF
THE MIRVISH RESTAURANTS,
AND THE QUESTION I HAVE
TO KNOW IS, WAS IT
MASHED POTATOES AND
PEAS BACK THEN TOO?

James says IT WAS; IT ALWAYS
HAS BEEN,
AND PROBABLY ALWAYS
WILL BE, YES.

Richard says SO, THERE'S SOME
ETERNAL VERITIES.

James says THAT WAS MY FIRST
MEAL IN NORTH AMERICA,
AND IT SORT OF SET THE
STANDARD, I SUPPOSE, YES.

Richard says NOW, IT WASN'T FOOD THAT
NECESSARILY KEPT LINKING YOU
BACK TO TORONTO,
BUT IT WAS SOMEBODY
YOU ENCOUNTERED IN A FOOD
ESTABLISHMENT, INDIRECTLY.

James says ACTORS AFTER THE SHOW ARE
ALWAYS EAGER TO PARTY,
OFTEN HUNGRY, AND WE FOUND
A PLACE THAT HAD JUST
OPENED NEARBY CALLED
PETER'S BACKYARD,
WHICH HAS SINCE CLOSED
AND NOT LONG AGO.
IT WAS A WONDERFUL
LITTLE COCKTAIL BAR
WITH SWING GARDEN FURNITURE
AND THINGS LIKE THAT,
AND WE WOULD
ALWAYS GO THERE;
IT WAS OUR LITTLE H.Q.
AND AFTER A WHILE, IT BECAME
IMPORTANT TO ME THAT I WOULD
SIT AT A TABLE, WHICH WAS
BEING SERVED BY ONE WAITRESS
IN PARTICULAR, WHO I
HAD TAKEN A LIKING TO.
AND SHE WAS A UNIVERSITY
STUDENT ON HER HOLIDAYS,
WORKING THERE.
AND AFTER ABOUT THREE
WEEKS, I PLUCKED UP
ENOUGH COURAGE TO
SPEAK TO HER.
WE'VE BEEN MARRIED FOR A
LONG TIME, AND STILL ARE.

Richard says NOW, THERE'S A WONDERFUL
STORY ABOUT HOW SHE CAME
BACK AND EVENTUALLY
FOUND YOU IN ENGLAND,
BUT IT TIES IN WITH ANOTHER
SIDE OF YOUR FAMILY
THAT I DIDN'T KNOW.
YOU COME FROM A THEATRICAL
FAMILY RIGHT DOWN THE LINE,
NOT JUST YOUR GODFATHER.

James says THAT'S RIGHT, YES, MY
FATHER WAS AN ACTOR.
HE PLAYED THE O'KEEFE
HERE WHEN I WAS A KID,
WHEN I WAS ABOUT 10.
HE CAME OVER WITH
MY FAIR LADY;
HE WAS PLAYING
COLONEL PICKERING.
AND HE BROUGHT BACK THE
FIRST NEWS OF CANADA
THAT I HAD EVER REALLY
HEARD, I SUPPOSE,
AND SOME LITTLE MAPLE
SUGAR CANDIES...

Richard says AND A LOT OF STEAK.

James says WELL, HE WASN'T
THAT MUCH INTO STEAK;
HIS REGIME WHEN ON
TOUR WAS REALLY
CORNFLAKES AND MILK AND A
FAIR AMOUNT OF WHISKEY.
AND HE THOROUGHLY ENJOYED
TORONTO, ESPECIALLY
THE PRESS CLUB, WHICH WAS
THE ONLY PLACE HE COULD FIND
OPEN AFTER THE SHOW TO
GET A DRINK IN THE '60s.

Richard says AND YOUR MOTHER
IS AN AGENT?

James says YEP, SHE'S A VERY
SUCCESSFUL AGENT IN LONDON
AND A WONDERFUL
COOK AS WELL.
I SORT OF LEARNED TO COOK
FROM HER WHEN I WAS GROWING UP.
IT WAS ALWAYS UNDERSTOOD
THAT MY BROTHER AND I
WOULD HELP WITH THE
SAUCES AND THE GRAVIES,
AND WE WERE SORT OF
LITTLE KITCHEN FLUNKIES.

Richard says NOW, THIS IS A SIDEBAR FROM
WHAT I WAS GOING TO ASK YOU,
BUT LIKE PROUST'S MADELEINE,
WHAT'S THE FIRST TASTE
THAT STICKS IN YOUR MIND?

James says OF MY LIFE?

Richard says YEAH.

James says I GUESS IT WOULD BE
THE FLAVOUR OF VANILLA,
BUT FROM WHAT
CONTEXT, I DON'T KNOW.
THAT'S ALWAYS BEEN MY SORT
OF BASELINE FLAVOUR,
ONE OF THOSE INDELIBLE,
UNMIXABLE FLAVOURS,
LIKE CINNAMON, I SUPPOSE,
WHICH I DON'T LIKE.

Richard says WHAT DOES VANILLA DO TO
YOU WHEN YOU TASTE IT?

James says IT JUST PLEASES ME
AND MAKES ME HAPPY.
I DON'T KNOW WHY, AND
I HAVE NEVER REALLY
BOTHERED TO FIND OUT.

Richard says FOR JAMES BEARD,
IT WAS A RAW ONION.
THAT WAS THE FIRST THING HE
REMEMBERS EATING AS A CHILD;
HE WAS, I GUESS, A
HUNGRY LITTLE BIG BABY,
AND THEN HE CRAWLED INTO
THE VEGETABLE BIN AND
PICKED UP A RAW
ONION AND ATE IT.

James says WOW.

Richard says AND YOU LIKE VANILLA.
I THINK THAT SAYS SOMETHING
ABOUT THE PERSONALITIES.

James says I SUSPECT IT WAS ICE
CREAM OR CUSTARD THAT
WAS WHAT APPEALED TO
ME MOST AS A CHILD.

Richard says WHEN YOU WERE BACK AFTER
YOU DID YOUR STINT AS
THE ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER,
ONE OF THE THINGS I FIND MOST
DELIGHTFUL IN YOUR
AUTOBIOGRAPHY IS YOU TALK
ABOUT WORKING IN
JESUS
CHRIST SUPERSTAR
WHEN YOUR
NOT-YET-WIFE WENDY CAME BACK
TO ENGLAND TO LOCATE YOU.

James says RIGHT, YES.
HAVING GOT MY EQUITY CARD,
WHICH WAS THE REASON
I WAS A.S.M.-ING WITH THE
PLAY THAT CAME HERE,
I GOT A JOB WITH THAT
LONG-RUNNING MUSICAL
IN LONDON, FIRST AS THE
TWELFTH APOSTLE AND WORKING
MY WAY UP THROUGH THE
RANKS OF CHARACTERS,
AND ENDING UP FOR A LITTLE
WHILE AS PONTIUS PILATE,
AND THAT WAS FUN.

Richard says BUT YOU NEVER GOT
UP TO BE THE BIG GUY.

James says NO, I DIDN'T.
THE BIG GUY, WAS IT JESUS,
WAS IT JUDAS, IN THAT SHOW?
IT'S HARD TO SAY.
THERE WERE TWO
STREAMS OF ROLES,
AND I NEVER WAS
REALLY ON THOSE;
I WAS ON THE
BADDIE SIDE.

Richard says DID YOU WANT
TO BE AN ACTOR?
BECAUSE THAT SEEMS TO BE
ABOUT THE LAST MENTION
OF ACTING IN YOUR
BIOGRAPHY.

James says FOR A LONG TIME, IT SEEMED
TO BE THE NATURAL STEP
FOR ME, WITH MY
FAMILY CONNECTIONS,
AND I'D ALWAYS DONE
IT ALL MY LIFE;
I'D BEEN A CHILD ACTOR.
IT WAS ONLY SORT OF
LATER ON THAT I REALIZED
THAT I DIDN'T REALLY
WANT TO BE AN ACTOR,
AND IT WASN'T AS
MUCH FUN AS WRITING,
WHICH WAS WHAT I
REALLY ENJOYED.
AND THEY SEEMED TO USE
UP THE SAME ENERGY,
AND SO IT BECAME A
POINT IN MY LIFE
WHERE I KIND OF
HAD TO CHOOSE.
THERE WAS AN OFFER OF
A JOB WITH THE R.S.C.
OR A PUBLISHER SAID, WOULD
YOU LIKE TO WRITE US A BOOK?
IT WAS REALLY THAT
SORT OF WEIGHING IT UP,
AND I THOUGHT, IF
I WRITE THE BOOK,
I CAN GO LIVE IN
GREECE FOR SIX MONTHS,
SO THAT WAS
THE DECIDER.

Richard says WHAT KIND OF
BOOK WAS IT?

James says IT WAS A DREADFUL
LITTLE BOOK.
IT WAS A SORT OF
COMEDY COOKBOOK,
WHICH WAS RATHER IN VOGUE
IN ENGLAND IN THOSE DAYS,
CALLED THE
SEDUCER'S COOKBOOK.
AND IT WAS REALLY A GUIDE
TO MEN AS TO HOW YOU COULD
TRANSFORM YOUR APARTMENT
AND LEARN TO COOK DISHES
THAT WOULD BE AN
INFALLIBLE SEDUCTION TOOL.
AND IT WAS
INTENDED AS A JOKE;
I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE THAT
CLEAR AT THIS POINT.

Richard says OKAY, IN CASE COPIES
COME BACK TO HAUNT YOU.

James says EXACTLY.
BUT SOME OF THE CRITICS AT
THE TIME DIDN'T TAKE IT
AS A JOKE, AND SALES
SOARED AS A RESULT.
THEY THOUGHT IT WAS A
MANUAL FOR SEDUCTION.
BUT THE RECIPES IN IT
WERE, FRANKLY, APPALLING;
I'M DEEPLY ASHAMED
OF THEM NOW.
IT TOOK ME AN AWFULLY LONG
TIME TO COLLECT AND PERFECT.
BUT I SEE NOW THAT
THEY'RE FAR FROM PERFECT.

Richard says I NOTICE YOU HAVEN'T MADE
A MOVE TO WRITE ANOTHER
COOKBOOK YOURSELF -
NOT TO DATE, AT LEAST.

James says I DID WRITE A BOOK
CALLED
A KITCHEN IN CORFU.
WE EVENTUALLY MOVED TO
GREECE FOR SOME YEARS
AND LIVED THERE FULL TIME,
ON THE ISLAND OF CORFU,
UP IN A LITTLE
VILLAGE THERE.
BUT THIS BOOK WAS
NOT MY RECIPES;
THIS WAS MORE ALMOST A
SOCIOLOGICAL HISTORY,
A COLLECTION OF THE
RECIPES OF THE VILLAGERS.
NO ONE HAD EVER
WRITTEN THEM DOWN.
THEY HAD NO COOKBOOKS
THAT THEY COOKED FROM.
AND IT WAS A WONDERFUL,
STRANGE CUISINE,
A SORT OF HYBRID OF
ITALIAN AND GREEK COOKING,
THAT WAS DISAPPEARING FAST
AS TOURISM SPREAD INTO
THE ISLAND AND THE OLD
PEOPLE GREW OLDER
AND STOPPED COOKING.
AND THE OLD TRADITIONS OF
PASSING ON THESE RECIPES
TO YOUR GRANDCHILDREN
WAS FADING AWAY.
SO, IT WAS SORT OF A LABOUR
OF LOVE TO GATHER SOME
OF THESE RECIPES TOGETHER, AND
ALSO GREAT FUN BECAUSE
WE WERE LIVING THERE AND IT
WAS A WONDERFUL INTRODUCTION
TO THE CULTURE AND TO OUR
NEIGHBOURS AND TO THEIR LIVES.

Richard says IN THIS BASICALLY VERY
CHEERFUL AND SUNNY BOOK,
THERE ARE DARK THREADS
THAT WEAVE THROUGH IT,
ABOUT OTHER CHEFS AND
THEIR LIVES AND YOURSELF.
AND AT THIS POINT IN CORFU,
YOU HAD A PERSONAL TRAGEDY,
IN ONE OF YOUR CHILDREN
GREW ILL AND DIED,
AND THAT SENT YOU
BACK TO CANADA.
AND YOU HAD TO START
ALL OVER AGAIN.
I GUESS YOU WRITE VERY
MOVINGLY ABOUT BEING
YOUNG AND STARTING
OUT AGAIN IN TORONTO.
WHAT WAS THE CITY LIKE
TO YOU AT THAT POINT?

James says IT WAS, AGAIN, A VERY
LIMITED LITTLE AREA OF THE CITY.
JUST AS THE FIRST
TIME I'D COME HERE,
I WAS RESTRICTED TO
THE VERY DOWNTOWN.
WE MOVED BACK TO
SCARBOROUGH AND DON MILLS,
AND THAT SORT OF
SUBURBAN RING.

Richard says WAS THAT YOUR
WIFE'S AREA?

James says SHE'S FROM MONTREAL
ORIGINALLY,
BUT SHE'D SPENT PART OF
HER LIFE IN SCARBOROUGH,
AND WHEN WE WERE
SEEKING TO RECUPERATE,
WE MOVED BACK THERE.
IT SEEMED TO BE A PLACE
WHERE ONE COULD NURTURE
ONESELF AND BE SELF-INVOLVED
WITHOUT TOO MANY INTRUSIONS.
AND SO, WE RENTED A
LITTLE HOUSE THERE,
SURROUNDED BY THESE
IMMACULATE LAWNS IN
DON MILLS, AND FINISHED
THE BOOK ABOUT GREECE,
WHICH WASN'T EASY IN
A CANADIAN WINTER,
TO TRY AND CONJURE
THAT ISLAND BACK.
YEAH, AND WE WERE
RATHER BROKE,
SO WE COULDN'T AFFORD
TO EAT OUT AT ALL,
AND RED LOBSTER WAS
ABOUT THE SUMMIT
OF OUR CULINARY
EXISTENCE.

Richard says YOU TELL A WONDERFUL STORY
THAT YOU WENT DOWN TO -
OBVIOUSLY, KNOWING YOU KNEW
FOOD AND LOVED FOOD AND
HAD WRITTEN COOKBOOKS AND
YOU WANTED TO WRITE,
YOU WENT DOWN TO
TORONTO
LIFE'S
FASHION MAGAZINE,
AT THAT POINT, HOPING TO PITCH
YOURSELF AS A FOOD WRITER.
AND THE EDITOR SAID, HAVE
YOU BEEN TO THIS RESTAURANT?
HAVE YOU BEEN TO STELLA,
HAVE YOU BEEN HERE,
HAVE YOU BEEN HERE?
AND YOU KEPT
SAYING, NO, NO, NO.
YOU SAID, YOU FELT HORRIBLY
UNCOOL BECAUSE THE ONLY
RESTAURANT YOU'D BEEN
TO WAS RED LOBSTER.

James says THAT'S RIGHT, AND HE
SUGGESTED THAT I MIGHT
WANT TO TRY A FEW OTHER
RESTAURANTS IF I WAS GOING
TO SET MYSELF UP AS A MAN
ABOUT TOWN IN TORONTO.
SO, GRADUALLY, THAT
SORT OF EVOLVED,
AND I BEGAN TO REVIEW
FOR
TORONTO LIFE,
AND THE EDITOR THERE,
JOSEPH HORR, SENT ME OUT.
AND ONE BY ONE,
MEAL BY MEAL,
I BEGAN TO UNDERSTAND
TORONTO'S RESTAURANT SCENE.

Richard says THERE'S ALSO WONDERFUL
DESCRIPTIONS IN THE BOOK
OF YOU IN YOUR VIRGINAL DAYS
AS A RESTAURANT REVIEWER,
DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM
ABOUT HOW DO YOU TAKE NOTES.
YOU TRIED TO USE A
MICROPHONE ON ONE OCCASION?

James says I DID; SOMEBODY HAD GIVEN
ME A TINY LITTLE MIC,
LIKE THAT, WITH A WIRE.
AND I HAD A MINIATURE TAPE
RECORDER THAT REPORTERS USE.
AND I GUESSED IF I PUT THE
RECORDER THERE AND RAN
THE MIC LEAD INSIDE MY SLEEVE
AND USED THAT AS A CUFFLINK,
THEN I COULD JUST GO LIKE
THAT AND TALK ABOUT WHATEVER
I WAS EATING WHENEVER
THAT WAS NECESSARY.

Richard says WHAT DID IT SOUND LIKE
WHEN YOU GOT IT HOME?

James says THIS WAS THE
TROUBLE, YOU SEE;
I RUBBED MY HANDS WITH
GLEE AND PLAYED IT BACK,
AND IT WAS JUST THE
BEAT OF MY PULSE
AND THE RUSTLE OF FABRIC.
MY COMMENTS WERE
UTTERLY LOST,
SO I HAD TO THINK
OF ANOTHER SYSTEM.
I STARTED TO TAKE NOTES.
AS THE WAITER CAME BY,
I WOULD PRETEND TO
BE INTERVIEWING THE PERSON
WHO WAS MY COMPANION.
BUT THAT DIDN'T WORK,
BECAUSE I BEGAN TO ENJOY
THE INTERVIEW MORE
THAN THE MEAL,
AND I LOST TRACK OF
WHAT I WAS EATING.
THERE WERE ALL SORTS OF
WAYS THAT CRITICS DO THIS.
SOME OF THEM DASH OUT TO THE
WASHROOM FOUR OR FIVE TIMES
IN THE MEAL AND
QUICKLY SCRIBBLE DOWN
WHAT THEY CAN REMEMBER.
BUT, THAT REALLY DOES
DRAW ATTENTION TO YOU,
AND SOON THE WHOLE RESTAURANT
IS STARING IN SYMPATHY.

Richard says CAUSES RUMOURS.

James says THE MANAGER
COMES UP AND SAYS,
IS EVERYTHING ALL RIGHT?
SO, I THINK PROBABLY THE
EASIEST THING IS JUST
TO HIDE A LITTLE NOTEBOOK
UNDER YOUR NAPKIN ON YOUR LAP
AND TRY TO BE
SURREPTITIOUS ABOUT IT.

Richard says WHEN I HEARD YOU WERE
WRITING THIS BOOK,
I THOUGHT - WELL, YOU HAD
ONLY BEEN IN THE TORONTO
SCENE WRITING ABOUT
RESTAURANTS FOR ABOUT
THE LAST DECADE, AND I
WONDERED IF YOU WERE
GOING TO RESTRICT
YOURSELF TO THAT.
BUT YOU'VE DONE A MARVELLOUS
THING ABOUT ACQUAINTING
THE READER AND YOURSELF
SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH THE WHOLE
HISTORY OF POST-WORLD
WAR II TORONTO RESTAURANTS.
WHEN DID THAT
IDEA OCCUR?

James says IT WAS REALLY A
CUMULATIVE THING.
I WOULD TALK TO CHEFS AND
THEY WOULD SAY, OF COURSE,
I WAS TAUGHT BY SOMEONE
WHO'D BEEN IN GORBEAU'S
KITCHEN AT THE
WESTBURY IN 1959.
SO, I HAD NEVER HEARD OF
THIS PLACE OR THIS MAN
OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.
BUT GRADUALLY, THESE
REFERENCES WOULD BUILD UP,
TINY LITTLE PIECES OF
A VERY LARGE JIGSAW.
AND EVENTUALLY, YOU GOT THIS
IMPRESSION OF WHAT IT WAS LIKE.
THIS WASN'T LONG AGO; THIS
WAS, WHAT, 40 YEARS AGO.
MOST OF THE PLAYERS
ARE STILL WITH US.
SOME HAVE RETIRED TO
FLORIDA OR OUT OF TOWN,
BUT A GREAT MANY OF THEM ARE
STILL AROUND AND WORKING.
AND I BEGAN TO USE MY JOB
WITH
TORONTO LIFE
AS A WAY
TO INTERVIEW THEM AND
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT
THE PASTS OF THE
RESTAURANTS AND SEE
WHAT TODAY'S RESTAURANT
HAD COME FROM.
GRADUALLY, I MET ALL THESE
SEMINAL CHARACTERS AND
LEARNED ABOUT WHERE
THEY'D COME FROM.
I FIND IT FASCINATING; I
DON'T EXPECT EVERYBODY
TO FIND IT FASCINATING.

Richard says NO, YOU SAY THAT, BUT
TORONTO NOW IS VERY MUCH -
AS YOU MUST KNOW FROM YOUR
POSITION AT
TORONTO LIFE
A CITY OBSESSED
WITH RESTAURANTS.
I OFTEN THINK, AS SOMEONE
WHO SPENDS HIS LIFE
IN THEATRE, THAT
MUCH TO MY REGRET,
PEOPLE WOULD RATHER GO TO
THE HOT NEW RESTAURANT
THAN THE HOT NEW PLAY.

James says I THINK THAT'S
TRUE, YEAH.
AND I DON'T KNOW IF
IT'S AS BAD AS IT WAS
IN THE '80s OR AS GOOD
AS IT WAS IN THE '80s,
BUT I THINK WE'RE COMING
BACK TO THAT NOW,
AND PEOPLE DO TALK
ABOUT RESTAURANTS.
THEY'VE BECOME A PLACE WHERE
A LOT OF PEOPLE CHOOSE
TO ENTERTAIN, RATHER
THAN IN THEIR HOMES.
AND ESPECIALLY WITH
TWO PEOPLE WORKING,
THEN YOU GO OUT AND YOU
MEET AT A RESTAURANT
SOMETIMES AFTER WORK.
AND THE RESTAURANTS
THEMSELVES ARE SO DIFFERENT,
SO VARIED, SO YOU CAN
CHOOSE WHATEVER KIND OF
EVENING YOU WANT
IN A WAY.
IT'S DIAL AN ATMOSPHERE,
AND I FIND IT QUITE
FASCINATING AND WONDERFUL.
I LOVE RESTAURANTS; I THINK
RESTAURANTS ARE THE MOST
INTERESTING PIECE OF THEATRE...
SINCE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
THEATRE - THAT WE
HAVE, ACTUALLY.
AND IT'S SORT OF
PARTICIPATORY BUT NOT,
BECAUSE YOU'RE PROTECTED BY
THE TABLE THAT SEPARATES YOU
FROM THE ACTUAL
GOINGS ON.

Richard says AND IF IT'S A
GREAT RESTAURANT,
IT WILL BE DIFFERENT
EVERY NIGHT.

James says YES, IT WILL BE, BUT IT
WILL ALSO BE SUBTLY
THE SAME, WHICH IS A
COMFORT IN ITSELF,
BECAUSE COMFORT IS A GREAT
ASPECT OF RESTAURANT GOING TO.
BUT I LOVE THE
MINUTIAE OF THAT LIFE;
I LOVE TO WATCH THE TIMING
OF A WELL-RUN RESTAURANT.
I LOVE TO SEE THE BICKERING
BETWEEN THE WAITERS,
OR THE MARVELLOUS HARMONY
BETWEEN KITCHEN AND FRONT OF
HOUSE, WHICH IS VERY RARE,
BUT WONDERFUL TO SEE
WHEN IT HAPPENS.

Richard says WHAT I ALSO FOUND
INTERESTING IS YOU GO BACK
AND MENTION RESTAURANTS
IN THE PAST AND
THE INFLUENCE THEY'VE HAD.
I, FOR EXAMPLE, HAD TOTALLY
FORGOTTEN THAT ON A TRIP TO
TORONTO IN THE EARLY 1970s,
SOMEONE TOOK ME TO DINNER
AT TROY'S ON
MARLBOROUGH STREET.
AND IT WAS A
WONDERFUL DINNER,
BUT IT HAD LEFT MY MIND
UNTIL I READ ABOUT THAT
RESTAURANT IN YOUR BOOK -
SUDDENLY READ THE HISTORY
OF IT, AND READ ABOUT ALL
THE PEOPLE WHO BEGAN THERE.

James says I MEAN, HOW IMPUDENT OF ME
TO WRITE ABOUT A RESTAURANT
THAT I HAD NEVER BEEN
TO, THAT LEFT BEFORE
I CAME TO THIS CITY.
BUT YOU TRACK DOWN PEOPLE
WHO WORKED THERE - CLAUDE
BOUILLET WAS CHEF THERE
AFTER CECIL TROY'S TRAGIC DEATH.
BUT BEFORE THAT EVEN, THIS
YOUNG KID FROM WINNIPEG ARRIVED,
SENT THERE
BY CANADA MANPOWER,
AND SHOWED UP AT THE DOOR -
17 YEARS OLD WITH JUST
HIS RECCO COLLECTION - AND
IT WAS GREG COUILLARD.
THIS WAS HIS FIRST
RESTAURANT JOB IN THE CITY,
HE WAS 21, AND IT
WAS 1972, I THINK.
AND THEY SET HIM TO
WORK FOR TWO YEARS,
GUTTING FISH AND PEELING
VEGETABLES AND WASHING PANS,
AND THAT WAS HIS INTRODUCTION
TO THE RESTAURANT LIFE.
SO, I TALKED TO HIM AND
GOT HIS TAKE ON THAT,
WHICH WAS A DIFFERENT TAKE
FROM THE MEMORIES OF PEOPLE
WHO'D EATEN THERE AND SEEN
THE SMOOTH SURFACE OF THAT
RESTAURANT, AND HE'D SEEN
WHAT IT WAS LIKE FROM
THE OTHER SIDE OF
THE DOOR.
AND THAT WAS VERY
INTERESTING.
TROY WAS AN
EXTRAORDINARY MAN;
HE WAS UTTERLY
SELF-TAUGHT.
HE'D BEEN A BANKER,
THEN HE WAS A PAINTER,
THEN HE AND HIS FRIEND
COMPLETELY RENOVATED
THAT LITTLE HOUSE - I THINK IT
WAS ON MARLBOROUGH STREET -
AND OPENED IT
AS A RESTAURANT.
AND HE'D NEVER HAD A
LESSON IN HIS LIFE;
HE'D LEARNED TO COOK
BY READING COOKBOOKS.
HE BOUGHT THE PANS THAT HE
SAW IN THE ILLUSTRATIONS
IN THE COOKBOOKS SO
THAT THAT WAS RIGHT,
AND HE JUST SET TO AND
DID IT WITH GREAT LOVE.
AND PEOPLE WHO HAD HAD
THAT TRAINING - SERIOUS,
PROFESSIONAL CHEFS, SUCH
AS CHRISTIAN VINASSAC,
WHO HAD NAPOLEON AT THAT TIME,
ALSO FELL FOR THE PLACE.
THEY RECOGNIZED THE
PASSION AND THE LOVE
THAT WAS GOING INTO IT.
AND IT WAS ONE OF THE FEW
RESTAURANTS IN TORONTO WHERE
THE FOOD WAS WONDERFUL, BUT
YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO WEAR
A TIE AND A JACKET
TO GO THERE.
AND IT WAS ALL RATHER
CASUAL AND SOPHISTICATED.

Richard says IT'S BEEN SUGGESTED
THAT THAT, IN A WAY,
WAS ONE OF THE
DEMARKING RESTAURANTS,
BECAUSE WHEN YOU READ THE
INTERVIEWS WITH A LOT OF
THE EARLIER RESTAURATEURS,
ALTHOUGH THEY ALL HAD KNOWLEDGE
OF FOOD, WE'RE DEALING
WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE,
AS I JUST SAID,
RESTAURATEURS,
RATHER THAN CHEFS PRIMARILY...
LIKE WHEN YOU DEAL
WITH Mr. BARBERIAN OR
YOU DEAL WITH THE FORCES
BEHIND THE WESTBURY
AND ALL OF THAT.
THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE
RUN RESTAURANTS ALL OF
THEIR LIVES, RATHER THAN
BEING DRIVEN CHEFS,
BUT AROUND THE TROY TIME,
THE CHEF STARTS
TO MOVE INTO THEIR OWN.
AND WHEN YOU GET INTO
THE '80s AND '90s,
YOU'RE WRITING ABOUT CHEFS.

James says IT'S TRUE, AND I THINK
THAT'S VERY INTERESTING.
DURING THE '50s,
'60s, EARLY '70s,
VERY FEW PEOPLE KNEW THE
NAME OF THE MAN WHO WAS
COOKING FOR THEM.

Richard says AND OFTEN IT DIDN'T MATTER;
THERE WAS THE RECIPE BOOK,
AND THEY JUST
FOLLOWED IT.

James says YEAH, AND IT WAS USUALLY
A MAN IN THOSE DAYS.
AND THEN THE CHEF
BECAME THE STAR,
AND I THINK IT WAS A LOT TO
DO WITH THE INJECTION
OF MONEY INTO
THE BUSINESS.
CHEFS' SALARIES ROSE.
IT'S A SORT OF BASEBALL
ANALOGY: THEY WERE THE FREE
AGENTS, THEY COULD MOVE FROM
RESTAURANT TO RESTAURANT,
UNCONTRACTED, AND PEOPLE
BEGAN TO KNOW THEIR NAMES.
AND, AS YOU SAY, THEY
OPENED THEIR OWN PLACES,
WHICH HAD ALWAYS BEEN VERY
DIFFICULT FOR A CHEF TO DO.
IT TOOK A LOT OF MONEY, IT
TOOK A LOT OF TIME TO RUN
A RESTAURANT FOR A YEAR
WITHOUT A LIQUOR LICENSE,
HOPING THAT PEOPLE WOULD
COME AND PUT UP WITH IT
WITHOUT WINE, SIMPLY
BECAUSE THE LLBO DEMANDED
THAT YOU TOOK THAT
TIME AND SENT IN ALL
YOUR RECEIPTS AND BILLS.

Richard says WHAT'S ALSO VERY FUNNY IS
THAT SOMETIMES - I OFTEN
THINK THERE SHOULD BE A
GLOSSARY ALONG TO FOLLOW,
OKAY, WHERE DID
JAMIE KENNEDY START?
HE DID THIS RESTAURANT,
THEN HE WENT HERE,
THEN HE WAS IN THE KITCHEN
HERE, THEN HE LEFT HERE,
AND THEN HE WENT HERE,
THEN HE WENT THERE.
I CAN'T PICTURE PEOPLE
BEING THAT PERIPATETIC,
BUT IS THAT NECESSARY
IN THIS BUSINESS?

James says I DON'T THINK IT'S
NECESSARY AT ALL, NO.
BUT IT SEEMS TO BE
WHAT HAS HAPPENED.
I ONCE UNDERTOOK A HUGE
TASK FOR
TORONTO LIFE,
WHICH WAS A MAP OF WHERE
ALL THE CHEFS IN THE CITY
HAD COME FROM, TRACING THEM BACK
TO THEIR APPRENTICESHIP DAYS.
AND IT WAS LIKE A VAST
FAMILY TREE - OR MORE LIKE
A BUSH THAT SPREAD OUT.
AND IT WAS INTERESTING TO
FOLLOW WHERE THEY'D GONE,
AND ACTUALLY THAT WAS VERY
USEFUL TO ME WHEN I CAME
TO WRITE THIS BOOK, BECAUSE
IT WAS THERE AS A REFERENCE.
BUT CERTAINLY, THEY HAVE
MOVED AROUND A LOT,
AND I THINK THAT THAT
SORT OF THING IS
NOT GOING TO STOP NOW.
IT ONLY STOPS WHEN THEY
FINALLY GET A CHANCE
TO OPEN THEIR OWN PLACE.

Richard says ALTHOUGH EVEN
SOMETIMES WHEN THEY DO,
THEY DON'T STAY THAT LONG.
OR THEY GET ITCHY FEET.
I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT
THREE OF THE RESTAURATEURS
WHO HAVE MADE A GREAT IMPACT
ON TORONTO AND HOW DIFFERENT
THEY ALL ARE PERSONALLY.
THEY ALL HAVE
DIFFERENT INSIGHTS.
SUSUR LEE WAS ONE OF THE
PEOPLE WHO BROUGHT
A LOT OF THE
ASIAN INFLUENCE.
YOU TELL A VERY FUNNY STORY
IN YOUR BOOK ABOUT YOU BRING
LEFTOVERS HOME ONE NIGHT,
YOUR DAUGHTER LOOKS AT
IT AND SAYS, I KNOW WHAT
THAT IS; THAT'S FUSION.

James says YES.
THE BAGS HAD BURST, AND
ALL THE STUFF WAS MIXED UP
TOGETHER IN THE
TINFOIL WRAP.
SHE WAS RIGHT, IN
A WAY, I SUPPOSE.
BUT YES, THAT WAS WHAT
WAS INTERESTING, I THINK,
THAT SUSUR LEE SHOWED PEOPLE
HOW YOU COULD DO FUSION
AND HOW YOU COULD MIX THE TWO
CULTURES AND THE INVENTORY
OF INGREDIENTS FROM ASIA AND
FROM EUROPE AND FROM
NORTH AMERICA, BUT TO DO IT
IN A WAY THAT WAS SENSIBLE.
AND WHERE IT WASN'T JUST A
QUESTION OF TWO PLUS TWO
EQUALS FOUR; IT WAS TWO
PLUS TWO EQUALS FIVE.
THERE WAS AN EXTRA ENERGY
CREATED BY DOING THAT.
IT HAD A REASON; IT
WAS GOOD SCIENCE.
AND IT WAS HIS IMAGINATION
THAT CAUSED THAT.
THERE'S AN AWFUL LOT
OF BAD FUSION COOKING,
BUT WHEN IT'S DONE WELL
BY SOMEONE LIKE SUSUR,
THEN YOU SUDDENLY SEE WHAT
ALL THE FUSS IS ABOUT
AND WHY THIS IS A WONDERFUL
AND IMPORTANT THING TO DO.

Richard says IT'S INTERESTING, AS YOU
TALK ABOUT HIS LIFE AND HOW HE,
AT ONE POINT, WAS
WORKING TWO LIVES IN HONG KONG,
PARTIALLY WORKING IN A
RESTAURANT AND RUNNING
KIND OF AS A GANG LEADER.

James says WELL, I WOULD HESITATE
TO SAY THAT, RICHARD,
BUT HE WAS CERTAINLY
ON THE STREETS.

Richard says ON THE STREETS, YES.

James says THIS WAS HIS LIFE,
AND IT WAS HIS TALENT
THAT BROUGHT HIM OUT OF
THAT OTHER SIDE OF IT.
AND I THINK IT WAS DIFFICULT
FOR PEOPLE TO WORK IN THOSE
EUROPEAN HOTELS THERE AND
MAKE IT BEYOND A CERTAIN LEVEL,
BUT HE
MANAGED TO DO THAT.

Richard says BUT YOU DO COME TO
UNDERSTAND HIS PHILOSOPHY
IN HOW HE HONED IT DOWN, AND
YOU REALIZE WHAT YOU'VE GOT
ON THE PLATE WASN'T JUST
A WORK OF CULINARY ART,
BUT IT WAS HOW HE
FELT ABOUT THE WORLD.

James says THAT'S RIGHT.
I HESITATE TO TALK ABOUT
CHEFS' PHILOSOPHIES BECAUSE
IT SOUNDS SO PRETENTIOUS,
BUT I THINK THERE ARE
A COUPLE OF CHEFS THAT WE
HAVE HAD IN THIS CITY,
THAT'S A SENSIBLE THING TO
TALK ABOUT BECAUSE IT IS
AN ACTUAL PHILOSOPHY THAT
THEY'VE THOUGHT ABOUT.

Richard says THAT'S SOMETHING YOUR BOOK
IS VERY GOOD ABOUT BECAUSE
IT DOES, I THINK, OPEN
PEOPLE'S EYES TO THE FACT
THAT THESE ARE NOT JUST
HIGH-PRICED JET-SETTERS
RUNNING AROUND FROM
ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER,
BUT THEY'RE PEOPLE WHO'VE
OFTEN DONE VERY LONG
AND LONELY ROADS AND
THOUGHT LONG AND HARD ABOUT
WHAT THEY'RE DOING.

James says YEAH, THAT'S TRUE.
AND IT'S PARTICULARLY
INTERESTING, I THINK,
WHEN THEY BRING IN THINGS
THAT ARE NEW TO US ALL
OR JUST TAKE SOMETHING
THAT ISN'T NEW AND DO
SOMETHING
WONDERFUL WITH IT.
SUSUR CAN TAKE A PIECE OF
BROCCOLI AND MAKE IT
INTO SOMETHING
ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS.
ALL IT IS IS A
STICK OF BROCCOLI.

Richard says I'M ALSO THINKING OF
MICHAEL STADTLANDER,
WHO VERY MUCH HAS MARCHED
TO THE BEAT OF A
DIFFERENT DRUMMER - A
GERMANIC DRUMMER.
AND HE CAME IN HERE WHEN HE
WAS VERY YOUNG AND WORKED IN
A LOT OF RESTAURANTS, AND
THEN AT THE HEIGHT OF IT ALL,
JUST WENT,
I'M LEAVING.

James says YEAH, HE'D ALWAYS BEEN
LOOKING FOR A DIFFERENT
CANADA THAN TORONTO COULD
OFFER HIM, I THINK.
HE GREW UP IN GERMANY AND HE
FELL IN LOVE WITH THE CANADA
THAT HE SAW IN THE NATIONAL
FILM BOARD CLIPS,
THE CALL OF THE LOON AND
THE MIGHTY FORESTS
AND THE MOUNTAINS.
AND TORONTO WASN'T
QUITE LIKE THAT WHEN
HE CAME HERE IN 1980
IN SCARAMOUCHE.
HE WAS A MAN WHO
LOVED THE COUNTRY,
AND HE WAS A RIVER WALKER
AND A FOREST WALKER.
NOT A NEW AGE PERSON; HE'S
ALWAYS BEEN CLEAR ABOUT THAT,
BUT A SPIRITUAL PERSON.
AND HE FELL IN LOVE WITH
THIS PIECE OF LAND NORTH
OF TORONTO NEAR COLLINGWOOD
AND BOUGHT A 100-ACRE FARM.
AND HE RUNS IT TO THIS
DAY WITH HIS WIFE,
AND IF YOU'RE LUCKY, YOU CAN
GO UP THERE AND HAVE DINNER
ON THE WEEKEND, AND THIS
MARVELLOUS SIX-COURSE MEAL
APPEARS BEFORE YOU.

Richard says IT'S SO REVEALING; IT'S
CALLED EIGENSINN WHICH IS
FROM THE THOMAS MANN STORY
AND IT MEANS, MY WAY.

James says I DID IT MY WAY.

Richard says FRANK SINATRA, THE LATE
FRANK SINATRA WOULD HAVE
LOVED MICHAEL
STADTLANDER.

James says SINATRA ALWAYS GETS
IN THERE, DOESN'T HE?
I THINK HE WOULD
HAVE LIKED IT.
HE SEEMED TO LIKE
CELESTINO'S RESTAURANT
MORE THAN ANYBODY ELSE
WHEN HE CAME TO TOWN.

Richard says BUT I THINK HE WOULD
HAVE UNDERSTOOD
THE SOULMATE OF
STADTLANDER.
NOW, I WANTED TO WIND UP
THIS TRILOGY OF PEOPLE WITH
THE MOST TALKED-ABOUT CHEF
WHO YOU DEAL WITH AT GREAT
LENGTH IN YOUR BOOK,
ALMOST AS APOLOGIA,
WHICH I WANTED TO ASK
YOU ABOUT - GREG COUILLARD.
HE'S THE MAN WHO'S BEEN
AT MORE RESTAURANTS
THAN ANYBODY ELSE.
IF YOU ASKED THE AVERAGE
TORONTONIAN WHAT THESE FANCY
CHEFS ARE LIKE, I THINK THAT'S
WHO THEY'D THINK ABOUT -
THE JET-SETTER,
THE PARTYGOER,
THE RUMOURS OF DIRTY
DOINGS, ALL OF THIS.
DID HE MAKE HIMSELF, OR
DID THE TIMES MAKE HIM,
OR WHAT HAPPENED?

James says I THINK GREG IS AN
EXTREMELY INTERESTING PERSON.
HE REMINDS ME OF A NUMBER
OF ACTORS THAT I KNEW,
WHO SORT OF PLAY THEIR
LIVES OUT OFFSTAGE AND
THEY'RE IN A FILM OF
THEIR OWN DEVISING,
AND THEY WATCH
THEMSELVES PERFORMING.
I THINK GREG IS
A WONDERFUL COOK.
HE'S SOMEONE, IF YOU LEFT
HIM ALONE IN A KITCHEN
WITH TWO TINS OF SAUCE, HE
WOULD MAKE SOMETHING
SPECTACULAR OUT OF THEM.
HE'S A VERY CLEVER -
SELF-TAUGHT, AGAIN - CHEF,
AND HE LOVES TO BE WICKED;
HE DOES THE NAUGHTY SIDE
OF LIFE VERY WELL AND
HE'S VERY GOOD AT IT.
AND WHEN THINGS
GET DIFFICULT,
RATHER THAN STAND THERE
AND JUSTIFY HIMSELF
SO THAT PEOPLE SAY,
OH, I UNDERSTAND, YES,
HE TENDS TO
JUST STROLL AWAY.
AND CERTAINLY THERE ARE
A NUMBER OF PEOPLE
WHO FIND THIS UNFORGIVABLE.
AND DURING THE
'80s, OF COURSE,
IT WAS ALL RATHER WONDERFUL
AND EXCITING THAT WE HAD
THIS ARTIST BEHAVING
LIKE THIS IN OUR MIDST.
IT WAS ONLY WHEN THE
RECESSION HIT THAT PEOPLE
BEGAN TO FIND IT ALL A
LITTLE IN DUBIOUS TASTE,
AND THINKING THAT HE MIGHT
BE BETTER OFF BEING CALLED
TO TASK, BUT GREG IS VERY
TRUE TO HIMSELF AND HE'S
ALWAYS GONE HIS OWN WAY AND
DONE EXACTLY AS HE PLEASES.

Richard says IT SEEMS, ESPECIALLY IN THE
'90s AND THE SHANK OF
THE '90s NOW, I BLINK AND
I HEAR.... THE JOKE IS,
HE'S GOT A NEW RESTAURANT,
IT'LL BE OPEN FOR
THREE WEEKS, GO THERE.
IT SEEMS HE'S DONE A WHOLE
SLEW OF RESTAURANTS
IN SUCCESSION, AND THEY DON'T
GO BANKRUPT NECESSARILY,
BUT HE WALKS AWAY, HE
HAS A FIGHT, HE LEAVES,
HE CRASHES AND BURNS.

James says YES, BUT THEN A GREAT MANY
OTHER CHEFS HAVE DONE
THE SAME AND
HAVE MOVED ON.
AND GREG'S BEEN AT THE PLACE
HE'S AT NOW FOR TWO YEARS,
WHICH IS PRETTY GOOD.
AND SOMEHOW, HE BECAME A
CHARACTER FOR THE FOOD MEDIA;
HE BECAME SOMEBODY
WHO WAS ALWAYS GOOD FOR
A COUPLE COLUMN INCHES,
BECAUSE HE WAS A TALENTED MAN
AND ALSO A
COLOURFUL CHARACTER.
HE WAS SOMEBODY THAT WE
COULD ALL LATCH ONTO,
AND THERE ARE A FEW CHEFS IN
THE '80s AND '90s WHO WE'VE
COME TO KNOW BY THEIR
CHRISTIAN NAMES ONLY.
IT'S LIKE BASKETBALL STARS:
SUSUR, MICHAEL, JAMIE, GREG.
AND HE IS ONE OF THEM;
HE'S IN THAT COMPANY.
HE'S LARGER THAN LIFE AND
EVEN IF YOU'VE NEVER EATEN
AT HIS RESTAURANTS, YOU
FEEL YOU KNOW HIS COOKING,
WHICH IS, AGAIN, RATHER
UNFAIR, I THINK.

[laughing]

Richard says WE'VE BEEN DEALING WITH THE
GENERAL TORONTO RESTAURANT
SCENE, AND I'M NOT GOING
TO ASK YOU THE ANNOYING
QUESTION THAT YOU
SOMETIMES GET ASKED:
WHICH IS THE BEST
RESTAURANT?
BECAUSE AS YOU POINT
OUT IN YOUR BOOK,
IT HAS TO BE,
WHAT DO YOU WANT?
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
WHO ARE YOU GOING WITH?
WHAT TIME IS IT?
BUT I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT,
AWAY FROM THE RESTAURANTS,
WHAT DOES JAMES
EAT AT HOME?
IT'S NOT RED
LOBSTER ANYMORE;
IT'S NOT ENDLESS
PIZZA TAKEOUTS.

James says NO, MY CHILDREN HAVE
GROWN OUT OF THAT PHASE,
I'M GLAD TO SAY.
MY DOCTOR WOULD
LIKE ME TO EAT BRAN
AND LITTLE ELSE, BUT I
DON'T EAT A GREAT DEAL.
I DO THE COOKING AT HOME,
BECAUSE I ENJOY COOKING
AND MY WIFE DOESN'T.
MY SON IS A VEGETARIAN,
SO THAT MEANS THAT I HAVE
TO COOK TWO DINNERS EVERY
EVENING - OR, IN FACT,
WHAT USUALLY HAPPENS IS WE
ALL EAT VEGETARIAN AS WELL.
RESTAURANT CRITICS TEND TO
LOVE JAPANESE FOOD BECAUSE
IT'S LIGHT AND IT'S A
BREAK FOR THEIR SYSTEMS
AFTER GREAT SAUCES AND
MIGHTY PIECES OF PROTEIN.
WE TEND TO EAT VERY LIGHTLY
AND QUITE SPARINGLY, ACTUALLY.

Richard says BUT IF THE ALL MIGHTY
CAME TO YOU AND SAID,
ONE MORE DISH BEFORE YOU GO,
JAMES - WHAT WOULD IT BE?

James says OH, WOW.
I USED TO THINK IT
WOULD BE CURRIED SHRIMP,
BUT NOW I THINK
IT MIGHT NOT BE.

Richard says SOMETHING WITH VANILLA?

James says NO, NO, I'VE LOST MY SWEET
TOOTH OVER THE YEARS.
I THINK IT WOULD BE
SEAFOOD OF SOME KIND.

Richard says AND SOMETHING WITH A LITTLE
BIT OF SPICE AND ZIP.
YOU'RE ALSO VERY RESPECTFUL
ABOUT CURRY IN THE BOOK,
ABOUT WHAT MAKES A REAL
CURRY AND THE VARIETIES
OF INDIAN FOOD.

James says YES, MY FATHER WAS IN THE
INDIAN ARMY DURING THE WAR,
AND HE RETURNED TO ENGLAND
WITH A CONSIDERABLE
KNOWLEDGE OF INDIAN COOKING
AND A GREAT LOVE FOR IT.
SINCE THEN, I'VE HAD MANY
INDIAN AND PAKISTANI FRIENDS
WHO'VE EXPLAINED TO ME
THAT CURRY RESTAURANTS
REALLY AREN'T WHAT
IT'S ALL ABOUT.

Richard says WITH ALL RESTAURANTS,
WHAT WE SEE IS ONLY
JUST THE SURFACE.
AND I WANT TO THANK YOU AND
YOUR BOOK FOR TELLING US
SO MUCH ABOUT THE RESTAURANTS
IN TORONTO AND ABOUT YOURSELF.
JAMES CHATTO, THANK YOU.

James says THANKS, RICHARD.

Richard faces the screen and says
FOR
DIALOGUE, I'M
RICHARD OUZOUNIAN.
GOODBYE FOR NOW.

Music plays as the end slate reads “Special thanks to Grano. Dialogue.”

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 1998, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: James Chatto