I don't do kitchens. I do restaurants

What do you do if you’re a divorced male who can’t cook? Eat out… every single night


By Peter Rosengard, May 21, 2010
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I've eaten out in restaurants every night for the past 10 years. Looking back in my diary I see I embarked on my epic dining out career on the night I got divorced.

I can't cook.

I think there might be a connection.

I don't like menus - too much choice. So I always say: " Surprise me."

I don’t like menus — too much choice. So I always say: ‘Surprise me’

Last Monday the waiter came back after five minutes.

"How do you like your steak, sir?"

"I asked you to surprise me!"

"Just in case," he said.

Guess what I got? A fillet steak.

I always carry with me my telescopic steel fork. If I like the look of the desert on the next table, with a flick of the wrist it instantly becomes 3ft long and reaching over I can help myself to a slice of crème brulée or cheese cake.

Everybody finds this funny. OK - almost everybody.

At the beginning of April, I was in Montreal at a place called Milos,when a man with his wife at the next table got upset when my fully extended fork got stuck in his wife's low-cut top and some baklava unfortunately went astray.

What happened next took me back to when I went to Disneyland in Paris with Lily aged four. I got into a fight with Goofy. He started it!

"You queue jumped," he said in a Parisian accent.

"Moi!?"

He poked me in the chest with his paw. I fell down, pulling Goofy down on top of me.

Lily was screaming: "Daddy, don't hurt Goofy!"

I would definitely have won if Mickey and Donald hadn't joined in.

One evening during the FVC (first volcanic cloud) three weeks ago, I was sitting outside my favourite restaurant, the Hellenic in Thayer Street, when a man walked up and looked at the menu in the window.

"It's had the same three waiters for 30 years, and they're all crazy, I told him. It's like being in a scene from a Marx Brothers movie."

"Very interesting," he said and sat down.

And that's how professor of mathematics Zvi Artstein of the Weizmann Institute became my new best friend.

Over a glass of Othello he explained to me his eponymous theorem which states that a dynamical system has a differentiable control-Lyapunov function if, and only if, there exists a regular stabilising feedback.

"Right… thanks for explaining that, professor." I said through a mouthful of klefteko.

Having a professor of mathematics as a best friend is very useful. Only last week I emailed him: "Prof, I have to vote in the election here tomorrow. Do you happen to have a theorem that will tell me who the winner will be?" I asked.

He answered immediately: "Of course I have such a theorem, hence I know who the winner will be. I am busy now so will tell you that next week."

Last year a friend with ambitions to be an interior designer stayed with me for six months. One night I got out of bed to get a glass of water. Where I was pretty sure the kitchen should have been, there was now only a pipe sticking out of the wall.

"What happened to the kitchen?" I asked her the next morning.

"You told me I could design you a new one. It's going to be delivered in December."

"It's September - it might have been a good idea to wait until the new kitchen arrived before ripping out the old one."

"It's been gone for three months." she said." You never complained until now."

"That's because I never noticed I hadn't got a kitchen until now!" I said.

You never know what you had until it's gone.

    Last updated: 1:24pm, August 13 2010

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