A Lightbulb Moment as Some Woodworkers Learn About Ghostwriting
[This is my second post from Italy, where I’m traveling with Michael White, researching our upcoming book, along with Evan Sung, who’s shooting photographs for us. (First post is here.) I’ll be abroad through Thursday, July 19, so check back for further posts here in the Toqueland Wire.]
While walking to our car in Imola yesterday, Michael, Evan, and I passed by a woodworking shop situated, rather charmingly, in the former home of a small church. Some of the craftsmen there fashioned the original woodwork for San Domenico restaurant when it opened way back in 1970, and they were old friends of Michael, who introduced Evan to the guys. They had no problem understanding when he told them that Evan was photographing his cookbook.
But when he introduced me and told them that I was writing his cookbook, he was met with quizzical glances. How could I be writing his book?
Michael explained, in Italian, the nature of our working relationship. The quizzical looks continued, so he kept explaining, until finally one of them got it. I only know a few words of Italian, but I understood perfectly what the concept-grasper said next:
“Ah,” he exclaimed. “Tu pense e lui scrive!” You think and he writes!
Everybody cracked up, and after a second, so did I: It was the perfect, five-word explanation that eluded the food-writing world a few months back.
“Esatto,” I said. Exactly!
PS If you worked in a major American restaurant in the 1970s or 1980s (kitchen or front of house), I'd love to hear from you and possibly interview you for my forthcoming oral history of that era. Please reach me at email@example.com.