So the chef-wannabe friend of M.'s who cooked us fantastically elaborate meals while undertaking his culinary education has been deciding what he wants to do with his life. He's decided he can't open a restaurant yet since he doesn't have enough experience. I nearly spit out my food when M. told me this over dinner.
"Who needs chef experience to become a restauranteur?" I spluttered. "Most of the famous restauranteurs are businessmen, not chefs. I need to talk to him, if that's what he's thinking."
"Yes, I guess," M. said. He always gets pre-occupied with the pad thai at the restaurant we were at - it's unusually good, it comes with a spitting hot sauce and reminds us of our holiday in Phuket.
"Think of Jeff Chodorow! He used to be a lawyer!" I continued. "And Sir Terence Conran! He's not a chef!"
"He runs Habitat," M. said suddenly, for a split second tearing himself away from the fragrant noodles. "He does furniture."
"That's right, honey," I said. "And think of that horridly expensive restaurant in the City, remember? That was set up by three former investment bankers who hired a chef."
"I know where you're thinking of," M. said, mid-chopstick. "I think I've been there. The food was awful. And it was really expensive - it's an expense account kind of place."
"I know, but it's still there!" I said. "The point is, Q. shouldn't be thinking of gaining more chef experience. At his age, he won't be able to make it to a grand chef. But he can surely become a good restauranteur anyway. He needs a good business plan."
"Who'll fund him?" M. said. He looked down at the phad thai. "I think the portions here are getting smaller."
"You and me," I said.
"Right," M. said. He looked at me. "Do you want the last shrimp? I hear that most restaurants fail."
I sighed. "I know. Maybe I need to go to business school to learn how to write good business plans. Then Q. and I can set up a restaurant."
M. just gave me a look.