The stories have been told for years. They are usually told as we lean back in our chairs, full from dinner and looking into the kitchen to see the less glamourous side of entertaining. It would appear that, regardless of extent and complexity of the meal we have just enjoyed, every pot, every knife, every platter is piled up waiting to be cleaned. In addition, a trail of flour, vegetable peelings, oils, and spice provide the visual evidence that Claude has been cooking.
We ask Claude’s mother: “When did this start? How come he never learned to clean up after himself?”
She explains that even as a young teenager, his creativity in the kitchen resulted in chaos: “It would be 10:30 p.m… Claude would start baking. I would get up in the morning to sweet treats and a sink full of dirty dishes.” Despite the exasperation of the mess and despite the work to clean it up, the creativity and passion remains the star ingredients. She goes on to say: “That’s how Fearless began. I am so very proud of my son the chef. His pizza and homemade pasta are to die for.”
There is of course the time Claude prepared a grilled-cheese sandwich for lunch. Two frying pans, a cutting board, three knives, bread crumbs and mustard drips on the counter. The mess was epic, but mark my words – it was the best darned grilled cheese sandwich to ever come out of that kitchen. And there in lies the conundrum: would a push for a tidier, less tornado-esque Claude jeopardize the spirit and soul of the food? For now, we are pushing for an evolution, not a revolution and are thankful for dish soap and scouring pads.