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Shoemaker Is No Shoemaker

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In The Elements of Cooking, Michael Ruhlman defines a "shoemaker" as an untalented cook, but he was recently corrected by Napa Valley's Ad Hoc chef David Cruz: "To call a fellow cook a shoemaker is a not-uncommon put down in kitchens. But talent or no talent was not the point, Cruz said. 'Shoemaker' indicated someone who didn't care, who, in the heat of service, simply slapped food on a plate, wanting only to get the night over with, to get the food out the door and go home." We're sure this all amuses Paul Shoemaker, new executive chef of Bastide. [Ruhlman/ELA]