Sebastiaan Zijp: There Is No Laughter in Paul Liebrandt’s Kitchen

Photo: Melissa Hom

Josh Ozerksy is now a Time columnist and a Master Hamburger Seminar teacher, but his most entertaining gig continues to be as host of the Mr. Cutlets radio show. Yesterday, Sebastiaan Zijp (who took over Bar Blanc from Cesar Ramirez) discussed his time in the kitchens of David Bouley and Paul Liebrandt, neither of whom sound like anyones dream boss. Regarding Bouley: He has his way and everyone else has to catch up to him. For example: Finding out at 5 p.m. on a Friday night that theres a private party you have to go to and he takes everybodys mise en place for your Friday night and you have to run around and do everything all over again and you got 120 people coming in half an hour. Like Zijp says, these things happen, but Liebrandt sounds like a different story altogether.

Paul taught me boldness and arrogance, Zijp says. He goes on later: Hes very, very talented he knows what hes doing. Hes got a very good style and very good sense and but also very I guess probably the closest to working for somebody if I was to work in Europe in the sense that youre the cook; youre the grunt; you work, and you dont laugh, you dont talk, you dont own anything its like youre almost in the army; its very different than here in New York and hes still very structured in that sense In my first week I laughed at one of his jokes and he said, You dont know me well enough to laugh at one of my jokes. Ouch.

The Mr. Cutlets Show [Heritage Radio Network]