Monday 11 March 2024

Fish Cooks

Joseph Mitchell, Up in the Old Hotel (London: Vintage Books, 2012), p. 398 ['Old Mr Flood'; 1944]:

‘I’ve made quite a study of fish cooks,’ Mr Flood says, ‘and I’ve decided that old Italians are best. Then comes old colored men, then old mean Yankees, and then old drunk Irishmen. They have to be old; it takes almost a lifetime to learn how to do a thing simply. Even the stove has to be old. If the cook is an awful drunk, so much the better. I don’t think a teetotaler could cook a fish. Oh, if he was a mean old tobacco-chewing teetotaler, he might.’