HARTFORD, CT — Conrad Gomez has been the head chef at Mammal and Inanimate Object for three years. In that time, he has grown famous among kitchen workers in the area for his desire to teach knife skills and life lessons in tandem. “What can I say,” Chef Gomez said, “everything that happens in a kitchen is a reflection of the life we lead outside of it. I’m not only giving these aspiring chefs practical advice. They’re also getting spiritual guidance along with it. Everyone in my kitchen thinks that I should write a book, and I’m starting to think they’re right.”


The content of this book would be questionable, to say the least, and the accuracy of the lessons on knife skills: tenuous. Conrad’s advice as he teaches someone to sharpen a blade mostly centers around the proper way to make love. “It’s all in the eye contact,” Conrad insists, “you’ve gotta just stare deep into your partner’s soul the entire time. Don’t ever say anything, just stare. If they look away, they’re the weird ones because you’re trying to build a soul bond betwixt your genitalia.”


Another favorite from line cooks in the surrounding area is Chef Gomez’s guidelines to slicing, dicing, and staying sharp: “Keep your fingers from getting cut. Just like when you get a little too drunk and need a bump to keep you going. Always be on your toes. Every room you walk into there’s someone ready to destroy you, and if you lose focus for a second it’s going to happen. That’s why I always carry pepper spray. You thought it was just for seasoning didn’t you?”


One of his more cryptic tidbits of advice he likes to give comes from the lesson titled: Mirepoix and You. “So, this is how to make a basic mirepoix. Don’t get circumcised. Also, stop using emojis and switch back to emoticons. Emojis are too cryptic and that’s how you get syphilis.” Conrad has yet to figure out that nobody he works with understands what the hell he’s talking about most of the time. As it stands, Chef Gomez is currently halfway through his self-help book and looking to self-publish.

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