From the Battlefield to Tom Colicchio’s Kitchen
Instead of ‘Top Chef’-style glamor during my summer stint at Colicchio & Son’s, I found an Iraq War vet who survived six explosions before flourishing on the chopping block.
Illustrations by Marco Gallo
In the basement of Colicchio & Sons, a fine dining restaurant on the West Side of Manhattan, there is a butcher block where, each day, some fifty lobsters meet their end.
“I used to put them all in the walk-in freezer, you know, to numb them a bit,” Jack says. “But now I’m just fuckin’ heartless.
Jack, who asked that his real name not be used in this story so that he could talk freely about his past, stands behind the block, partially obscured by two industrial sink-sized containers. The container on his right is empty; the left one is teeming with lobsters trying to extricate themselves as if from a mosh pit. Jack puts on a pair of thick rubber gloves and begins ripping the lobsters apart, piece by piece: first the claws, then the tail, and finally the abdomen, head still attached. The exoskeletons make a dull “thunk” as he tosses the first few into the container, but the sound is muffled as the lobster parts accumulate. The feelers and swimmerets still move…
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial