As bad as he gets

More "gems" by Fronduti and his absurd clients, a collection of restaurant idiocies

Second episode of our small anthology dedicated to

Second episode of our small anthology dedicated to Matteo Fronduti and his irony. On top of being an excellent chef – and soon a participant in TopChef Italia, starting in mid September on Nove – he’s a bright author who enjoys making irony out of the (many) absurd encounters with his clients. We collected a small anthology

A few more delicious episodes in the saga starring Matteo Fronduti and his peculiar clients...

-"Excellent work, bravo!!!"
-"Thank you very much, madam"
-"I’d like to know, when did you open? Recently, right?"
-"Eight years ago"
-"Are you sure?"
-"Quite sure, madam"
-"Impossible, there was another place here, before. I came here no longer than one year ago. You must be mistaken."
-"Years? You meant years? Excuse me, I meant months!"
A caress to you.

-"Would you like some wine?"
-"No, thank you" (pouring water in the wine glasses)
-"Pardon me, if you wish, we can take away the wine glasses "
-"I said no, thank you!" (vexed)
-"Thank you very much"

-“Shortcrust, with oil. No butter. Oil. No, they’re not grissini. It’s not a schiacciatina. It’s not farinata. There are no chickpeas. It’s not polentina. There’s no almond flour. No soy. Yes, Madam, we just changed the shape. No, I swear, this is how we’ve always made it. No, it’s not buckwheat”.
-“Yes. However. There’s plenty of lard!!!”.
-“Yes. Lard. I understand”.
A caress to you.

Table for two. Men, business lunch.
-"Ooooooh, I see you have tripe! My wife never makes it for me"
-"It’s special, it almost has an Asian taste. Don’t expect the classic busecca"
-"Ok. (Disappointed). Let’s try it anyway. I want a nice single-course dish"
-"I’m afraid I have to disappoint you again. It’s not a single-course dish"
-"How come?!? It’s listed here, among the starters."
-"It may seem banal, but if it’s listed among the starters, it really is a starter"

Above, a photo he posted on Facebook on the 11th June 2014, a sober comment: "Fuck you"

Above, a photo he posted on Facebook on the 11th June 2014, a sober comment: "Fuck you"

-"Excuse me, is the “summary of fried chicken” fried?"
-"You may find it impossible, yet it is"
-"Could I have it non fried?"
-"I’m sorry, it’s not possible. If you wish, I can make it without chicken."

Table for four, two couples. Italians, in their fifties, elegant. Three kind people, an aggressive woman. We give the menu, serve water and aperitif. They choose the wine first, then discuss the dishes.
-"Yes, bagoss is a cheese. We cook the rice in water, not broth, not even a vegetable one. The pork belly is smoked at home"
The aggressive woman starts: "I’m vegetarian, you must tell me which dishes I can have"
-"Excellent. This, this, and this too."
-"I want the spaghetti, but without the scallops"
-"Excuse me madam, the spaghetti are covered in powdered prosciutto."
-"I know. I told you I’m vegetarian, not vegan. So I can eat all animal derivatives"
-"I know, the prosciutto is the issue"
-"Blessed ignorance, coming from you, in this business. I meant derivatives! Hence milk, eggs, butter, cheese, salami, prosciutto"
-"Right, my fault. Excuse me"

Table for six. Mother and father and their two daughters, non-residential students. They came from the south to celebrate the graduation of one of the two. There’s also the daughters’ boyfriends. One is from Como. The other is less so. They come, sit and start taking all sorts of photos, of the menu, the dining room, a detail of the cutlery, a long shot of the table, group photo, selfie, selfie, selfie and selfie.
The mother, visibly annoyed, reproaches them: "Enough! I can’t stand it. Stop it. You’re impossible to look at. You’re unkempt. I told you already, at least wear some lipstick"
Right, it takes too long for the nail polish to dry.

-"Do you have a set menu at lunchtime?"
-"Of course"
-"How much is it?"
-"18 euros: first course, second course, water. Today we have bucatini all'amatriciana, or pasta salad with stracciatella cheese and olives. As for the main course, roasted chicken or roasted piglet"
-"No, no. I want dishes from the menu!"
-"No problem, you can choose both from the menu and from the menu of the day"
-"Good. But I still want to pay only 18 euros"
-"Certainly. Would you like me to wash your car while you eat?"

"Unwanted mail. Rai and Tripadvisor. We have no TV, we don’t show football, I don’t owe anything. I didn’t ask for the certificate, I don’t want to promote anything, I don’t need you and don’t want to pay you"

"Unwanted mail. Rai and Tripadvisor. We have no TV, we don’t show football, I don’t owe anything. I didn’t ask for the certificate, I don’t want to promote anything, I don’t need you and don’t want to pay you"

-"Since I’m allergic to dairy products, I’d like the hake but without the chilli pepper "
I love Saturdays at the end of July.

Today, at lunch. Young, but not overly young couple. They call, book a table, come and sit. A quick look at the menu. Then.
He: "Do you have something more traditional, perhaps cheaper?"
She: "No, but it’s fine. I’d go for the saor"
He: "Honey, it’s fried, it’s heavy!"
She: "Rice then"
He: "It’s with mushrooms, you might feel sick"
She: "Beef, maybe"
He: "No, I’m sure it will be fat. I’ll order it and then perhaps you can taste mine"
When they finish the only dish they ordered, I go to the table, ask if they want dessert.
She: "Yes, yes, a little cake!"
He: "Honey, you’ve already eaten enough for TODAY, please bring us the bill"

-"Good morning, I’d like to make a reservation for brunch on Sunday. Do you still have the babysitting service as usual?"
-"Madam, we’re closed on Sundays"
-"Impossible. I’ve already come on Sundays for brunch"
-"We’ve never been open on Sundays, we’ve never offered brunch, never had a babysitter"
-"Yeah, well. You must be new. Please reserve a table for eight anyway"
-"Of course, madam. Can you give me a name?"

-"Excuse me, I ordered a burger, earlier, as main course."
-"Of course, madam. I wrote it down."
-"Yes, I’m sure, however you didn’t ask me how I prefer the meat to be cooked!"
-"It’s a pumpkin burger."

-"Could I have the aubergine tartare without the stracciatella?"
-"Of course, but an important ingredient will be missing."
-"l know, but you see, I really can’t. I’m allergic to seafood "

Fronduti with other “bad guys": Beniamino Nespor, Franco “Tucci” Ponti, Eugenio Roncoroni, Giacomo Gironi

Fronduti with other “bad guys": Beniamino Nespor, Franco “Tucci” Ponti, Eugenio Roncoroni, Giacomo Gironi

Today the menu of the day also included a salmon burger. Table for two. By the look, two food addicts, or food nerds, you choose. They order the burger. They gulp it down in eleven seconds and a few decimals. Dessert and coffee. The bill.
"Excuse me, can I ask something?"
"Of course"
"The burger was excellent, but we have a doubt"
"Was it Fassone or Chianina?"
"Salmon, but just the leg!"

Reservation for six. When they come, they are five. They read the menu. Ask for the menu of the day. One gets up and goes. The others:
-“Bring us some raw artichoke with grana, thinly sliced. Without all that rubbish you add on top. Then sirloin for everyone. But without vegetables, just fries. A Coke, two half pints of beer and half a litre of house wine”.
They joined the fugitive in the pizzeria next door. Bless them.

Dear starred and striped client, if after reserving a table for tonight four weeks ago, if after your assistant called every Friday to get a confirmation, if after you sent me six emails to be sure I had the riserva, if after you annoyed the shit out of me in every possible way, if after I’ve sent away a thousand clients to keep you your so aspired shitty table, if after all this you don’t show up tonight, I have every right to invest five euros in petrol and hunt you down in Missouri and burn your house down. Out of friendship, no offence meant, just a kind exchange of niceties.
(2, the end. Here the first part)


Carlo Mangio

An outdoor trip or a journey to the other side of the planet?
One thing is for sure: the destination is delicious, by Carlo Passera