The proud addition of ‘MS’ after one’s name is the professional pinnacle, the authoritarian apex, the superstar summit to which everyone in the industry aspires.
After years of tastings, countless tomes devoured, endless sessions with those of similar consuming interests, imagine the thrill that Arnaud Bardary must have felt when he finally earned the right to have business cards made referring to him as Marquis de Sade.
In the end, all it took was a single gavel drop in the Westminster Magistrates’ Courtroom after the almost-famous Master Somm—one one of Gordon Ramsay’s protégés —accepted a plea bargain allowing him to cop to one count of assault by beating after he was accused of repeatedly biting his paramour in the arm during a sex romp that went a little haywire.
The misdemeanor was reduced from the original felony charge, ‘Attempting To Consume a Human Being in a Setting Other Than a Plane Crash in the Andes.’
At the time, Bardary was (and according to his LinkedIn profile, still is) Head Sommelier at Gordon Ramsay’s London restaurant ‘Maze’, which prides itself on ‘eclectic and innovative food.
To which those of us still shaking our noggins over Bardary’s choice of anatomical amuse-bouches, can only respond, “No shit.”
Arm in Mouth Disease
First a word on restaurant titles, then on Ramsay, and lastly, on Captain Choppers himself, all wrapped in a prix-fixe of biting sarcasm. It may be presumed that some of what follows is facetious, but that the story at the core of it—Bardary’s culinary predilection to bite the hand that feeds him—is absolutely accurate.
Before becoming Head Sommelier at Maze, Master Sommelier Bardary was Assistant Head Sommelier at Maze. Before that he was Assistant Head Sommelier at Hotel du Vin. These are semantically interesting staff positions since ‘Head’ (like ‘Master’) indicates a top level job and ‘Assistant’ indicates ‘not a top level job’. We have Vice Presidents because ‘Assistant President’ is as ludicrous-sounding a title as ‘Assistant CEO’ or ‘Assistant Emperor’ or ‘Assistant Master Sommelier’. I can only assume that in the Gordon Ramsay Corporate Manual, the designation ‘Assistant Head Sommelier’ is accompanied by a job description that reads, ‘You have all the technical qualifications to be Head Sommelier, but we already have one, so if you could just hang on until our current Head Sommelier attempts to eat his date, that would be nice.”
On to Gorgon Ramsay, who really looks like a piece of food—namely, one of those apples we used to carve into an old lady face and leave on the counter until it got all shriveled up and became a witch face. His persona matches quid pro quo —he is the Wicked Witch of the West without the cool monkeys or the sense of humor. Sitting through ten excruciating minutes of his awful show is the sensory equivalent of removing your own appendix without anesthesia, and I can certainly understand the onset of psychopathy in those under his employment. I swear to God, if I worked for this desiccated namby-pamby cock-smooch, I would flip out at the very first obscenity-drenched tongue-lashing I was forced to endure and start taking great, bloody mouthfuls of flesh from the nearest human being, and I assure you, I wouldn’t require consensual sex beforehand.
Not that this is a legitimate legal excuse for Bardary’s beastly behavior, especially in Great Britain, where they take crime so seriously that they make their judges dress up in silly powdered wigs like it’s still the eighteenth fucking century. I can see getting disbarred in England for breaking out into uncontrollable giggles while defending a jizz-stain like Arnaud Bardary:
“I know cannibalism is no laughing matter, your honor, but what is up with that Ben Franklin ‘do??”
A Case For Providing Employee Meals
If it please the court, the particulars of Bardary vs. Rational Humanity indicate that the kinky, dinky winky sommelier met the lovely victim (unnamed in some reports, ‘Anais Lopes’ in others) at a party at the City of Quebec in Marble Arch, London. According to Bardary’s attorney, Anne McCarthy, at the party the young morsel “…came on very strong to him. She was bearing her breasts at him and using language that she would destroy him.”
If that’s not asking for a masticated medial intermuscular septa, I don’t know what is.
To the arresting bobbies (not to be confused with Ramsay’s douche-buddy Bobby Flay), Bardary said, “It wasn’t romantic. It was rough sex.”
Prosecutor Edward Aydin agreed: “This amorous liaison ended up not as an amorous liaison but a rough and tumble, as if the victim there went into a tumble dryer.”
Now, this is a family wine column, so to put it as delicately as possible, let’s say that upon hearing the barrister’s suggestive imagery of biting a woman while she was trapped inside a clothes dryer, the defendant’s nether region was seen to become visibly turgid.
The penalty phase of the trial occurred on June 29, 2016, during which the magistrates fined Bardary £250 and ordered him to pay £150 compensation to the victim. Since he confessed to biting Ms. Lopes five times in the left arm, this equates to a net worth of £50 per bite, per limb. Placing an equal value on each of the breasts she bared, and a compensatory amount of £250 for her lady parts, it can be surmised that had he eaten Anais Lopes in her entirety, damages would have amounted to approximately £1000, or, roughly the amount he paid to be certified as a Master Sommelier in July of 2015.
Bardary was asked by this reporter if he agrees with Hannibal Lecter’s recommendation of Chianti as an appropriate accompaniment to human liver, but by press time, those emails remain unanswered.
In conclusion, my droogies, the moral of the story is:
‘Be careful who you meet and eat at any party that isn’t called ‘The Donner…’
Onward and supward.