A Guide to Fine Dining

3,919 views

Published on

A Screenplay by Slim Fairview
Humour--Caper

0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
3,919
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
26
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

A Guide to Fine Dining

  1. 1. 1 A GUIDE TO FINE DINING Slim Fairview Slimfairview@yahoo.comCopyright © 2000 © 2011 Slim Fairview
  2. 2. 2FADE IN:EXT. ESTABLISHING SHOTS:Series of shots showing the trendy, upscale, Manhattan social-scene. The richand beautiful in an out of limousines, restaurants, and clubs.INT. UPSCALE SUSHI RESTAURANTESTABLISHING SHOTSSushi chefs preparing food, patrons being seated. Succession of chefs sniffingthe air for a strange smell and shrugging it off. Moments later, the fire alarmrings and the sprinklers douse the kitchen. Mr. Yakamuri shuts the sprinklersand stands flanked by two wet chefs. Introduction to main character, CHEFAURIQUE, standing in front of an oven with smoke and sizzle, holding a charredfish on a platter, and smiling. AURIQUE Perfect. MR. YAKAMURI What are you doing? AURIQUE Cooking sushi. MR. YAKAMURI Cooking sushi. (Repeated to chefs laughing.) AURIQUE Cooking sushi. CUT TO:EXT.Aurique being chased down the street by Mr. Yakamuri holding a Samurai sword.
  3. 3. 3ESTABLISHING SHOTS:Series of shots showing an active, serious, expensive, steak house. Auriqueremoving a steak from the salamander. OWNER How’s it going, Partner? AURIQUE Like tumble weed on a hot prairie. You all. OWNER (To friend) This here’s Oh reek. That’s French. He’s our new cook. Tell this saddle sore buckaroo your secret, Oh reek. AURIQUE Chips, Pahdner FRIEND Not Buffalo chips, I hope. (Laughs) AURIQUE Mesquite, you all. FRIEND Can’t wait. Rustle up some steak there, Oh reek.Friend exits. Aurique pours wood chips onto a platter, puts the steak on it,covers it with sauce, and slides it into the salamander. CUT TO:The friend is eating his steak, grimaces, and begins picking wood chips from hismouth.ANGLE ONAurique smiling. His smile fades. The owner, the friend, and a waiter approachAurique. The friend has a branding iron.
  4. 4. 4EXT. GREENWICH VILLAGE EATER – DAYSeveral small tables on the sidewalk in front of Die Wiener Haus. A counter withstools, looking out on the sidewalk. Aurique is sitting on a stool eating sausagewith sauerkraut. Behind the counter is his tall, thin friend, Rammy, nibblingsausage as he stares absently at an eatery across the street. He nods. Auriqueturns to look.EXT. VILLAGE BISTROAcross the street a line to get into Chez Panache has formed. AURIQUE Why? All I want to know is, why? RAMMY Why not? What I want to know is, how? AURIQUE It can’t be the food. I used to work there. Speaking of which--. RAMMY Is there any restaurant in the city where you didn’t work?Aurique smiles. RAMMY No. No way.INT. WEINER HAUS KITCHENAurique is suited up in chef’s garb. Rammy is showing him the operation. RAMMY Take the sausage out of the freezer; put it into the bain-marie until it thaws out. Just before serving it, give it a toss in the hot skillet. If we need more, we cook more. But I have enough frozen for about four months.The waiter, Bigelow, comes running in.
  5. 5. 5 BIGELOW Hey, we got customers. They want food. What do I do? RAMMY Do what you always do. BIGELOW What? I been here two weeks and these are my first customers. AURIQUE I’ll handle it. (To Bigelow, handing him a beer.) Sit down. Relax. (To Rammy) When I open up my place, I’m hiring union labor. BIGELOW I heard that. I’m going on strike. AURIQUE You can’t. You’re not in the union. BIGELOW Oh, yeah. AURIQUE Enjoy your beer.Aurique dishes up three platters of sausage, kraut, and pumpernickel bread. Hedraws three steins of beer, and head out.EXT. KRAUT HAUSThree men in suits are seated around a table fiddling with iPads and nodding toChez Panache. MAN ONE …triple the ROI in, what, three years? AURIQUE Hock smell. Dis is dine vieners here. Eaten zee up. MAN TWO Don’t forget to factor in amortization. And depreciation.
  6. 6. 6 AURIQUE Auf weiderschnitzel. MAN THREE With proper backing… AURIQUE Und here ist der beerstein. MAN THREE …a restaurant like that can recover its initial investment in less than two years.Aurique does a freeze-take. He turns and begins fussing and fluffing napkins,and moving the beer. MAN ONE Is it always like that? The line out the door. AURIQUE Uh, it’s Tuesday. Buy one, get one free. With a coupon. That’s how they get them in. No coupon, no free meal. I did eat there. Once. MAN THREE Thank you, young man. You may have saved us from making a very expensive mistake. AURIQUE Are you gentlemen looking for a restaurant to…uh…eat in. MAN ONE We’re investors. We’re looking for restaurants to invest in. (Hands card to Aurique.) If you hear of anything, let us know. We do know how to show our gratitude. MAN TWO But we have strict criteria. MAN THREE And buzz. Lot’s of buzz. MAN ONE
  7. 7. 7 We’re looking for the next hot trend. MAN TWO And a big name chef. AURIQUE And lots of buzz. MAN ONE That’s it. MAN TWO Now you’ve got it. MAN THREE This man is a natural.Aurique beaming proudly. CUT TO:INT. COWBOY SALOON – NIGHTAurique, Rammy, Bigelow, and a new friend, Ali, are seated around a table,drinking and munching nachos. Aurique is beaming. AURIQUE It’s a natural. They need to back a trend. I need backers for my restaurant. A perfect match. RAMMY Aren’t you forgetting something? AURIQUE Are you kidding? I’ve been planning this for years. ALI Aurique (long pause) you don’t know how to cook. AURIQUE (Snorting with derision.) What do you mean I can’t cook? I cooked today at the Kraut Haus. Tell him Bigelow. Rammy? (Long pause.) All right. Suppose we say I don’t cook the fashionable
  8. 8. 8 stuff. But I don’t really have to cook. That’s what a sous chef is for. I’ll just oversee everything. RAMMY All right. Now all we need is a trend, some buzz and an actual place.The four are sitting there pondering the question when Aurique looks up andsees a painting of a Native American on the wall. AURIQUE That’s it. A Sioux Chef. RAMMY You said that. AURIQUE No, no. Not a sous chef, a Sioux chef. Get it? A Sioux chef.They all look up at the painting. AURIQUE The next hot trend. Truly Native American cuisine. ALI Aurique. As a bone fide member of an oppressed demographic subset let me say that that is wrong on too many levels. RAMMY Let’s see how many we can come up with. CUT TO:INT. AURIQUE’S APARTMENT—LATERAurique, Rammy, and Ali are talking. The apartment is a mess. The galleykitchen is cramped and littered with takeout remains: Fried chicken, pizza, beerbottles. RAMMY All right. Let’s say we have the trend. We still need the
  9. 9. 9 buzz. And an actual place to call a restaurant. ALI And, even more important, why would they back you? They want a name chef. AURIQUE That is the whole idea. You see…… DISSOLVE:INT. CHEZ PALACE – EVENINGA series of shots establishes that Chez Palace is an upscale, restaurant.In the office the owner, MONSIEUR PATRONAT, a Maitre d’hotel, and a chef arespeaking. Aurique is serving a platter of sandwiches. PATRONAT We don’t have any of the buzz. Know what I mean? Buzz. That’s how to get people in. And the way to get the buzz is to get a name chef. People don’t want a hot meal, they want a hot chef. We’ve got to find the next hot chef with the next hot trend. If not, kaput. CUT TO:INT. AURIQUE’S APARTMENT—PRESENT AURIQUE …which is my ticket into the best job in the best restaurant in town. Chez Palace. RAMMY Let me see if I understand all this. You open up a restaurant in order to get Monsieur Patronat to come to dinner, to hire you to work in his place, so backers will give you money to open up your own restaurant on a trend you created in a restaurant you didn’t really open up to begin with, and all based on your demonstrated lack of ability to cook? AURIQUE (Smiling broadly) Brilliant, huh.
  10. 10. 10 ALI And you still refuse to acknowledge the fact that you can’t – I know, you don’t have to.Aurique puts his arms around Rammy and Ali and looks back and for the to eachand shakes his head in a paternal dismay. AURIQUE Rammy, have you ever tasted genuine native American Cuisine? RAMMY No. AURIQUE Ali. Have you ever heard of genuine Native American Cuisine? ALI Back to that again? AURIQUE Have you? ALI No. AURIQUE Then who is going to know it isn’t great Native American Cuisine? RAMMY Okay. But what if nobody likes it? AURIQUE Rammy, whom do you know who would come out and say that? ALI Aurique is right. It could work. AURIQUE
  11. 11. 11 Thank you. It’ nice to know someone has a little faith in me. ALI Actually, I have faith in H. L. Mencken. AURIQUE Who’s he? ALI The man who said, no one ever went broke under estimating the intelligence of the American public. RAMMY Still, we do actually need to find an actual place. Even if it’s only for one night. AURIQUE How much do we have saved up in our investment fund? RAMMY Enough to go out to dinner. ALI We just aren’t thinking. If we could put our heads together, I am sure we could come up with something.Aurique sees a copy of ART OF THE DEAL on the coffee table. AURIQUE That’s it. ALI What’s it? CUT TO:INT. RESTAURANT—AFTERNOONAurique, Rammy, and Ali in three-piece, Navy-blue, pinstriped suits, are talkingTo the owner, the chef, and the maitre d’ of a trendy restaurant. OWNER I might be interested in leasing or even selling one of my places. One of my least profitable places. But
  12. 12. 12 MORE: that’s just me. You might have better luck. You might have a hot trend. Better buzz. Still, I wasn’t born yesterday and I wasn’t born stupid. You have to come up with something to put money into my pocket. AURIQUE Well, here’s what I was thinking. For a deferred percentage of the discount present value of the sum of an annuity—that would be the base payment—you would receive both the aggregate percentage of any net increases on the gross, that’s off the top, but also the accrued interest on the deferred payments at prime plus one percent offset by the benefits attributed to a tax shelter by writing off any net losses against potential income.EXT. GARBAGE DUMPSTER—LATERThe lid rises slowly. Aurique, Rammy, and Ali peak out. They check bothdirections. AURIQUE It sounded so good when Donald Trump said it in his book. ALI I don’t know, big guy. I think you may have misquoted him. AURIQUE That could be it. Still, I am not letting a small setback discourage me. No, siree. I am not letting this setback send me down the road to despair.INT. RESTAURANT—AFTERNOONAurique, Rammy, and Ali are attempting their scam in another restaurant. AURIQUE Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re not going to let me get away with some fly-by-night finance scheme. No, Sir. And I respect that. Therefore, since I really want your place, I will give up all gross earning in the first
  13. 13. 13 year, equivalent to both the principal and the interest on deferred earning you’ll receive, and, in lieu of a profit in my first year, I will defer my salary allowing all interest to accrue to you, plus ten per cent as, a, sort of , sign up bonus.SILENCEAfter a long pause, the owner puts a copy of ART OF THE DEAL on the table.Aurique smiles. The owner smiles. Rammy smiles. Thee is some softChuckling. Then, in turn, they all start LAUGHING. The owner stands up,still LAUGHING. They all stand. LAUGHING. The owner goes around thetable and puts his arm around Aurique. OWNER That’s how I got this place.LAUGHTER OWNER (Cont’d) Hang in there, Kid. You’ll make it some day. Come on, let me walk you out.ANGLE ONAurique, Rammy, and Ali sitting on the ground in the alley. AURIQUE Did you hear what he said? That’s how he got the place. He said I was going to make it. He believes in me. He believes in me. ALI Well, he didn’t charge us for the drinks. CUT TO:INT. RAMMY’S APARTMENT—EVERammy and Aurique are flipping cards into a hat. RAMMY You can’t do this on a computer.
  14. 14. 14Pipes are BANGING, neighbors are YELLING, sirens are WAILING. RAMMY (Cont’d) This place is the pits. AURIQUE Yeah, but the great rent you pay. You can’t beat rent control. RAMMY This isn’t rent controlled. It’s the pits. And there’s no way to find out who actually owns it. Everyone I’ve called deny even knowing this building exists. Half the building is vacant. I don’t know why. Half the families here don’t even pay rent. AURIQUE How much do you pay? RAMMY I don’t. I told you, no one even knows I live here. AURIQUE Eureka! RAMMY Am I to assume you mean the vacuum cleaner? AURIQUE No. But I do mean to clean up. I just solved the problem of getting a place. Location, location, location. RAMMY Where do you intend to open your restaurant? AURIQUE I don’t know, yet. But I’ll know it when I see it.Aurique charges out. CUT TO:EXT. RUN-DOWN BUILDING ON A RUN DOWN STREET—DAY
  15. 15. 15Aurique, Rammy, and Ali are standing in front of a tumbledown building. AURIQUE Come on, you two. Let’s go in and check it out. ALI Are you kidding. The only think stopping half of this building from falling down is the half that’s boarded up. AURIQUE Well, I’m going in.Rammy and Ali follow Aurique into the building. They carefullystep through the rubble, boards, garbage, wiring, bare sectionsof wall, etc. RAMMY This is a garbage heap. The board of health will have you committed. AURIQUE It’s free. ALI How so? AURIQUE We’re actually doing the owner a bigger favor than he’s doing for us. ALI In other words, he doesn’t know about this. AURIQUE All we have to do is clean it up a bit. A coat of paint. Maybe a few ferns. ALI Aurique, is this legal? Even a little bit. AURIQUE Sure. You’ve heard of squatters’ rights. Well, you can’t have squatters’ rights without squatters.
  16. 16. 16 RAMMYAll right. What gives? AURIQUEI checked it out. Just like your building. It’sowned by some subsidiary of an out of towncorporation. No one will even know we’re here. RAMMYEveryone will know we’re here. AURIQUEYou know what I mean. RAMMYI just hope you’re right. ALIAll right you two. The important thing is wefound a place. But we still have to turn it intoa restaurant. RAMMYAll right. Lets get started tossing this crap. ALIWhere? RAMMYThrough that hole in the wall? AURIQUENow you’re talking. Hey, leave that. ALII thought you wanted us to get rid of the garbage. AURIQUEThe garbage, yeah. Not the furniture.
  17. 17. 17 CUT TO:EXT. LIMOUSINE—EVEMOVING SHOTA long, black limousine is moving through the city. It arrives at a chic downtownapartment building. Rammy exits. He is dressed in very conservative black-tie.He enters the building. The doorman lets him through.INT. WOMAN’S APARTMENT—EVEA very tall, thin, attractive blonde, LESJE, Rammy’s girlfriend, dressed in a littleblack dress and heels is setting up for a romantic dinner. She answers aKNOCK at the door. Rammy enters and kisses her. LESJE How did you get here so fast? RAMMY Tommy dropped me off of his way up town. LESJE Well, that finally answers my other question. Sometimes he plays chauffer for you, sometimes you play butler for him. RAMMY Oh, come on. I think the tuxedo is a nice touch. It really is mine, you know. LESJE I know. I bought it for you. Still, since you were sweet enough to treat this like such a special occasion, I’ll pick another night to pick you apart. Tonight we shall dine on Lean Cuisine and a bottle of Chateau Whoa! RAMMY (Picks up bottle.) Whoa! Where did you ever get this? LESJE
  18. 18. 18 It came with the apartment. RAMMY No, really. LESJE Really. I pulled down a partition and there was this stash from a former tenant. And no, you can’t have any for that lunatic scheme you and your fat friend, Aurique, have cooked up. No pun intended. RAMMY I wasn’t going to ask.The two sit by a small fire in the fireplace and begin nibbling and sipping. LESJE Here. I frosted some vodka and some glasses to go with this.Rammy pours vodka into two frosted glasses. They touch glasses, feed eachother caviar, and sip their drinks. Sound of glass CRASHING. CUT TO:INT. APARTMENT—EVEAurique is sweeping up broken glass in the cramped galley kitchen of hisgirlfriend, PATTY. PATTY (OS) Need help in there? AURIQUE No, no. Don’t come in. I have a surprise for you. I’m just making the béchamel now. Just another minute.Aurique takes the Colonel’s chicken out of the bucket, sprays them with Pam,puts them into the oven, and begins the roux for the béchamel. He finishesfabricating a homemade dinner and tosses the evidence out the window. Hepours wine from a jug into a bottle then heads into the living room with the wineand two glasses. They sit together on the sofa awkwardly. PATTY
  19. 19. 19 Don’t you even want me to set the table? AURIQUE That’s part of the surprise. I’m setting everything up like an old-fashioned picnic. Basket, blanket, we can put on that nature show on Animal Planet. PATTY Oh, Auri, you are so romantic sometimes. When you get your mind off food. I mean the food business. AURIQUE I do admit I sometimes seem a bit, uh, driven. But, well, it is a chef eat chef world out there. Besides, I am doing it for us. PATTY I know, Auri. But this whole thing does sound a bit iffy. AURIQUE You have to have faith, that’s all. You just have to believe.A loud BUZZ alerts Aurique to the smoke coming from the kitchen. DISSOLVE:INT. APARTMENT—EVEChic, upscale, minimalist, artsy apartment of GIA, Ali’s girlfriend. She isresponding to the BUZZ of the door buzzer. She is dressed up and waiting togo out to dinner. Ali arrives in a conservative suit. ALI (Kissing Gia.) I don’t smell anything. What did you make for dinner? GIA Reservations. You don’t mind, do you? ALI Actually, I have Tommy waiting downstairs with the car. I took it for granted you made reservations. GIA
  20. 20. 20 Well, this is one time I don’t mind being taken for granted. ALI As long as you’re being taken out to dinner.INT. RESTAURANT—LATERAli and Gia are eating at the corner table in a cozy candle-lit restaurant. Giais gazing intently at Ali. GIA It all sounds very creative, Sweetheart. But not the least bit legal. Howe did you manage to get involved with all this? ALI They’re my friends. (Pause) Look, well, I mean it all sounded so exciting. Besides, they lead such interesting lives. GIA Aren’t you a bit young to be going through mid-life crisis? Living vicariously usually means not getting involved in schemes to fabricate restaurants, swindle investors, make up dubious cuisine, and blame in all on Native Americans. I’m not angry with you. Just a little disappointed, that’s all. ALI Are you saying I can’t play with my best friends anymore? GIA I’m only saying, enjoy the fun, but learn to keep a polite distance. A very polite distance. CUT TO:INT. LUNCHEONETTE—DAYWhile the boys are plotting, the girlfriends are lunching. Lesje, Gia, and Pattyare discussing the boys’ plans. PATTY But it sounded so brilliant when my Aurie explained it to me. Maybe you just don’t understand it.
  21. 21. 21 GIA You do need help, girlfriend. PATTY It’s the boys that need help. LESJE Well, that is a given. If we don’t they’ll end up in jail. Or dead. Or both. GIA But we don’t know anything about running a restaurant.Lesje gives Gia a blank stare. GIA (Cont’d) Oh, yea. Right. neither do the boys.EXT. KRAUT HAUS—DAYThe boys are sipping beer. ALI We really do have to ask the girls for help. If we don’t we’ll all end up in jail. RAMMY Or dead. ALI If we don’t ask them for help, we’ll be safer in jail. RAMMY If we don’t ask them for help and something goes wrong, we’ll be safer dead. AURIQUE Yean, (Pause) but, I mean…the girls don’t know anything about running a restaurant.Ali and Rammy give Aurique a blank stare.
  22. 22. 22 AURIQUE (Cont’d) Oh, yeah. Right. Neither do we. CUT TO:EXT. PARK—DAYTommy, the limo driver, Bigelow, the waiter, and EVAN, a third friend, are seatedin the park eating hot dogs. TOMMY You know, we really ought to do something. BIGELOW Yeah. They always helped us out. EVAN Yeah. Even when they hadn’t two shillings to rub together.Tommy and Bigelow give Evan a blank stare. EVAN ( Cont’d) Oh, yeah. Right. They still haven’t got two shillings to rub together. (Long pause) But what can we possible do? TOMMY I know. I can drive the limo. You know, kind of chauffer people to the restaurant. BIGELOW And I can wait tables. I mean, I might even pocket as few tips. EVAN Oh, Bigelow. I am so disappointed.Bigelow lowers his head in shame. TOMMY And what about you? With all your, uh, affiliations, you can come up wit ha way to help out. EVAN
  23. 23. 23 (Thinking) I know. I can round up a few extras. Non-sag. To show up for the free food. You know, create a crowded atmosphere. Line at the door. I mean, we’ve all done it. TOMMY Yeah. But that was to get on camera. EVAN Hey, that’s it. I’ve got a mate at NYU film school. She can shoot the restaurant scene for one of her assignments. BIGELOW But what if the people don’t want to be seen in a movie? EVAN What do you mean? They’re actors. They want to be seen on film. BIGELOW I mean the other customers.Evan and Tommy give Bigelow a blank stare. BIGELOW (Cont’d) Oh, yeah. Right. What other customers. Well, There go my tips. CUT TO:INT. LUNCHEONETTE—LATERThe three women are still talking. PATTY Well, I’d do anything to help my Aurie. What do you have in mind. LESJE The only thing we can do. Ask them how we can help.
  24. 24. 24 GIA Do you know what you’re letting us in for? How long have we known these guys. Anything they’re involved with can only illegal, immoral, unnecessary, fattening or sexist. PATTY Well, if you don’t like your boyfriends why do you stay with them. GIA They need us, Girlfriend. PATTY Please….. LESJE Have you ever gone out with a man who didn’t need you? PATTY No. GIA Believe me, it is no fun. PATTY Well, I’m sorry. For you two. But I do need Aurie. And I am proud to say so. LESJE Well, the boys need us now. Are we all in on this?The others nod. LESJE (Cont’d) Good. Now, first we have to find this place. Gia, you’ve done some design architecture. And, Patty, you did some work in advertising. And I can set up the financials. They will need suppliers, equipment, food…This can work if we plan our work—
  25. 25. 25 CUT TO:EXT. ALLEY—EVEThe boys are in an alley behind a restaurant dressed in Chef’s jackets,exaggerated toque, and big, handlebar mustaches. AURIQUE …..and work our plan. Come on. We can get all the equipment and supplies we really need.INT. RESTAURANT KITCHEN—LATERESTABLISHING SHOTSA very busy, very expensive restaurant. Bar, dining room kitchen, everyone isbusy and focused on the work. The faces of the boys appear in a rear window.Bigelow, in an oversized tailcoat looks around nervously. The faces of the boysare missing from the window. The rear door opens. Rammy and Ali are sneakinginto the kitchen of the restaurant. Aurique is backing in. Rammy stops at theomelet chef. Ali stops. Aurique backs into them. OMELET Hey, what you guys think you’re doing?Rammy looks at Ali. Ali looks at Aurique. Aurique waves a cleaver in the air. AURIQUE I told you guys, back to work. No breaks now. Work. work, work. (To the chef) New guys. Good for nothing. Won’t last the night. (To Rammy and Ali) Let’s go. Back to work. Cut, chop, mince, puree, julienne, child, allez!The three cross to a corner in the farthest part of the kitchen. Rammy takesoff his chef’s whites to reveal a tuxedo. He takes a tray of brandies and movesthrough the dining room. Ali and Aurique begin piling lobsters, foie gras, caviar,etc. onto large silver trays. Rammy serves complimentary brandies andpicking up checks with the cash as he goes. he returns to the kitchen where he
  26. 26. 26gets back into chef’s whites. Aurique covers the trays with domes then throwsome empty trays onto the floor. The other workers turn to look at whathappened. AURIQUE That’s the final straw. You two are fired. Out. And take this sausage stand swill out with out. Out. (Chasing after them) And if I ever catch you in here again, I will chop you into tiny pieces and sauté you each in his own Beurre manié sauce.They exit carrying their trays of booty. CUT TO:EXT. CITY STREET—DAYAurique, Ali, and Rammy are walking along a downtown street, deep in throughwhen a black car driver pulls up along side them. The driver blows his horn.The window goes down. It’s Tommy. (The divider is up) AURIQUE Hey, what’s up?Tommy puts a finger to his lips shushing Aurique. He lowers the divider andbegins waving a piece of paper and speaking in a fake foreign language. TOMMY Don’t know, don’t know. Ask the man. Ask the man.The rear window goes down and the passenger leans out. PASSENGER Excuse me. I’m Terry Gelhorn. Assistant Secretary of Health. I’m to be at a meeting and the driver seems a bit lost. AURIQUE Secretary? Wow. I’d love to see what your boss drives around in. PASSENGER Sorry?
  27. 27. 27 ALI I, uh, apologize for my friend. He, uh, had a contrived childhood. Very sad. PASSENGER Well, I’m always happy to help the less fortunate. But I am on the way to a meeting. Here, give your friend my card. And please give my driver directions.INSERTA business card showing Terrance Gelhorn, Assistant Deputy of the Dept. ofHealth.The rear window goes up along with the privacy divider and Rammy pretends togive Tommy directions. Aurique looks at the card and begins thinking. CUT TO:EXT. ALLEY—DAYThe boys are watching from behind a dumpster as food is being delivered to arestaurant. When the driver pulls away, they come out of hiding. Aurique is in asuit holding an official clipboard; Ali is in a white lab coat and goggles. Rammy isin work clothes. They throw some discarded vegetables into boxes marked steakand marked lobster. Rammy carries the two boxes into the kitchen of therestaurant. An assistant chef sees him drop the two boxes. CHEF What’s that? RAMMY Last two.Aurique and Ali come running in. AURIQUE Hold it right there. Nobody move. CHEF
  28. 28. 28 Who are you? AURIQUE (Presenting card.) Terrance G. Gelhorn. Secretary of Health (mumble) (Aurique snatches back the card.) AURIQUE (Cont’d) I see vegetables in boxes of lobster and steak. We must inspect the entire shipment.Aurique and Ali march into the walk-in refrigerator. The rest follow. AURIQUE Ah hah! CHEF Ah hah? AURIQUE You see it too. Good. Better not to try to deny it. CHEF Deny it. Deny what? AURIQUE Exposure to cross contamination under the US, uh, Inland Waterways and Mad Cow Prevention Act, Certioriari, Fed. Supp. 303, § 195.Aurique picks up a frozen lobster and holds it up to examine it. AURIQUE (Cont’d) Rigor mortis has already set in. CHEF It’s frozen. AURIQUE (Gasps) Died of frostbite. This may be worse than we thought. Perhaps we should seize the entire shipment. CHEF But we open for dinner in a few hours.
  29. 29. 29 AURIQUE Or quarantine the whole place. ALI If you really believe that is necessary Dr. Gelhorn. AURIQUE We can’t possibly test this whole shipment in time for dinner. CHEF Isn’t there something you can do? AURIQUE I’ll tell you what. Well test two samples. One of each. At random. And impound these vegetables. If they check out, we won’t be back. However…. ALI But, Dr. Gelhorn, isn’t that bending the rules? AURIQUE Actually, bending, I mean, exercising my discretionary authority. Of course, I’m only the secretary. I still have to convince my boss….The chef turns away and begins peeling money from a clip. AURIQUE (Cont’d) And he is a stickler…Chef peels off more money. AURIQUE (Cont’d) But, I’m sure I can convince him that this is a prudent and responsible response to a possible mad cow infestation. I mean, given the overall cleanliness of your place. But we must hurry. Let’s go. (To Rammy) You, you there, give us a hand. CHEF Thank you. Oh, thank you so much.
  30. 30. 30The three exit with the loot. CUT TO:EXT. ALLEY BEHIND A RESTAURANT—LATERThe boys are watching a driver unload food from a truck. The kitchenhelper calls out to him. HELPER Hey, come on in. Have a beer.The driver looks around and heads into the restaurant leaving the backdoor of the truck open. The boys walk up to the back of the truck. AURIQUE This is too easy.They each take a crate and start walking away. They stop. They look ateach other. AURIQUE (Cont’d) I can’t do this. RAMMY Me either. ALI I mean, it’s like stealing. AURIQUE Come on. Let’s put it back.The boys put the boxes back on the truck. They hide behind a pile of emptycrates. The driver locks the truck and drives off. The boys come out, lookaround, grab some empty crates, put some bricks into them, and carry theminto the restaurant. AURIQUE (To the Chef.) We almost drove off too soon. Here’s the last three. CHEF Wait a minute you two. Not so fast. (Counting the boxes.)
  31. 31. 31 You gave me too many. I ordered thirteen crates. You brought fifteen. Take two back. RAMMY Yes, Sir. And thank you for being so honest.Rammy and Aurique pick up two of the good crates and leave.EXT. THE ALLEY—MINUTES LATERThe boys are carrying their crates. Aurique stops. The others stop. AURIQUE That crook. Can you believe it? Thirteen. What a lying thief. What a conniving, lying good for… DISSOLVE:INT. CHEZ RECLAMAGE—EVEThe boys are in their restaurant examining their booty. ALI How did we do all together?Aurique is munching on lobster leg and swilling champagne. Rammy isexamining some silver plated restaurant equipment. RAMMY We have pliers, silver hammers for crème brûlée, some skewers for kabobs, Eleven hundred dollars… ALI Are you sure you want to go into the restaurant business? (Bites into a filet mignon sandwich.) This way, you don’t even have to cook. Call it Chez Leftovers. The customers— AURIQUE Patrons. ALI
  32. 32. 32 Patrons can pick what they want from a glass front case—a help yourself deal—prix fixe. RAMMY That can be the next on. If Aurie doesn’t want to do it, I’ll do it as the Sausage Haus.Aurique and Ali look at each other. IN UNISON Right. AURIQUE What was the tally on the last visit? ALI A case of champagne, four filets, twelve lobsters— RAMMY Eight.Ali counts the three boys then counts on his fingers. AURIQUE I was hungry, all right? RAMMY Eight lobsters, four tins of Beluga, service for six, eight table clothes, twenty-three napkins, eleven candlesticks, three soap dispensers, a urinal— ALI A urinal? AURIQUE For the men’s room. ALI Where’s that going to be? RAMMY Wherever we hang the urinal. AURIQUE Hey, Guys, we’re getting closer. Now, we
  33. 33. 33 can tie dye the table clothes and cut them up into napkins, freeze the beef—hey save those lobster shells for the stock. RAMMY What about electric? AURIQUE Lanterns. Candles. RAMMY I mean, for the kitchen. AURIQUE Ali…Ali holds up two heavy-duty extension cords. AURIQUE (Cont’d) Voila! RAMMY Is that French for plea-bargain? AURIQUE (Looking around) You know, this place isn’t shaping up too badly. but what we really need to do is to draw up some kind of layout. You know…. ALI A plan? AURIQUE Nothing quite so restrictive. I don’t want to stifle the creativity. Just a guide. To get the general idea of the place for when we open.The boys being walking around the place. They ponder the architecture.Aurique comes across a wooden door held shut by a bent, rusty nail. Heopens it and the three walk through.INT. SUPPLY ROOM
  34. 34. 34The boys enter a large room with wire rack shelves holding food stuffs andrestaurant equipment. AURIQUE Wow. We hit pay dirt. ALI Look at all this stuff. There’s got to be a restaurant fairy. RAMMY I see it, but I don’t believe it. AURIQUE Oh, believe it all right. this place must have been a restaurant. Before they abandoned it. And they left all this great stuff behind. ALI I don’t know. This stuff looks pretty new to me. AURIQUE Preserved. Pretty well preserved. RAMMY The same thing happened to Lesje. She found a stash of vintage Bordeaux behind a partition in her closet. ALI I don’t know. It still looks a bit fishy to me. Don’t they have abandoned property laws? RAMMY Hey, look. Real tin-lined copper pans. And pots. AURIQUE Pots. That’s it. Pots.Aurique picks up some clay flowerpots with the packets of seeds still in them. AURIQUE (Cont’d) Pots. RAMMY Novel idea. Very trendy. But we don’t have enough
  35. 35. 35 time to grow our own vegetables, let alone let our patrons sit here long enough to grow their own centerpieces. AURIQUE Watch.Aurique opens up a package of tortillas he fins on the shelf, he stuffs oneinto a clay pot and turns it over onto a tray. He holds it up. AURIQUE (Cont’d) Now, to serve (He takes a hammer and whacks the pot.) and there you go. The patron pours sauce on in and bon appetite. I mean we have flour a tortilla press….. ALI That’s Mexican. AURIQUE There you go again, marginalizing people. When will you learn to be more open to differences? RAMMY We still have no idea what the actual cuisine is going to be. And, no, you can’t call it Native American Cuisine. ALI We could always try to Google it. AURIQUE It’s anything I can stick in a flowerpot and cover with a béchamel. We can serve it on a bed of julienne cactus. RAMMY Where are we going to get a cactus? AURIQUE Doesn’t matter. All right. We’ll use jicama. RAMMY What’s jicama?
  36. 36. 36 AURIQUE You don’t know what jicama is? RAMMY No. AURIQUE Don’t worry about it. Neither does anyone else. We’ll just cover it with some Picasso chili powder and some, pepper sauce. Now, then. we cover the trays with buckskins—the tie-dyed napkins—put the pot on it, the customers sit around the tables, smash the pots, pour gravy over everything—boy, this is going to be so neat. ALI I don’t know. This whole thing doesn’t sound Kosher to me. AURIQUE Look, you got, French restaurants, Chinese restaurants, German restaurants, we even have Indian restaurants—don say it—I mean what is your problem? ALI What if a real Native American comes in? RAMMY Look, the only way anyone will think we’re serving native American Cuisine is if we tell them. We just don’t tell anyone what kind of food we’re cooking. AURIQUE All we have to do is to keep our mouths shut. If we can keep our mouths shut, we’re golden. LESJE (OS) Now there is a philosophy we can live with.ANGLE ON
  37. 37. 37Lesje, Gia, and Patty as they enter Chez Reclamage.REVERSE P.O.V.The boys turn. They are standing side-by-side. AURIQUE Hello. RAMMY Hello. ALI Hello. IN UNISON Hello. GIA Remind you of anyone? LESJE And this is Chez Reclamage. AURIQUE (Beaming) Well, what do you think? Pretty neat, huh?Patty starts SNIFFLING AURIQUE (Cont’d) Hey, hey. Let’s have none of that. You’re just seeing it in it’s, uh, disassemblage. GIA That’s French for disisgargage. ALI Let’s not talk it down. I mean, Aurique needs some empowerment. Dignity. To, you know, maximize is potential and to achieve his— GIA Can it.
  38. 38. 38 ALI Yes, Dear. GIA Do you know why we came down here? Do you? To ask not what our boyfriends can do for us, but, rather what we can do for our boyfriends. LESJE I suggested do to your boyfriends.Patty is still SNIFFLING. Aurique is standing with his head hung inshame. LESJE (Cont’d) Don’t cry honey. RAMMY Really, it looks worse than it is. The brilliance you see is in the simplicity. When you see— LESJE Rammy, what we have here is simply minded. AURIQUE No, really, Lesje. The beauty is in the simplicity. The simple rustic fare. The simple décor. (Pause) Okay, poor example. But it’s not finished, yet. Still, it’s the cuisine that is really going to make this place. Show them, Rammy.Rammy holds up a flowerpot. AURIQUE (cont’d) Ali?Ali holds up a tortilla. Aurique holds up a lobster. AURIQUE (Cont’d)
  39. 39. 39 See?The girls exchange glances. GIA If I get the picture, you put a tortilla in a flowerpot, put food in the tortilla; cover it with béchamel sauce, and call it Native American Cuisine. AURIQUE Gia. That was brilliant. GIA That was sarcasm. AURIQUE No, no. I mean, how did you know? GIA Well, you showed me the flowerpot. And the tortilla. And béchamel sauce is the only thing you actually know how to cook. And the last part was easy. The Native Americans are the only people you haven’t offended since I’ve known you. LESJE Until now. What are you going to do? Give everyone a tiny tomahawk to crack open the pots with? THE BOYS (In unison) Uh…… ALI What a brilliant idea. Why didn’t one of us think of that? AURIQUE What do you mean? I—Rammy kicks Aurique. AURIQUE (Cont’d) Ow!
  40. 40. 40 GIAWhat? AURIQUEOw. RAMMYWow! ALIPow wow. AURIQUEYou know. Let’s put our heads together. Imean, with you girls in on this, it can’t fail.Besides, it’s just for one night. Come on.What do you say, Honey? PATTYWell, if it’s only for one night, I mean, I guess,I— LESJEPatty, why are they doing this for only one night? PATTYI, uh, I have no idea. LESJEThe boys are pretending to open a restaurantto attract investors to a trend they’ve made upso Aurique can open up his own place. AURIQUEHah! That’s where you’re wrong. We’re openingup a restaurant so I can get a job in a greatrestaurant, so I can attract investors, so I can(Long pause) Actually, the restaurant business isvery technical. The business side. But, hey, if yougirls can help out with the cooking and the serving,I mean, hey, we’re golden.
  41. 41. 41The three women huddle to talk over a plan. LESJE All right. We can do that. Now, just tell us exactly what we have to do.INT. CHEZ RECLAMAGE—LATERSERIES OF SHOTSThe six are moving about the wreckage engages in ad hoc decoratingefforts. Spreading glue on a wall, and tossing wood chips in front of afan to cover the wall with wood chips. Sewing napkins, mopping, sweeping. GIA Illegal, immoral, unnecessary, sexist or fattening. LESJE No on likes an I-told-you-so. PATTY There are no small jobs. Only small people. LESJE Explain, again, why we’re here. PATTY To make sure our boyfriends succeed. GIA To make sure they don’t fail. Or go to jail. LESJE And to see that we get what’s coming to us. GIA After all, if you were to add up all we’ve done for them, the times we’ve bailed them our of trouble, not to mention, oh, never mind. I truly believe we deserve something. PATTY Yeah, I guess. (The light dawns. Almost)
  42. 42. 42 Hey, yeah. we do deserve something. Even if it’s just a decent meal.Lesje and Gia exchange glances. Patty notices. PATTY (Cont’d) I mean, we’ll probably end up doing the cooking. Right? GIA AND LESJE (in Unison) Right. CUT TO:EXT. PARK—DAYEvan, one of the boys’ casual cronies, is talking to his much younger girlfriend,JULIA. They are in the park near NYU Where Julia is a graduate film student. EVAN Straight up. You need a restaurant and me mates need a bit of a buzz about their place. Come on, Love. It’s free. The cast gets bacon butties. What can be wrong with that? JULIA Um, the fact that you’re involved. EVAN At least scout the location. JULIA Now I really am in trouble. It’s bad enough when you star talking in that hokey Beatles’ slang, but when you try using film argot, I know you’re up to no good. EVAN Please, Love. JULIA You already know what my family thinks about—
  43. 43. 43 EVAN Please, Love.They kiss. CUT TO:EXT. STREET SCENE—DAYBigelow is walking down a west side street. He approaches a small crowd ofpeople, some waiting on line, outside a small studio. They are non-sagextras waiting for open additions. Bigelow sees three attractive women heknows and walks up and starts talking to them, BIGELOW Hi. Long time no see. ONE Do I know you? BIGELOW We met at an open all. Remember? ONE No. BIGELOW Anyway, a friend of mine knows someone who’s— TWO You have a friend? BIGELOW And he’s opening up this restaurant— THREE Your friend or his friend. BIGELOW Both. And they’re trying to create a buzz— ONE Hire some bees. BIGELOW
  44. 44. 44And I though if I could get some people to comedown and like, show up… TWODo I get paid? BIGELOWFree food. TWOWhy not advertise in BACKSTAGE? BIGELOWNot enough time. Come on. You’ll love it. THREEWhat kind of food? BIGELOWThe hottest trend. The latest trend. Even I don’tknow what it’s going to be. ONEWho’s the Chef? BIGELOWOnly Chef Aurique. The hottest new chef. He’sopening up what’s going to be the hottest place.Chez Reclamage. And you will be on thepermanent list. Right past the velvet rope. TWOChef Aurique? THREEChez Reclamage? ONEOh, Aurie. Why didn’t you say so? He’s so, sorecherché. Where is it going to be again?He told me, but I forgot. BIGELOWThe location is a secret until opening night/ TWO
  45. 45. 45 Then how do we get there? BIGELOW Limousine! ONE (Hugging Bigelow) Of course I’m coming. Now you make sure to tell Aurie, and to make sure I get a special table. BIGELOW Sure, sure. Okay.Bigelow leaves. The other two actresses look at Actress One, at each other,and back to Actress One and back to each other. TWO AND THREE (In mime) Chez Reclamage? CUT TO:EXT. RENOVATED STORE-FRONT—DAYDignitaries are attending a ribbon cutting ceremony at an urban renewalproject directly around the corner from Chez Reclamage. SecretaryGelhorn is speaking. GELHORN So, as part of our commitment to Programmes of this nature, it behooves me to express my pride in this non-profit training academy that will not merely teach young, disadvantaged youngsters the culinary arts and sciences but do so while providing nutritious and delicious meals to themselves and to those in the community who do not have abundance of what we…… (droning on.) CUT TO:
  46. 46. 46CUTAWAY SHOT (more)MOVING:Aurique, Rammy, and Ali are walking around the block approaching thetraining school where Gelhorn is speaking. As they pass the small crowdthey glance up at the proceedings but keep walking. They do a freeze-take.They back up, see the sign, and continue walking. Then start walking quickly.Then start running back to Chez Reclamage.INT. CHEZ RECLAMAGEInside, the boys slowly creep to the door leading to the door to the trainingcenter. there they open it quietly and creep through. They peek through thenext door. They retreat.INT. CHEZ RECLAMAGE—DINING AREAThey are seated in a circle. They are despondent. They quietly suck ontheir beers. Occasionally, they look to one another for some sort of answer.No one says anything. RAMMY What are we going to do? AURIQUE It’s a soup kitchen. ALI But we didn’t know that. AURIQUE It’s a soup kitchen. RAMMY It’s like stealing from widows and orphans. AURIQUE It’s a soup kitchen. ALI You keep saying that.
  47. 47. 47 RAMMYWe didn’t know. AURIQUEThat’s easy for you to say. But what about me? RAMMYWhat about you? AURIQUEI’m fat. RAMMYWhat does that have to do with anything? AURIQUEI can see the tabloids now. The pictures. Starvingchildren, emaciated, and next to that a picture ofa big, fat, smiling chef. Me. Chef Aurique. I cansee the headlines. Starving chef struggles to surviveon two dozen doughnuts a day, while widows andorphans are living large on haute cuisine from thelocal soup kitchen. RAMMYYeah. I can see how hard that would be for you.Which brings me back to my original question?What are we going to do? AURIQUEThe only thing we can do. Have the opening, makeit a huge success, and donate the stuff back tothe soup kitchen. What great buzz! ALIWhat about the actual food? AURIQUE (Eyes lit up.)We donate the proceeds to the soup kitchen.We turn the event into a fundraiser. Thisis going to be so cool. ALIGuilt money.
  48. 48. 48 (more) AURIQUEWhy not? After all, we are guilty. And I shouldmake restitution for what we’ve done. Canyou imagine the great publicity. ALIHave you ever heard of moral relativism? AURIQUEYes. ALIWell, this doesn’t even come close. AURIQUEDon’t say it. This is our only way out. RAMMYWhat about covering our expenses? ALIWhat expenses? We’re not paying rent, we’restealing the electricity, and we borrowed –listento me. I’m starting to sound like Aurie. We stolepots and pans and food from a soup kitchen. AURIQUEPlease. Training center. Soup kitchen is sodemeaning. RAMMYAnd what about the second night? AURIQUEWhat second night? I accept the job offer fromMonsieur Patronat, close the place, and move onto a larger stage at Chez Palace, to the gratitudeof an adoring crowd. My fans. ALIIf there is an offer. AURIQUE
  49. 49. 49 Oh, there will be. You don’t know the industry. It’s all promises and apologies. RAMMY You’ve found your Nirvana. But what about your own place?Aurique produces the business card he got from the investors at the Kraut Haus. AURIQUE Once I get into Chez Palace, these guys will pay anything to get me out. Which will prove once and for all that, I can do it. ALI And do it without any money. RAMMY Speaking of which, I still have the Kraut Haus to run. Anyone hungry?EXT. KRAUT HAUS—LATERThe boys are seated at a table under an umbrella eating sausage rolls anddrinking beer. AURIQUE The nicest thing about this place is that i runs itself. ALI You know, you could try the honour system. I mean, there’s probably enough honest people in this city where you wouldn’t even have to show up. AURIQUE And what about the dishonest people. ALI Cops! AURIQUE Where? Where? RAMMY
  50. 50. 50 Right behind you.Aurique sees two detectives heading their way. AURIQUE Oh, no. This is it. they caught us. We’re toast. Road kill. Sliced, dices. Batter dipped and fried. I’m— ALI We get the idea. RAMMY Relax, they’re regulars.Two plain-clothes detectives seat themselves at the table with the boys. Oneis plump and pleasant. the other, cynical. Aurique turns away. RAMMY (Cont’d) Hi, Lieutenant. Sarge. The usual? LIEUTENANT Double for me. SARGE Mmmm.Bigelow goes to get their order. RAMMY What’s wrong with Sarge? LIEUTENANT Tough case. Somebody ripped off a soup kitchen I mean, sheesh. Widows, orphans. How low can anyone go?Bigelow brings out a platter of food and puts it on the table buffet style. AURIQUE You know, I’m opening a restaurant in that area. I hope it isn’t dangerous. SARGE I don’t think so. This seems to be the work of a sick, deranged mental case.
  51. 51. 51 AURIQUEGood. I feel much better. SARGEDon’t get complacent. It would seem—hey,wait a minute. You said you’re opening arestaurant in that area. How do you knowwhich area? AURIQUEWell, I’m opening up a restaurant. I think I shouldknow where I’m opening it. Otherwise, how wouldI ever get to work? SARGEI mean the area where the crime was committed. AURIQUEWell…it didn’t happen in this area. We wouldknow about it. So, if it didn’t happen hear, it hadto happen there. It’s the process of elimination. SARGEUh, yeah. Right. LIEUTENANTIt’s obviously the act of an obsessed andderanged person with a food obsession. AURIQUEI wouldn’t know. SARGEThe crazy part is, it’s consistent with someof the other crimes that are being committed.People ripping off restaurants. And the oddpart is the stuff they take. Food, kitchen stuff,lobster. ALIOuch! LIEUTENANTCooked lobster. Or frozen. SARGE
  52. 52. 52You said you’re opening a restaurant. Youserving lobster? AURIQUEMe, no. No lobster. Southwest Nativedessert cuisine. No lobsters in the dessert.No me. No, Sir. SARGESouthwest Native dessert cuisine? Neverheard of it. AURIQUEThen I can’t be your suspect. I mean, nolobsters in the dessert. No, Sir. Now ifsomeone starts stealing cactuses, well, then… SARGEI just mean, be careful. You don’t want tobe shut down before you open, do you? AURIQUEShut down? Me? Why? I didn’t do anything. SARGEThe thieves. AURIQUEOh, yeah. Right. The thieves. Nope. Nolobster, though. Pork. Pork and applesauce.I never heard of anyone eating lobster andapplesauce. You, Ali? ALINope. Not me. RAMMYMe neither. ALIWe couldn’t serve lobster, anyway. SARGEWhy not? ALI
  53. 53. 53 No applesauce. AURIQUE See what I mean? No lobster here. SARGE We’ve established that. RAMMY Why all this talk about lobster, anyway? LIEUTENANT It’s like I was saying, thieves, posing as employees, sneak into the backs of restaurants and steal stuff—food, kitchen equipment, and lobster. They always steal lobster. ALI Nothing strange about that. I mean, they’re ripping off restaurants. What else are they going to steal? LIEUTENANT Why restaurants? AURIQUE Hungry? SARGE That’s the obvious solution. No, these guys are way too cunning, way too brilliants for something so mundane. I mean they may be sick and twisted, but they are brilliant. So cool, so organized, so methodical, so creative, so, so obviously—there is a mastermind behind it all.The boys exchange modest, self-effacing glances at each other. LIEUTENANT And the common denominator is always the lobster. They always steal big, plum, juicy lobsters. Steamed, broiled, boiled, it doesn’t matter. But it’s always the best.
  54. 54. 54 ALIAnd this soup kitchen is serving lobster? LIEUTENANTNo. But the crime was eccentric. Like thestuff they took from the food kitchen. SARGEFlour. AURIQUEFlour? SARGELard. AURIQUELard? SARGEA tortilla press. AURIQUEA tortilla press? ALIWe have a tortilla press. AURIQUENo we don’t. ALIIf we did, we could donate it to the soup kitchen. AURIQUEAnd if we had lobster, we could donate themto the soup kitchen. But we don’t have lobster.Or a tortilla press. Or lobster. LIEUTENANTWell, that’s very nice of you boys, but we didn’tcome here to hit you up for a donation. We camefor— AURIQUE
  55. 55. 55 Clues. That’s it. You came for clues. We don’t have any clues either. No lobster, no clues. SARGE Good. Because we came for sausage. RAMMY Good. Because that we do have. Come on, guys, let’s get some food for our guests.The boys get up and run into the Kraut Haus for more food. Theybring it out and begin serving lunch. RAMMY You know, this could have been some kind of a scavenger hunt. You know, rich kids, debutantes, madcap society people. LIEUTENANT Yeah, but they wouldn’t steal from a soup kitchen. ALI Maybe they thought it was a lobster press. For making pressed lobster. LIEUTENANT That’s, pressed duck. AURIQUE Nouvelle cuisine. RAMMY How about poor rich people? You know, like genteel poverty. Older people on a fixed income. LIEUTENANT Sure, add insult to cholesterol. SARGE Of course, it could be— LIEUTENANT A lot of things. But let’s keep it simple. and realistic. Some big, fat pig likes to eat and eat and probably can’t afford it, so he
  56. 56. 56 goes around to restaurants to steal food. AURIQUE (Turns his head and speaks in a high squeaky voice.) Aurique, do you want something to eat? AURIQUE (In his own voice.) Me? Eat? Who, me? No, no. Maybe just a salad. You know me. I eat like a bird. Not a lobster salad, just a plain old salad. For my cholesterol. Not from eating lobster. I was just born with high cholesterol. I’ll just have a regular salad.CHEZ RECLAMAGE—LATERAurique is pacing, nervously. The boys are drinking, quietly. AURIQUE They’re on to me. I can tell. They were just toying with me. How sadistic. How cruel. They know and they just enjoyed watching me sweat. It’s over, Rammy. This is it. Right? RAMMY (Shrugs) Nah. AURIQUE You’re probably right. I was too cool. I must have thrown them of the scent. I mean, I was good, wasn’t I? I kept my mouth shut. I didn’t say a word. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. I was just too cool. They never got a word out of me. Cool as a cucumber. Right, guys? Right? Guys?Rammy and Ali keep sipping their beers quietly, ignoring Aurique. CUT TO:
  57. 57. 57INT. RESTAURANT—LATE NIGHTIn a dimmed restaurant, around a round table, with snifters of brandy poured outfor all, the five chefs who’d been ripped off are sitting around grumbling anddiscussing the recent thefts. ONE I don’t know. Thee was something real familiar about the fat guy. TWO Hey, watch it. THREE Who do you think you are, the Galloping Gourmet? FOUR You know, he’s got something. I get the feeling that I’ve seen the fat guy before. TWO I didn’t even see a fat guy. THREE Who’s to say what’s fat? I mean— FIVE Look, let’s not fight amongst ourselves. Any one of us could get ripped off again. TWO Nah. We’d recognize them. FIVE There could be others. TWO I really believe this could have been some kind of vendetta. Someone with a grudge against us. Someone who hates us. ONE
  58. 58. 58 Why would anyone hate us? We’re all chefs. Great chefs. THREE Only one reason. Jealousy. He’s not as good as we are, so he hates us. FIVE What it sounds like your really saying is— FOUR That the culprit— TWO Could actually be— ONE One of us.They all start looking at each other suspiciously. CUT TO:SERIES OF SHOTS:In a series of shots, each of the chefs is being questioned in his ownkitchen.INT. KITCHEN—ONE OFFICER 1 But which one of the others do you suspect? ONE I never said I suspected one of the others. Only that some of the others think it could have been one of us.INT. KITCHEN—TWO OFFICER 2 Which one of you thinks it was one of the others?
  59. 59. 59 TWO Obviously, the one who did it. To throw off suspicion.INT. KITCHEN—THREE OFFICER 3 Is there anyone in particular you think is jealous of your or any of the others? THREE I’m not jealous of anyone. But I can understand one of the others being jealous of me. Here, taste some of my stuff for yourself.INT. KITCHEN—FOUR FOUR Jealous? Jealous? Nonsense. We’re all close. We even worked with each other. We help each other out. Why would anyone come up with a theory like that? Except maybe the guilty one. That’s what I think. The guilty one is spreading this rumor.INT. KITCHEN—FIVE FIVE Probably not one of us at all. But I have a theory. It’s someone else. To throw suspicion off himself. See, he robs his own place—for the insurance. Then everyone thinks it’s all part of this crime spree. See? CUT TO:INT. POLICE CAR—DAYThe Lieutenant and the Sergeant are discussing the case. LIEUTENANT Well, that pretty much clears things up for me. SARGE
  60. 60. 60What? How does each one blaming the othersclear things up? LIEUTENANTBecause that pretty much makes each of themguilty. SARGEIs this a dead end? LIEUTENANTI didn’t say that. SARGEWhat are you saying; that they’re all guilty? LIEUTENANTSure. Chef one seeks to get even with numbertwo. Number two, thinking it was number threegoes to get even with number three. He thinksnumber four did it, and so on and so on. SARGEWell, if that’s true, how come no one got hittwice? LIEUTENANTDo you know how many one-of-a-kind, worldclass chefs there are in this city> SARGEHow many? LIEUTENANTAll of them. SARGENow you’re just pulling my leg. LIEUTENANTSeriously. There are so many of them, thatno one could get hit twice. And if we didn’tcome onto the scene, this could have goneon forever. SARGE
  61. 61. 61 Well, at least we’re working on the theory that is was a chef. LIEUTENANT Red herring. SARGE No thanks. I just ate. LIEUTENANT No, no. I mean this food thing. It’s a subterfuge. You know, something to keep us busy while the gang gets ready to execute the real crime. SARGE Which is? LIEUTENANT I don’t know yet. But I figure it’s going to take place right under our noses while we’re looking for a guy eating a lobster salad. SARGE Hmm. LIEUTENANT What? SARGE Something you said. I can’t remember what it reminds me of, but when I do, I think it’s going to lead us to the ringleader. CUT TO:EXT. ALLEY—LATE NIGHTTwo shadowy and shady types are waiting in an alley. Aurique shows up ina trench coat, hat, and dark glasses. He has trouble with the dark glassesin the dark. He meets the two characters. They exchange passwords. STRANGER 1 The night air makes me hungry. AURIQUE I hear Chez Palace has a great veal dish.
  62. 62. 62 STRANGER 2I just had veal for lunch. AURIQUEIt’s worth having again. STRANGER 1All right. What’s the word? AURIQUEI hear Monsieur Patronat’s go the in. STRANGER 2Yeah, but who is this really great ChefAurique person? STRANGER 1Yeah. We hear he’s like the greatest chefsince Escoffier. AURIQUE (Modestly)Well, I hear that he’s good, but… STRANGER 2Never mind. How do we get to him? STRANGER 1I hear he can’t be bought. AURIQUEIf you can’t buy Aurique, buy Chez Palace. STRANGER 2And if Patronat doesn’t want to sell? AURIQUEBuy Aurique his own place. STRANGER 1Think this Chef Aurique will go for a deallike that? AURIQUEI sure would I, I mean, I never met a chef whodidn’t want his own place. You guys just
  63. 63. 63 put up the dough. STRANGER 1 How do we get in touch with this Aurique? AURIQUE I’ll make sure that he gets in touch with you. STRANGER 2 Right. CUT TO:INT. CHEZ RECLAMAGE—EVEThe boys are talking, drinking beer. ALI That all sounds very exciting, Aurie but I think when the time comes, we should treat it like a simple business deal. You’re not selling nuclear secrets. You’re just opening up a restaurant. RAMMY Speaking of which, what kind of place are you actually planning to open? For real. What kind of place do you want?SERIES OF INTERCUTS:In a series of intercuts between the boys, the girls, and Monsieur Patronat, ownerof Chez Palace, we see the divergent views.THE BOYS AURIQUE A real bistro. With real food. A place that’s –THE GIRLS PATTY
  64. 64. 64 Totally vegetarian. Vegan. Not a snooty place where you get—THE BOYS AURIQUE Those guys with baggy pants and pointy shoes and teeny, tiny ponytails picking at their tofu and arugula. But a genuinely upscale place where people can feel—THE GIRLS PATTY Comfortable. A place like, ummm…PATRONAT PATRONAT …mmm, like the Palace of Versailles. Shiny, glittery, gold and silver. A place where Chef Aurique can be treated like the noble chef he is. With complete creative control. But mindful of the fact that the market demand—THE BOYS AURIQUE …is the least of my concerns. I want to attract the clientele who wants a prime grilled steak, rare, and fries, coq au vin, good claret, food that is real—THE GIRLS PATTY …wholesome and nutritious. The cutting edge of health without being trendy. People who can’t afford to—
  65. 65. 65 (more)PATRONAT PATRONAT Spend a lot of money to see and be seen. Those who lust for the latest trend and the greatest food. And Aurique is by all accounts the greatest chef. If I know chefs, and I know chefs, then—THE BOYS AURIQUE I know I’m not the greatest chef in the world. In fact, I know I really can’t cook. But I can come up with some simple, whole, nutritious and healthy Fettuccini Alfredo in a thick, rich cream sauce. The whole thing is The Buzz—PATRONAT PATRONAT The Buzz.THE GIRLS PATTY The buzz. And I think—PATRONAT PATRONAT I know—THE BOYS AURIQUE Exactly how to get the buzz we need. The Buzz.

×