Finding The Line

Part one of a two-part story of my time at Salazar.

In my mind, Chef Jose Salazar looked like a human being, talked like a human being, laughed and conversed like a human being, but Chef Jose Salazar was not a human being. He was a machine. Having worked for Jean-Georges and Thomas Fucking Keller, having transformed a four-star hotel's restaurant into a dining mecca, and now was opening his own place to great local anticipation, I was convinced that he was, in fact, a decepticon. His Food & Wine nominations for Best New Chef in both 2011 and 2012 weren't proof that he was human; it just meant he had successfully fooled newspapers and editors alike into thinking he was human, due to his advanced programming. That’s it. There was no other possible explanation. This man-mimicking imposter had to have been built in South America, assimilated himself into human culture in New York City, and took a woman and small child hostage and called them his family and moved to Cincinnati. Any contact would mean my doom. For me to call and speak words to him would be to put my name on this space-borg’s death list, and razor-wire tentacles would travel through the phone’s earpiece and tear my skull apart from the inside.

I was only slightly off.

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