Two line cooks decide to open their own restaurant in New Orleans in the second book in the Rickey and G-Man series by novelist Poppy Z. Brite.
New Orleans natives Rickey and G-man are lifetime friends and down-and-out line cooks desperate to make a quick buck. When Rickey concocts the idea of opening a restaurant in their alcohol-loving hometown where every dish packs a spirited punch, they know they’re on their way to the bank. With some wheeling and dealing, a slew of great recipes, and a few lucky breaks, Rickey and G-man are soon on their way to opening Liquor, their very own restaurant. But first they need to pacify a local crank who doesn’t want to see his neighborhood disturbed, sidestep Rickey’s deranged ex-boss, rein in their big-mouth silent partner before he runs amok, and stay afloat in a stew of corruption in a town well known for its bottom feeders.
A manic, spicy romp through the kitchens, back alleys, dive bars, and drug deals of the country’s most sublimely ridiculous city, author Poppy Z. Brite masterfully shakes equal parts ambition, scandal, cocaine, and murder, and serves Liquor straight up, with a twist.
As much a love letter to the Big Easy as it is to the demanding (and sometimes debauched) lifestyle of a chef, horror maven Brite's (Lost Souls) first foray into the trendy genre of foodie lit is a winsome entr e. New Orleans natives and lovers John Rickey and Gary "G-man" Stubbs, affable characters from Brite's recent coming-of-age/coming-out tale The Value of X, decide to capitalize on Rickey's brainchild of opening a restaurant with a "whole menu based on liquor." Word passes through the gossipy Nola restaurant scene that two up-and-comers have a hot concept but no money, and soon enough, Rickey and G-man find themselves backed by celebrity chef Lenny Duveteaux, known as "the Nixon of the New Orleans restaurant world" for his habit of taping his phone conversations. At first doubtful of Lenny's motives, the two come to regard him as a mentor even as they question some of his choices. In one of the many conflicts that Brite embroils her main characters (all of which are fun but not too convincing), the yats (colloquial for natives) have to fend off increasingly threatening actions from Rickey's former boss, cokehead Mike Mouton, while experimenting with dishes like white rum laced fettuccine Alfredo and veal kidneys la li geoise. Although Brite rolls her eyes aplenty at the silly dramas and pretensions inherent in any urban restaurant scene, her affection for it is heartfelt. The plot is pretty boilerplate, but Brite's characters are as refreshingly unpretentious as a healthy helping of comfort food.