“Arch comedy . . . Dave Eggers channels Anthony Bourdain.”
An outrageously funny and original debut set in the fast-paced and treacherous world of a restaurant kitchen
Fresh out of university with big dreams, our narrator is determined to escape his past and lead the literary life in London. But soon he is two months behind on rent and forced to take a menial job in the kitchen of The Swan, a gastro-pub with haute cuisine aspirations.
Mockingly called “Monocle” by his co-workers for a useless English lit degree, he is thrust into a brutal, chaotic world full of motley characters. There’s the lovably dim pastry chef Dibden; combative Ramilov, who spends a fair bit of time locked in the walk-in fridge for pissing people off; Racist Dave, about whom the less said the better; Camp Charles, the officious head waiter; and Harmony, the only woman in a workplace of raunchy, immature, angry, drug-fueled men. Worst of all is the head chef, Bob, who runs the kitchen with an iron fist and an alarming taste for cruelty.
But Monocle’s past is never far away and soon an altogether darker tale unfolds. As the chefs’ dreams of overthrowing Bob become a reality, Monocle’s dead-beat father shows up at his door, asking for help. With The Swan struggling to stay afloat and Monocle’s father dredging up lingering questions from an unhappy childhood, Chop Chop accelerates toward its blackly hilarious, thrilling, and ruthless conclusion.