Read an excerpt about Jimmy Sears in Tony's groundbreaking book 'Kitchen Confidential.'

on Jan 3, 2013 - The Dish




Jimmy brought me in as an overpaid garde-manger man—120 smacks a night to plate salads and squirt whipped cream on desserts. But Jimmy was not, at that time, an organizational mastermind. I am. Jimmy spent much of his time roller-blading around the city, schmoozing; he had a second job, cooking for Mariah Carey and Tommy Mottola; he was secretly working out a deal for  his triumphant return to the Hamptons; and of course he was poking everything in a skirt. By the time he’d swing by the Supper Club, little things like ordering, scheduling, rotating food and organizing menus were afterthoughts. I quickly found that doing it myself was easier than waiting for Jimmy to show up and do it for us, and in no time at all I was running the nuts-and-bolts end of the kitchen: making sure that we had the food, the prep, the bodies and information needed to crank out the enormous volume of parties, buffets, hors d’oeuvres and regular menu items the business required. Jimmy’s food, as always, was magnificent, but Jimmy himself seldom seemed to be around. After a few months, I was de facto sous-chef, or kitchen manager—the guy everyone came to to find out what the hell was going on—and when I came back after another brief vacation in the Caribbean, Jimmy, though still nominally the chef, was secretly and simultaneously employed as the chef at the Inn at Quogue out in the Hamptons, and Steven Tempel was working in the Supper Club kitchen. I guess it was a historic moment.

He showed up looking for a sauté position, his even more degenerate friend Adam Real-Last-Name-Unknown in tow. I had a few weeks to watch these two in action before Sears slipped off to the Hamptons and his even more reduced “summer schedule,” and I begged, pleaded and implored him not to saddle me with these two coke-snorting, thieving, fire-starting, whoring, boozing and troublemaking miscreants. Jimmy ignored my entreaties.