Tag Archives: Emeril Lagasse

Recurrent Themes – Chefs

Background

I enjoy cooking, and so it was easy for me to center my first big story and big series around a chef. DNA The story is Reversal, the series is In Between Days, and the chef is Lili O’Day.

Furthermore, I needed to have characters who readers could more readily relate to. When you watch Star Trek, or you read about it, some of the characters and their jobs and scenarios are just, well, alien. How many of us are Science Officers? Who pilots, if not a star ship, then at least an airplane? Who is a linguist? These jobs – and jobs like them – do exist, but cooking is close to being universal. Everybody’s got to eat.

Emeril Lagasse
Emeril Lagasse

Before Chef was revealed to be Jonathan Frakes, I had thought of what it would be like to have someone like Emeril Lagasse in the role. I still think he would have made a better Chef character. Plus maybe it would finally get the bitter taste of the series finale out of my mouth.

Naah. Nothing will.

Appearances

Lili O’Day

Lili is not just a chef.

Naomi Watts as Lili O'Day
Naomi Watts as Lili O’Day

She’s a lot of things, too – a wife (twice in the prime timeline and twice in the E2 alternate), a mother, an operative for Richard Daniels, an informal good will ambassador to the Calafan people, an officer (in the prime timeline, she retires as an Ensign. In the E2 alternate, she has a different outcome) and a friend to people such as Jenny Crossman and, eventually, Pamela Hudson.

Lili also works out well as an expository character. She doesn’t always know what’s going on (after all, she spends most of her time below decks), so she asks the questions that the audience needs to ask.

William Slocum

Because Frakes is Star Trek: Enterprise canon as Chef, I don’t mess with that.

Chef Slocum and Hoshi Sato
Chef Slocum and Hoshi Sato

However, the man had neither a first nor a last name so I have provided him with both. I just liked how the name William Slocum sounded, plus it pays homage to the actor’s much better canon character, Will Riker.

Further to that, he needed a bit of a backstory, so he got an Italian mother and, as a result, an affinity for Italian cooking (his chicken marsala is canon). He also engages in a lot of bluster and his relationships do not work out well at all.

Brian Delacroix

Brian starts out in Security, but moves into Food Service by the end of Reversal.

David Faustino as Brian Delacroix
David Faustino as Brian Delacroix

By the time of Together, he’s working full-time as a sous-chef. And by the time of Fortune, he has become the chef for Malcolm Reed‘s ship, the USS Bluebird. He’s even seen in Equinox; Malcolm confides in him a bit.

He and Lili also help to prepare a special meal for the Federation’s founding species. The Vulcans prepare the soup course (plomeek broth), the Tellarites prepare a main dish and the Andorians provide the dessert. Brian and Lili prepare her Harvest Salad, which she made for Will during the events of Voracious and for Jonathan, Hoshi, T’Pol, Travis, Malcolm, TrippJay, and Dr. Phlox in Harvest.

Kathalia

While this Daranaean is an amateur, she is known as a good cook. In Temptation, she’s the one who suggests making cookies (the Daranaeans refer to them as “little cakes”), and in Flight of the Bluebird, her husband, Trinning, singles her out and compliments her as being “the best cook”.

Harvest Salad Recipe

The Harvest Salad doesn’t really have a set list of ingredients. It’s more like a refrigerator salad, e. g. you make it with whatever you’ve got on hand. But the main ideas are as follows:

  • It should be colorful. In Fortune, the lettuces are several different colors, and the entire spectrum of the rainbow is evoked.
  • It should contain fruits and nuts. These can be anything that goes together. Because, in canon, Malcolm loves pineapple, that fruit is always included.
  • It should be vegan. For Malcolm, who has lactose intolerance, and T’Pol, who is a vegan, this is a must. However, the dressings need not be vegan although a vegan option should be provided.
  • It can contain a cooked item. In Fortune, the salad contains beets.

Upshot

For hungry travelers, chefs do more than nourish the body. They are important when it comes to crew morale. In Reflections Down a Corridor, in particular, because morale is slipping, having good food is a must. But chefs are more than purveyors of food. They nourish the spirit.

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Portrait of a Character – William Slocum

Portrait of a Character – William Slocum

Origins

Portrait of a Character – William Slocum

The character is canon, but rarely seen until the abysmal finale to ENT. He is seen extremely briefly in an episode called The Catwalk and that’s about it, although he’s mentioned a few times. The character has neither a first nor a last name in canon. I selected William Slocum as the first name is homage to Jonathan Frakes‘s Will Riker character (in a much older story, If You Can’t Stand the Heat, the character is named Paul Miller, and he has a nascent romance with another abandoned character, Botanist Naomi Curtis). The surname was just one that I liked.

 

Portrayal

As in canon, Chef is played by Jonathan Frakes.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – William Slocum
Chef Slocum (Jonathan Frakes)

While I despised TATV (like any good ENT fan, I suppose), I did like the idea of Frakes as Chef. Or, at least, of someone like him. I had always figured that the Chef character would be an older man and, up until the series finale, I had thought of Chef Emeril Lagasse in that role.

In Voracious, he recruits Lili O’Day to come to the NX-01 and work in Food Service. They share some New York style cheesecake which she provides as a professional courtesy. They banter together fairly well, and the feeling should be collegial. In Harvest, he introduces her to the senior staff, including Hoshi Sato, Jay Hayes (it’s also his first day) and Malcolm Reed.

Protocols shows him as being a bit passive-aggressive in his dealings with Lili. And in The Mess, he scolds her a bit when she tries to discard the cast iron skillet, until he figures out why it’s dirty. By the time of Onions, though, Will has shown that he can sometimes be truly insensitive.

Portrait of a Character – William Slocum
Will kicked back in time (Jonathan Frakes)

In the first three E2 stories (the first of two kicks back in time), Will is somewhat arrogant and pushy. He makes a play for Lili and she rejects him. He is stunned by this and tells her that no one will love her (he’s wrong, of course). He ends up with Patti Socorro, the only other unclaimed woman, but he’s dissatisfied. By the time of the fourth E2 story, he’s looking for an upgrade. But he remains arrogant, and suffers a terrible end which particularly shocks Lili and, to a lesser extent, Patti.

 

Relationships

Patti Socorro

This is not really a love match despite Will’s best efforts. But Will’s best isn’t much. He simply does not want to try too hard. They never have children, and the Will of the second kick back in time never marries so, for him, both instances of E2 are reproductive dead ends.

Quote

“Now you wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute! For the most part, you’ve done nothing but act like a spoiled brat! It makes me wonder how or why they even bothered to take you in the MACOs!”

Upshot

Perhaps it’s residual resentment about TATV, but I suppose I’ve given this character more than his fair share of bad times and poor decisions.