Friday, November 27, 2009

Saint Chef?

I was curious, having asked myself an obscure yet burning question.... who is the patron saint of chefs? Afterall, Saint Isidore is the saint of farmers, Saint Honoratus, for whom the spectacular French dessert known as a Saint-Honoré is named, is patron saint of pastry chefs. It turns out that it is St.Lawrence, and he watches over chefs but more specifically, he watches out for the chefs at the 'Q and for gruesome reasons.
Lawrence lived in the Roman times, more than 1800 years ago. According to legend, when Lawrence was asked by Emperor Valerian, who ruled from 253 - 260 AD, to bring forth the Church's treasures he brought forth the orphaned, crippled and diseased of the kingdom and announced that "These are the treasures of the Church!" This act of defiance resulted in the public torture and execution of Lawrence on the site of the Basilica di San Lorenzo in Rome by means of "grilling to death." Legend says that he was so strong-willed that instead of giving in to the Romans and releasing information about the Church, at the point of death he exclaimed "Turn me over. I am done on this side!" For this reason Saint Lawrence has been deemed the Patron Saint of Chefs and specifically those who cook on barbeques. In religious art he is often depicted holding a metal grill to memorialize his martyrdom.
It has been an unusually mild November, we've really been blessed with the weather in fact. I do BBQ year round, never putting the grill away and often having an uneasy feeling that I am somehow single-handedly responsible for global warming. The next time you find yourself releasing extreme heat, smoke and delicious aromas directly into the atmosphere, raise your glass in honour to St.Lawrence and be thankful that the biggest threat of our day is
only climate change. Photo by

1 comment:

  1. Great Post, funny and informative. My husband is a chef, now I know who's been looking out for him.