Monday, December 27, 2010

MONDAY MARINADE ~ Paul Liebrandt ~ Correction courtesy of his mother!

One of the pleasures of blogging, for me, is to receive comment on an old post with some updated, or better information than was available to me at the time of writing. This happened a week or so ago when I received a comment on a post about a chef, Paul Liebrandt, about whom I'd posted as part of a brief "Monday Marinade" series.
"His date and time of birth are wrong, he was born at 10.20pm on the 26th August 1976 in Salisbury Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) I know , because I am his mother. Do hope this helps you to do the correct chart for Paul (Liebrandt) Best Wishes Veda (Paul's Mother)."

My original post is copied below, including the wrong natal chart and incorrect astrological notes. This is followed by the correction, with thanks to Mr. Liebrandt's mother. I'm posting both the wrong chart and astro notes for a reason: I had expressed some doubt or puzzlement about the chart in the first place (highlighted in the copy below) - and for this I give myself a wee feather in my astrological cap for having a nagging sense that all was not as it should be.


In choosing my subject for today's blog I hit some serious frustration. I don't want to focus on celebrity chefs, whose numbers seem to grow daily. What's up? Don't chefs enjoy being in a proper kitchen any more? Too hard work ? It is hard work, even today with all the best equipent and technology to hand, it's still hard to run a big kitchen to a high standard. So much easier to stand in front of a TV camera and pontificate, or to curse and swear in a reality TV show as though that were the root of a chef's skill-set.

In the words of a commenter at Huffington Post on an article about one of Gordon Ramsay's recent outbursts:
"At what point in the last 20 years did being a total uncivilized dick become acceptable, even lucrative, behavior? Did it start with Howard Stern? Jerry Springer? We have a whole generation of people that think watching or listening to people be really horrible, nasty and cruel to each other is great entertainment. WTF?"
I'm less than enchanted by the current crop of celeb chefs who appear on TV, write book after book, open cooking schools, give lectures, open strings of restaurants bearing their name but which they never visit to cook in the kitchens. There has to be at least one more chef for me to investigate, one who is actually doing a chef's work, on a daily basis.

My eye fell upon the name Paul Liebrandt. He's still in the kitchens! Bet I can't find his date of birth.

I did, eventually: Born 26 August 1975 in Zimbabwe to British parents. No city specified, so I've used the capital Harare (formerly Salisbury). He was raised in London and trained in some of the finest kitchens in Europe. He moved to New York in 1999, and currently is chef and co-owner of the Corton restaurant in Tribeca, a neighborhood in lower Manhattan.
"The tables are covered with white linen and set with pink roses. The whitewashed walls are bottom-lit, like a giant fresco, and stenciled with butterflies, birds, and sylvan tree branches colored here and there with a solitary gold leaf. There’s a peaceful, palate-cleansing quality to all this icy, Altoid whiteness, and as dinner progresses you get a sense of time suspended, of being pleasantly inoculated from the cares of the outside world.
Peace and light aren’t chef Paul Liebrandt’s usual M.O., of course. The English wunderkind (he’s only 32) has been known to sprinkle eel with crystallized violets and flavor his côte de boeuf with coffee grinds before theatrically finishing it in clouds of burning hay. But on this latest tour through the New York restaurant jungle (this is his fourth in eight years), the perpetually promising chef has found his footing"
What made you decide to become a chef?I don't know. I like cooking. I like the excitement of the kitchen. I like the heat, the violence, the sweat, the punishing hours. It's freedom in the kitchen.
What was it like working for Marco Pierre White?
Hard. But he's a very fair man. If you go in there, and you're young, and you work your bollocks off there's a lot to be learned. If not, you wouldn't last in his kitchen two seconds.

What did you learn from him?
Discipline. How to beat people. You notice the scar above my eye here? Well, there you go. How to take a bunch of young guys like I had here when I started six months ago, who didn't know how to hold a frying pan properly and beat them, literally, beat them into shape within a matter of a couple of months and get three stars from the New York Times. I wouldn't have been able to do it without having the solid training I did."

Sounds as though Gordon Ramsay-type antics are par for the course in chefdom then! I should have realised as much from my own experience of watching more than one chef chase a waiter with a carving knife, when I worked in hotels, long ago.

This chart for Paul Liebrandt will give correct planetary placements in signs,(NOTE IT WAS INCORRECT - see later in this post) apart from degree of the Moon and rising sign. That will suffice for my purpose. He has moved around from Africa to England to France and Europe to the USA, so relocation will have shunted the ascendant and houses more than once.

Natal Sun conjoining Venus - an artistic guy, in Virgo - a discerning and fairly disciplined one to boot. Mercury lies at the other end of Virgo - one of its home signs so is pure and unsullied: he'll be a clear thinker, and expect precision from others.

The 2009 Eat Out Awards describe his food:
"Renegade chef Paul Liebrandt's studied food is as artful on the plate as it is on the palate."
(Phtograph by Melissa Hom)

If I didn't know this is the chart of a chef I'd have guessed at writer and/or illustrator. Moon will be in Aries, somewhere in the second half of the sign. This Aries influence reflects his "get-up-and-go", the energy he has needed to pursue his dream, and with Jupiter, planet of expansion, exaggeration and luck lying also in Aries (possibly close enough to be termed conjunct) his energetic go-getter nature is further underlined.

Saturn, planet of discipline, business and tradition is the sole planet in Cancer and lies sextile (helpful aspect) to Mercury. This hints at a disciplined, organised mind - a definite plus for a chef who wants to "run a tight ship" - as the best of them do. Mars in Gemini is in harmonious trine to Pluto in Libra, and opposite Neptune in Sagittarius - so Mars, the personal energy planet is linked to the two outer planets which represent power and creativity.

Liebrandt has the reputation of being something of a renegade, inventive as well as creative. It's interesting then, that Uranus, the renegade's planet is in harmonious (though out-of-sign) sextile to his Sun/Venus conjunction.

There's nothing to specify food preparation in this, or in fact in any of the chef charts I've looked at. What has to, and does, come through is creativity, discipline, energy, business sense and an artistic nature. These characteristics could be put to work in a number of professions or jobs. It's surprising that there isn't some tiny indicator which points towards catering. This could, of course, come via house position, which remains unknown without a correct time of birth. It could come via ascendant or midheaven. 6th house is the house of service, midheaven the area of career, ascendant the side of character shown to the world at large; any or all of these could underline a leaning towards a career in food, which I continue to think might involve Taurus, and/or Cancer, at 6th house or midheaven or ascendant.


What pleased me a lot was to see Taurus rising in this corrected chart with a reliable time of birth, thanks to the mother of Paul Liebrandt. EarthyTaurus rising (practical, love of the good things in life)is a very good fit for a chef - especially one with Earthy Sun and Moon, as here, and Taurus IS one of the signs I wrote that I'd expect to see in a chart involving food preparation (see above).

Moon was not in Aries after all - but in Virgo, with his natal Sun - Sun is no longer conjunct Venus - but Moon IS - exactly - so the artistic streak remains equally strong, maybe even stronger, along with extra emphasis on the discipline and discernment of Virgo.

Saturn in the corrected chart is in Leo, not Cancer and in trine to creative Neptune instead of Mercury as before. I'd interpret this as Saturn putting a business-like rein on Neptune, harnessing its creativity - putting it on display on the tables of his restaurant.

The "renegade chef" reference comes through loud and clear in the corrected chart - natal Virgo Sun is in exact helpful sextile to Uranus the rebel planet in Scorpio.

Mercury (mental orientation) and Mars (energy and drive) are conjoined in Libra in the corrected chart. Libra, ruled by artistic Venus, is the sign of charm and tact. In a quote above Mr. Liebrandt said he enjoys "the heat, the violence, the punishing hours" involved in being a chef: that's Mars conjunct a very persoanl planet, Mercury. Though no doubt capable of the odd outburst himself, this chef is highly unlikely, courtesy of Libra, to indulge in the same kind of tantrums certain TV chefs display as their signature.


Gian Paul said...

Very interesting post, Twilight. I always think that "truth wants out" - and Liebrandt's mother and your habitual "taking well care of things" did it! I sure would enjoy sitting at his table as he puts his Sun on my Moon...

Well done you put Ramsay in his place. Became famous (but has now peaked) only because of TV and that type of easy - prey - audience.

Twilight said...

Gian Paul - Hi! Thanks. Yes, I'd sit at his table with you, even though I've nothing much in common with his natal chart....his Moon/Venus very close to my natal Neptune is all.

Yes, Ramsay is a pain in the you-know-where! ;-)

Rossa said...

we've been watching a series of 3 programmes on the 3 year refurb of The Savoy in London. Only disappointment was that they gave the Grill Room to Ramsay. Think they'll regret that in the long run.

I saw him on a plane to London in 2006. Very full of himself and the stewards were falling over themselves to bow and scrape. He was immediately invited up onto the flight deck to meet the pilots.

He did behave on the flight. No swearing or other outbursts and as it was a brief internal flight no food was served.

Never seen what all the fuss was about. I worked in the late 70s and 80s with some of the top chefs in London including Anton Mossiman. You couldn't have met a nicer gentleman. Old school chefs had manners and didn't need to be celebrities. Their food said it all.

Twilight said...

Rossa ~~~ Oh really? Yes, I agree. He seems like a poor match for that place.

I did meet more than one chef with a rather unpleasant temperament during my couple of years' trek through hotel life....all baddies were male by the way. The female chefs I recall made the best meals for staff, and had far more kindly natures.

I'm usually not keen to differentiate between the genders, 'cos there's good and bad in both, but in this particular case I have to admit the guys were definitely "baddder" than the gals in my experience.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for your correction, I feel sure that it will make sense to him. Very kind of you. Kindest regards and best wishes for 2011. Veda.

Twilight said...

Anonymous (Veda) - My pleasure! Thanks again for the information.

...and Happy New Year to you and yours!