Study Guide

The Hundred-Foot Journey Part 4, Paris: Chapter 13

By Richard C. Morais

Part 4, Paris: Chapter 13

  • Hassan says that his success in Paris was strangely easy—there were no road bumps or obstacles. He suspects this is because Mallory was always pulling strings in the background to get him where he needed to go.
  • Pierre Berri is Hassan's new boss at La Gavroche. He is also a distant cousin of Mallory. Convenient, no?
  • Mallory denies helping Hassan in any way when he goes to Lumière on his first visit home.
  • Five years after starting at La Gavroche, he becomes the chef de cuisine of La Belle Cluny, where he stays four years.
  • Mark Rossier is his new boss. He is loud, bossy, and worked in the French navy before turning to cooking; he's a bit crazy, which Hassan says makes work fun.
  • Hassan is now thirty, and returns to Lumière. He wants to talk to Papa about opening a restaurant of his own—as he describes it, the "Haji ambition, it was burning" (13.11).
  • Papa has expected this, and willingly gives Hassan not only his own inheritance, but also the inheritance of his younger sister Mehtab, under the condition that she move with him to Paris to find a husband. Such is the Indian way, and Hassan agrees.
  • Hassan names his new restaurant Le Chien Méchant—The Mad Dog—after his father. Maybe he's thinking back to Papa's stellar moment with Madame Mallory where he chased her out of the market square barking like a dog.
  • He starts the search for a good restaurant space in Paris. Before long he gets a mysterious phone call from Le Comte de Nancy Seliere, who says that he met Hassan a while back in Lumière. (A comte is a count, so this guy is rich.)
  • Le Comte de Nancy has managed to find the perfect space, and works out a great business deal with Hassan. The place is Parisian yet casual, and reminds Hassan of Lumière; it's also in the perfect location for customers, and near the subway and the markets.
  • Hassan gets along well with his new business partner. He's a bit intimidating but a good person, and naturally, Hassan suspects Mallory's help, though she viciously denies the fact.
  • Hassan hustles to get this new place up and running, interviewing tons of people in order to hire the perfect staff. His new chef de cuisine is Serge Poutron, and Jacques is the maître d'hôtel.
  • Shortly after the first review of Le Chien Méchant is printed, Hassan is ushered out of his kitchen to a table in his dining room where Paul Verdun, the famous chef, is waiting to meet him.
  • Chef Verdun and Hassan become acquaintances. Verdun's a mysterious person and takes Hassan on random adventures in his private jet. We can think of worse people to befriend.
  • To celebrate Hassan's second star, Verdun flies them down to Marseilles for "'a good fish dinner'" (13.87). They sit on the coast of the Mediterranean and drink fine champagne and eat the best fish in France; Verdun tells Hassan about his life and he gets an up close look at this celebrity of the cooking world.
  • Over dinner they talk about the innovations of modern restaurants and cooking, which is cutting edge and defies the traditions that French chefs like Verdun have cherished for generations.
  • Hassan remembers this night as one of the best he has ever had.
  • A year later, he goes to visit the Verdun home in Normandy. Walking down a hallway, Hassan sees a framed pamphlet signed in familiar handwriting: Mallory's.
  • Hassan says at this point in the book that "we come to the key period in question" (13.106), so, you know, pay attention. He is thirty-five and can't seem to make any progress as an artist.
  • Papa is found dead on his kitchen floor, and it seems that he choked to death on a piece of chicken. Too bad he couldn't have died in a non-food related way, right?
  • Hassan returns home for the funeral, which is packed with people from the village who loved Papa. He says that he is so upset by his father's death that he doesn't realize that Mallory has grown very weak.
  • Two months later, Mallory falls down a flight of stairs and dies a few weeks later; Hassan is unable to make it back to Lumière for her funeral.
  • Shortly after this, the stock market crashes. Hassan links this to the world's loss of two great people, and enters into a deep depression.