"Pesto is out. Croissants by the end of the year will be yesterday's idea. People will start calling pasta spaghetti again, and rightfully so."
Craig Claiborne? James Beard? Julia Child?
No. North Hollywood cook Scott Redman. In his new book, Real Men Don't Cook Quiche (1982, Pocket Books, 95 pp., $3.95), Redman hopes to do for Real Men's stomachs what Bruce Feirstein did for their image in his best-selling Real Men Don't Eat Quiche.
"It's dark and lonely work," sighs Redman, "but someone has to do it."
And why him?
"Everyone wanted a sequel after they realized what was going on. Feirstein's book has been on The New York Times' trade paperback best-seller list for 24 weeks, with 1 million-plus copies sold to date.
"Bruce and I were having a drink in a Beverly Hills bar one night, and he was complaining to me about all this work he had to do.
"I was unemployed at the time and he said, 'I've got this feature deal and they want a sequel.' I said, 'You're really complaining to the wrong person and I don't want to hear another word about it . . .
" 'What's this sequel anyway?'
"He said, 'It's the Real Men's Cookbook.'
"I said, 'That's easy. How does a Real Man blanch broccoli? He screams at it.'
"He said, 'You're going to write the book.'
"I said, 'Sure. I'll cancel everything this week.' We had the deal made in three days.
"Pocket Books is very generous," says Redman. "I think they were particularly generous. It's all so weird. I've produced a book that should be used as a bookmark when you're reading Dostoevski. I've written a piece of light comedy. To call it a book is to stretch the parameters of the English language.
But," he allows, "I'm proud of it for what it is."
It took Redman three months to write the book, and another two months before it was published. The first printing is now at "385,000 copies," which could net him a substantial amount of money, although he doesn't think it's going to "give my kids a trust."
"I'm sorry," Redman says with an amazed chuckle as he gives the publishing figure, "but I just can't say that without laughing."
Whatever is behind the book's rather remarkable success, Redman, 30, claims that his credentials as a cook qualify him as its author. He has "managed restaurants, run a catering service, tended bar, waited on tables and was head chef of the Plaza Four restaurant in Century City, Calif."
Redman, a displaced New Yorker, has also worked in the theater, film and most recently as an associate director for the TV series, "It's a Living."
The book, he says, "was written more or less as a survival manual. We live in a world rife with arugola salad, quiche and soyburgers. And Real Men have no use for the cuisine of France, the country that taught us bad manners and how to surrender.
"Nouvelle cuisine," he sneers, "is just another French device to get Real Men to eat French food. It's still French food. Real Men have to pick their way through this minefield. A real man ought to be able to put together a decent meal for his pals."
French cooking can't be all bad. "I studied French cooking intensely. But, hey, Patton read Rommel's book. You've got to know what you're up against, otherwise your tactics won't work."
Wine, Redman says, also is out. Real Men drink coffee, beer ("no light beer unless they're being paid to do commercials for it"), sour mash whisky, that sort of thing.
"I'll tell you about wine. While the quiche-eaters of Rome were drinking wine and pleating their togas, the Real Men from the North were guzzling beer and preparing to turn Rome into a giant ashtray."
What about the wine in one of his recipes, a French recipe at that? "There is wine in the Beef Bourgignon," Redman concedes, "but it gets punished severely. Even though it's French food, it was too good to be left out.
"Besides," (here, a conspiratorial wink) "if your buddies ask you about it, explain to them that Beef Bourgignon plays goalie for the Montreal Canadiens and that this was named after his grandfather, who invented the puck."
Redman boasts that his cooking is so good, "My wife, Nancy, hasn't cooked a meal in six years. But," he adds, "she's a Real Woman from Detroit. She's half Seminole Indian and half Russian. I'm full Russian. My wedding looked like a PBS experiment in two cultures having dinner together."
Redman is now writing a book on parenting (working title, "Just Wait Till Your Mother Gets Home: Fathering in 1982") in an office at Warners. He and his wife, Nancy, an art director with a Los Angeles ad agency, share the parenting of their sons Micah, 4, and Jesse, 16 months, "50-50, right down the middle."
He has noticed that son Micah, under his tutelage, is developing both a love of cooking and a sense of humor. "About a month ago, I turned to Mike and said, 'I've got a brainstorm!' He looked at me, put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'Don't worry, Dad. It's only a drizzle.' "
Real Men, declares Redman, are enthusiastic about parenting. "It used to be much easier to be a father. All you had to do was have your kids and put your foot down.
"Now, it's much more difficult. Psychology in general made Real Men's lives a lot harder. It created words like sensitivity, like subconscious."
He laments the loss of the old role models, "like Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable . . . Today, unfortunately, we have Alan Alda, Dick Van Patten and Phil Donahue."