Dish delves into Toronto's diners, Montreal's "sexy restos," Paris' haute eateries, and Tokyo's fantasy "maid bars" in an insider's look at gender, power, and the art of service. Former waitress and Gemini award-winning director Maya Gallus dines out and dishes the dirt with waitresses, restaurant owners, and matre d's about the demands of the job. What's revealed are the fantasies, desires, and prejudices projected onto women servers-including those of substitute wife, girlfriend, and personal servant. She discovers that as prices on the menu rise and serving acquires the respect and salary of a vocation, the number of women servers declines; the most sophisticated eateries employ only men to serve their well-heeled patrons. From the hustle of a busy truck stop to the discreet hush of a Parisian house of fine dining, Dish serves up a delicious and illuminating look at the lives of women in the restaurant business.
As befits the man behind Baldrick, Tony Robinson has uncovered life in the underbelly of history. Whether it's swilling out the crotch of a knight's soiled armour after the battle of Agincourt, risking his neck in the rigging of HMS Victory, or as 'Groomer of the Stool' going to places where none of Henry VIII's six wives would venture, Tony endures the worst jobs imaginable to get to the bottom (sometimes literally) of the story. From the Roman invasion to the reign of Queen Victoria, Tony has met the challenge of seeking out the worst jobs of each era. The Gunpowder Plot drew Tony to the role of the Saltpetre Man who collected human waste because its nitrate content could be turned into gunpowder. In the same vein, he has revealed some of the worst jobs behind the building of the great medieval cathedrals. With Tony we discover the dire conditions of Nelson's Victory, where the most common form of retirement was being sewn into a hammock with a couple of cannon balls and dropped over the side. Then there's the impact of the Industrial Revolution, a source of wealth and power for the few, but a cornucopia of lousy jobs for the many.